Posts Tagged ‘Marian Keyes’

It’s time, once again, to GO GREEN or Go Home.  It’s our 2nd annual, 17-question St. Patrick Literary Quiz. (To see last year’s quiz, click here.)  All questions have to do with Irish stuff– Irish writers, Irish-American writers, Irish characters, or even just random Irish literary references.  Answers follow. We wish you all the luck o’ the Irish!

1. For James Joyce aficionados, what is the significance of June 16,1904?

a. the birthday of Joyce’s daughter Lucia
b. the day Ulysses is set
c. the day that Michael Furey (from “The Dead”) died after waiting in the rain outside Gretta’s window

2. In the Harry Potter series, what is the name of the Irish-born Gryffindor student and best friend of Dean Thomas?Seamus_FinnigansG

a. Bartemius Crouch Jr.
b. Colin Creevey
c. Seamus Finnigan

3.  In The Secret of Roan Inish (based on the the book The Secret of Ron Mor Skerry, by Rosalie K. Fry) is inspired by Irish legend of skin-shedding seals who become human. What are these seals called?

a. corkles
b. cormorants
c. selkies

4. What is the full name of Oscar Wilde?

a.  Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde
b.  Oscar Felix O’Connor Wilde
c.  Oscar Sullivan McConville Stuart Wilde

5. In Yeats’ poem “The Wild Swans at Coole,” how many swans does the narrator see during his earlier visit to Coole Park?

a.  46
b.  59
c.  99

6. Irish author Eoin Colfer is best known for penning which book series?

a. Artemis Fowl
b. Warriors
c. Cirque du Freak

Gulliver's challenge

7. In Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, the Lilliputians are at war with a race of people over how to open eggs.  The Lilliputians prefer to open the little end.  Which race of people are also known as “Big-Enders”?

a.  Brobdignagians
b.  Blefescudians
c.  Laputans

8.  Why get off the topic of Gulliver so swiftly?  (Pun, pun…)  What is the name of the race of intelligent horses in the last part of GT?

a.  Houyhnhnms
b. Struyldbrugs
c. Yahoos

9. Which of the following is the name of a Marian Keyes novel?

a. Mango
b. Strawberry
c. Watermelon

10. Seamus Heaney died last year, on August 30, 2013. According to his son Michael, minutes before he died, he sent his last words to his wife via text message.  The message?  The Latin words “Noli timere.”  What does that mean in English?

a. “It’s time.”
b. “Don’t be afraid.”
c. “This is not the end.”

11. Which Irish-born author wrote The Country Girls Trilogy?

a. Edna O’Brien
b. Maeve Binchy
c. Emily Lawless

12. How does the ending to George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion differ from that of the musical/ film My Fair Lady?

a. Pygmalion: Professor Henry Higgins gets into a boating accident and dies; My Fair Lady, he survives the accident.
b. Pygmalion: Eliza Doolittle rejects Higgins; My Fair Lady: Higgins realizes he misses her, and she comes back to him.
c. Pygmalion: Eliza married Colonel Pickering; My Fair Lady: Eliza marries Freddy Eynsford-Hill

13.  In his song “Rave On,” Van Morrison alludes to which of the following poets?

a. John Donne
b. Walt Whitman
c. William Butler Yeats
d. All of the above

14. Which Irish-born mutant superhero had a brief tenure with the X-Men?

a. Banshee
b. Gambit
c. Havoc

15. In Oscar Wilde’s novel, who is the painter of the titular picture of Dorian Gray?

a. Alan Campbell
b. Lord Henry Wolton
c. Basil Hallward

16.  In Hamlet, which character swears “by Saint Patrick”?

a. Ophelia
b. Hamlet
c. Polonius

17. Complete this James Joyce quotation: “The demand I make of my reader is that he should devote ______________ to reading my books.”

a. “one hour a day”
b. “three days a week”
c. “his whole life”


  1.  b. the day Ulysses is set
  2. c. Seamus Finnigan
  3. c. selkies
  4. a.  Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde
  5. b. 59
  6. a. Artemis Fowl
  7. b.  Blefescudians
  8. a.  Houyhnhnms
  9. c. Watermelon
  10. b. Don’t be afraid
  11. a. Edna O’Brien
  12. b. In My Fair Lady, Eliza returns to Higgins, but in Shaw’s original version, she leaves him
  13. d. All of the above
  14. a. Banshee
  15. c. Basil Hallward
  16. b. Hamlet (Act I, sc. 5, while talking to Horatio)
  17. c. “his whole life”

How’d You Do?

15-17 Correct: Pot o’ Gold!

11-14 Correct: Shamrock-star!

6-10 Correct: Lucky Guesser

2-5 Correct: Green around the Gills

0-1 Correct: Potato Famine

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We’ve been reading a lot of really fun blogs this month, and one idea we loved was posting our top five “Desert Island Books”… in other words, if we’re going to be stranded on a deserted island for an indeterminate amount of time, what are some books we’d like to have with us?  We even asked our twins to weigh in on the decision.  Here’s what we came up with:


  1. Any Shakespeare Anthology (There are a thirty-eight plays, and I’ve only read maybe ten of them.  This might be a good time to catch up on some Titus Andronicus.)
  2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (My favorite of the series. Not the longest, but then again, all those Shakespeare plays will take up a lot of my time…)
  3. Paradise Lost by John Milton (Sheri says including Milton AND Shakespeare on this list makes me sound stuffy, but every time I read Paradise Lost, I find something new.)
  4. The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back by J.W. Rinzler (And every time I read this, I find something new.)
  5. The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle (Now, I’ve never read this, but a good, good friend has been insisting that I read it for a while now. I realize I’m taking a risk here, because I may not like it. And then I’ll be kicking myself for not bringing along a copy of 101 Ways to Get Off a Deserted Island…)   


  1. A Place to Call Home by Deborah Smith (This is the book I’ve read and re-read more times than any other)
  2. Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes (All of Keyes’ novels are great, but this one was my first and favorite.  She’s the master of Irish wit and storytelling.)
  3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (the book that made a reader—and a writer—out of me)
  4. Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn (No I am NOT embarrassed to have this on my list!  I’m alone on a desert island.  Who do I need to impress? A great romantic story—this is my favorite in the Bridgerton series—is like a warm, comforting blanket.)
  5. The Bible (Reasons should be obvious!)

Our 12-year-old son:

  1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (Never gets old)
  2. Warriors 6: The Darkest Hour by Erin Hunter (the best of the series)
  3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (best book ever written!)
  4. LEGO Club Magazine (Does this count as a book?)
  5. Any choose-your-own-adventure book (It’s like having many stories in one!)

Our other 12-year-old  son:

  1. The Candy Makers by Wendy Mass (awesome characters)
  2. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (The most clever plot ever!)
  3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (I love the emotion and action in this story)
  4. Loser by Jerry Spinelli (The most inspirational story by my favorite author)
  5. Mr. Terupt Falls Again by Rob Buyea (I’m in the middle of this book and I have to see how it ends!)

Let’s hear your desert island picks!

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