Here’s our summer hotlist of the best reads, beats and breaks, to assist your me-time journey.
HOLIDAY READING Ordinary Human Failings
Second novels are always tricky, especially when the first receives Sally Rooney-level levels of excitement – in this case Megan Nolan’s debut Acts of Desperation, which received both critical and commercial acclaim. There are great expectations, then, for Ordinary Human Failings, which focuses on the Green family: Irish immigrants in London circa 1990, whose furtive backstory – a teenage pregnancy – is revealed when a plucky young reporter begins investigating the tragic death of a child. Expect to see this engrossing novel on many a plane, train, automobile, beach and poolside this holiday season.
MELLOW TUNES Dream from the Deep Well
Like all good Irish folk musicians, Waterford’s Brigid Mae Power combines social commentary with enchanting melodies – on her new album, Dream from the Deep Well, the song ‘Ashling’ is a hymn to Ashling Murphy, who was killed on Tullamore’s Grand Canal earlier this year, while ‘Maybe It’s Just Lighting’ is told from the point of view of a refugee. This makes it sound like a downer of an album: it’s really not. Each piece is delivered with the sweetest, most mellifluous vocals and harmonies – perfect accompaniment for a cat nap or a snoozy bath.
WEEKENDER Girls’ Getaway at The K Club
We’ve already mentally packed our favourite Moon + Mellow jim-jams for The K Club’s Girls’ Getaway package, which is a call to arms for catching up with fine friends on its bucolic 550-acre estate in Kildare. The overnight package includes B&B (breakfast in bed if that’s your vibe), afternoon tea (could these be the best scones in Ireland?) and – the piece de resistance – an exclusive 90-minute spa experience for up to four people which includes sipping Champagne in a private jacuzzi and sauna.
DIARISING It Took a Century: Women Artists and the RHA
It took a century to elect the first woman artist, Sarah Purser, into the Royal Hibernian Academy and nearly another century for the appointment of its first woman president, Abigail O’Brien, in 2018 – all celebrated in the National Gallery of Ireland’s free new exhibition It Took a Century: Women Artists and the RHA. Half of the artists represented are living, the other half span the decades from the 1920s – making this glorious show one for the diary during its four-month run.
DRESS CODE: Leopard Print on White Eye Mask
Who else is waking up at the crack of dawn this season? In lieu of installing blackout blinds and proscenium-weight curtains, try our eye masks which might just help give you some extra shut-eye. They’re as handy for flights as for bright bedrooms, and being 100 per cent organic cotton – sustainably made, from offcuts from our nightwear – they’re as cool as a cucumber.