“All the months are crude experiments, out of which the perfect September is made”
– Virginia Woolf
Indulge in our bumper crop of this new season’s delights, from the best books to podcasts to the Voice of an Angel’s sweet retreat…
DOUBLE BILL So Late in the Day and The Wren, The Wren
Honestly, we couldn’t decide between Claire Keegan and Anne Enright’s new releases, so we’re highlighting both (sure, if it was good enough for Barbenheimer…). There aren’t enough superlatives for Keegan’s latest drama, which at just 64 pages short is small but exquisitely formed. It begins on one unremarkable day when Dublin office worker Cathal makes his way home to Wicklow, opens a bottle of wine, puts on the telly and lets his mind wander to the women in his life. Don’t be fooled by its simple premise: it’s breathtakingly masterful.
See too Enright’s The Wren, The Wren which explores three voices of one family: its dead patriarch and poet, Phil McDaragh, his daughter Carmel, and her daughter Nell. It’s a dark portrait of intergenerational trauma, poetic justice, feelings that get lost in translation, and fizzes with the Dublin author’s wry observations.
PODCAST Another MindBody Story
It’s tempting to treat an ailment in isolation, but sometimes it’s more effective to observe the bigger picture and remember that the mind and body work in tandem. Feeling ‘the weight of the world on our shoulders’ can result in upper back pain and vice versa; similarly ‘butterflies in the stomach’ can bring gastro issues if left unchecked. Such rationale is behindAnother MindBody Story, the brainchild of The Aligned Body Coach, aka Ana Stefan – a trained yoga, pilates teacher and breath-worker based in north Dublin – who here chats with “educators, mentors and everyday people who have discovered the healing power of movement, meditation or self-awareness” in a bid to inspire and motivate listless bodies and minds.
GATHERING The Gathered Table
And now to swap your finest Moon + Mellow two-piece for a fine apron: The Gathered Table: A Taste of Home is the cookbook by Gather & Gather with Nine Bean Rows Books, comprising 55 recipes from the nation’s leading chefs, bakers, butchers, farmers, producers, food writers, cooks and shopkeepers, among them Darina Allen, John and Sally McKenna, JP McMahon, The Cupcake Bloke, Jess Murphy (Kai), Sunil Gai (Pickle) and Siobhan Ní Ghairbhith (St Tola Cheese). Moreover, all proceeds go to the homeless charity Peter McVerry Trust.
MANIFESTING The Dreaming
No offence to Charlotte Church, but whatever about her celebrity wattage – it’s her new holistic retreat in Wales that’s giving us all the feels. The reviews are in and they’re glowing, praising the country house’s fairyland gardens and individually-themed rooms. But it’s the wellness programmes that have us mentally packing our favourite jim-jams and unpacking our anxiety: think sound meditation, nature crafting, wild swimming, woodland foraging, campfire ceremonies, digital detoxing, and, presumably, the sweetest sleeps.