April Oh My Mellow
Our outlook for this month bring showers of new books, audio and streaming to bring colour to your cheeks.
FICTION Hagstone and My Favourite Mistake
We’re spoiled for choice this month with two new fiction releases, among them Hagstone, the debut novel by essayist and arts critic Sinéad ‘Constellations’ Gleeson that blends Gothic mystery, nature writing and the supernatural. It’s set on a fictional Irish island, far off the mainland, where Nell juggles her vocation as an artist with filing funding applications and double jobbing as a cleaner and a tour guide. When commissioned to create an artwork for an all-female commune, Nell is pulled deeper into the island’s undertow.
And though Marian Keyes’s My Favourite Mistake is also set in a small Irish community, that’s where the comparisons end, as the veteran storyteller documents the homecoming of beauty PR queen Anna Walsh – a family known well to Keyes fans – who swaps Manhattan to help old friends set up a luxury coastal retreat back on the auld sod. Throw in outraged locals an and old flame, and you’ve a sure-fire hit comedy with its heart on its sleeve.
Many books about the science of sleep can have the very opposite effect, keeping us awake at night with apparently catastrophic data about how our lack of slumber can drive us if not to an early grave  to dementia or depression. Scientific scaremongering does little to help your average insomniac, but practical help is at hand with Fiona Brennan’s Sleep Well by Ireland’s Gill Books, which presents an eight-week programme of potentially transformative habits to help optimise our circadian rhythm using a holistic melange of psychology, spirituality and science. Just add Moon + Mellow co-ords and our bedtime ritual is complete.
PODCAST The Chromologist
How would you describe your life in colour, is the intriguing question posed by Patrick ODonnell in this new series by fancy paint makers Farrow & Ball. What could’ve been a cloying marketing exercise is in actual fact a fascinating hook on which to hang an autobiography, such as self-styled Queen of Shops and entrepreneur Mary Portas revealing her favourite (and signature) colours, many of which hark back to her happy childhood; why Welsh singer and broadcaster finds red so evocative; and the top picks of historian Kassia St Clair, who knows more than most about hidden meanings attributed to specific shades and hues: she’s the author of The Secret Lives of Colour.
Imagine a cocktail of Mad Men, Desperate Housewives and Big Little Lies and, et voila, you have Apple TV’s camp melodrama Palm Royale. It’s about as deep as a paddling pool at the titular country club but is a feast for the eyes as Kristin Wiig’s social climbing charlatan attempts to rise the ranks through high society in Florida in the late 1960s. Fun, frothy and with a stellar cast – Carol Burnett, Allison Janney, Laura Dern, and Ricky Martin as a snooty bartender – it’s the ideal show for the summer countdown.
DRESS CODE Resort Shirt and Shorts
Palm Royale would absolutely let you into its exclusive resort if you were to arrive in this flamingo pink ensemble that’ll keep you cool inside and out, it being 100pc premium organic poplin cotton. A menswear-inspired squared fit, dropped shoulder and button-up collar are in pleasing contrast to its pretty, candy-coloured print that flashes-forward to the holiday season. Are we nearly there yet?