“Hitching for Hope” by Ruairí McKiernan is the May 2022 selection for the IrishCentral Book Club.

Each month, we will pick a new Irish book or a great book by an Irish author and celebrate the amazing ability of the Irish to tell a good story for the IrishCentral Book Club.

Throughout May, we’ll be reading “Hitching for Hope: A Journey into the Heart and Soul of Ireland” by Irish author Ruairí McKiernan, published by Chelsea Green Publishing in 2020.

"Hitching for Hope," an Irish Times #1 bestseller, recently won a Best Book Award at the American Book Fest awards.

Some great news and a message of thanks. 🎉🙏 Hitching for Hope recently won a Best Book Award at the American Book Fest awards! It landed 1st prize in the travel category.🏆 I'm very grateful to all who supported it in so many different ways. Thank you all. pic.twitter.com/sZqmpOdXXz

— Ruairí McKiernan (@ruairimckiernan) April 22, 2022

You can watch back on the 2020 launch event of McKiernan's "Hitching for Hope" here:

Synopsis for “Hitching for Hope: A Journey into the Heart and Soul of Ireland” by Ruairí McKiernan

Following the collapse of Ireland’s Celtic Tiger economy, social activist Ruairí McKiernan questions whether he should join the mounting number of emigrants searching for greater opportunity elsewhere.

McKiernan embarks on a hitchhiking odyssey with no money, no itinerary, and no idea where he might end up each night. His mission: to give voice to those emerging from one of the most painful periods of economic and social turmoil in Ireland’s history.

Engaging, provocative, and sincere, "Hitching for Hope" is a testimony to the spirit of Ireland. It is an inspirational manifesto for hope and healing in troubled times.

Reviews for “Hitching for Hope: A Journey into the Heart and Soul of Ireland” by Irish author Ruairí McKiernan

"This is a perfect match for these unprecedented times." - Irish Times review  

"..a timely comfort read....proves that sometimes hope and history really can rhyme."  - The Sunday Times

“Ruairí McKiernan takes time to look behind the stone walls of Ireland. Travelling from pillar to post, he takes note of what many of us sometimes fail to see. Always revealing, always caring and compassionate.” - Christy Moore 

"In 'Hitching for Hope,' Ruairí McKiernan sets out on a pilgrimage to capture truth and to hear stories that deserve to be heard. He sticks his thumb out, and somehow a healthy dose of humanity manages to roll up alongside him. McKiernan is a writer who finds home in the elsewhere. This book is a paean to nuance, decency and possibility.’ - Colum McCann

"An epic journey into the hearts, minds, and feelings of Ireland including our hopes, fears, anger, and wisdom. Powerful and insightful." - Damien Dempsey

"Listening requires focus, attention, and awareness—skills that Ruairí has perfected. He listens to so many different perspectives without reacting or debating, and opens his mind and heart to each of them. I highly recommend this book. I guarantee that you will not be able to put it down." - Frances Black

"The insights Ruairí McKiernan shares from people he meets on these freewheeling journeys somehow defy cynicism. The many voices in this book, from undocumented immigrants to young farmers, capture Ireland at a time of deep crisis but also radical change." - Caelainn Hogan

"Ruairí McKiernan hitchhikes through Ireland’s soul—its heartbeat—to bring us an authentic and utterly compelling narrative. Think McCarthy’s Bar for the socially conscious. An important and enjoyable read from a trusted voice." - Brian O’Connell 

About Ruairí McKiernan

Ruairí McKiernan, originally from Co Cavan and now based in Co Clare, is a renowned Irish social campaigner, Fulbright scholar, former Presidential appointee to Ireland’s Council of State, and European Director of the American nonprofit Narrative 4. He is also the host of the popular Love and Courage podcast, founder of the pioneering SpunOut.ie national youth charity, and a founding member of the Uplift organization. In 2017, the global social entrepreneur foundation Ashoka named McKiernan one of the top ten people leading social change in Ireland.

You can learn more about Ruairí McKiernan on his website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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