First Flush is out for July, with all upcoming books on our fully searchable database
by Fiona Murphy
First Flush for July 2023 is out now and while this month’s offering is a little smaller than usual, it nonetheless packs a punch.
For any newcomers, First Flush is Books Ireland’s database of new titles released in the forthcoming month. All the books featured here are Irish-written, focused or published, meaning it’s your go-to for all your new Irish reading inspiration.
The database goes back to January 2021, creating a useful resource and fascinating back catalogue of Irish releases.
The fiction released this month is particularly strong, with Megan Nolan (of Acts of Desperation fame) releasing a new novel with Jonathan Cape, Ordinary Human Failings. Focusing once again on flawed and fascinating people, Nolan this time tells the tale of a reporter who stumbles across a scoop: a dead child on a London estate, grieving parents loved across the neighbourhood, and the finger of suspicion pointing at one reclusive family of Irish immigrants and ‘bad apples’: the Greens.
Colin Walsh’s Kala, out in July with Atlantic Books, looks set to be one of the must-reads of the summer, with a tight knit group of teens torn apart and reunited years later by a dark mystery that haunts them still.
Caroline Finnerty’s The Family Next Door (Boldwood books) and Eithne Shortall’s The Lodgers (Corvus) focus on domestic spaces and how living in close quarters with people might reveal that all is not as perfect as it may seem…
Derry writer Susannah Dickey imagines a dark twist on a neighbourly relationship in her new book Common Decency (Transworld), while Claire Allan’s In the Dark with AVON sees another of Ireland’s crime writers intertwine the genre with the complexities of motherhood. Crime thriller writing is as healthy in this country as ever this July, with Arlene Hunt’s While She Sleeps out in paperback with Hachette Books Ireland.
The crime thriller trend carries over into our non-fiction reading with Paul William’s topical The Monk: The life and Crimes of Ireland’s Most Enigmatic Crime Boss (Atlantic) and Christy Magan’s Cracking the Case: Inside the Mind of a Top Garda out with Sandycove tapping into that morbid fascination we have with the criminal underworlds.
Rachel Graham’s The Menopause Kitchen (Gill Books) will have you eating your way to a more centred body and This Is Not About You: A Menmoir (Unbound) by Rosemary Mac Cabe promises to offer wisdom, wit and a Dolly-Alderton-esque realisation about self-worth.
Children’s books are few and far between this month, but the two that are releasing have focused on creepy crawlies – The Slug and the Snail by Oein DeBhairduin and illustrated by Olya Anima (Little Island) is launching on 6 July in the Gutter bookshop, and retells the Irish Traveller folktale that explores identity and self-acceptance.
O’Brien Press is releasing My First Book of Irish Bugs, an introduction to entomology for all the young creepy crawly enthusiasts out there.
Poetry lovers will be excited to see Declan Ryan’s second book out with Faber & Faber, with his latest, Crisis Actor, examining human connection in times of defeat or despair, the faded heroes and jaded failures of life.
Arlen House publishes The Wind Stills to Listen by Deirdre Cartmill, and Jean Andrews has an upcoming collection titled Her Fated Place out with The Choir Press that follows a young Irish woman’s journey through a turbulent moment of the past to find her place in life.