Home Features May First Flush is out—all upcoming books this month!

May First Flush is out—all upcoming books this month!

First Flush is our fully searchable data base of new books each month, with data supplied by Nielsen

by Fiona Murphy

For any newcomers, First Flush is Books Ireland’s database full of the new titles being 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 2021 and each month it builds and builds, creating a useful resource and fascinating back catalogue of Irish releases month-by month. It’s fully searchable by term, title, author, month, genre and many more critera, making it super easy to use. 

This month’s First Flush has a huge range of titles, so there’s something for every fiction, nonfiction, poetry and childrens’ book lover out there!


New fiction is giving us the first taste of our reads for summer, and whether you’re jetting off to read them from your poolside sunlounger or bringing them along to have something to read while you shiver in Salthill with a ’99, we think that Sophie White’s My Hot Friend from Hachette or Naoise Dolan’s latest, The Happy Couple from Orion will be the perfect beach reads this summer.

White’s searing, sarcastic humour mixed with deep social critiques make for unputdownable reading, while Dolan’s modern take on The Marriage Plot will keep readers glued to this cast of characters, keenly observed by the author.

If a sweeping historical romance is more your style, the latest book from the Guinness Girls series by Emily Hourican is also out this month, this time focusing on the Guinness Girl’s shy, awkward cousin Honor. For those who like a twist in their tale, S. D. Monaghan’s Toxic People asks us how well we really know our families and Fiona Gartland’s In the Courts’ Hands from Poolbeg sees stenographer Beatrice Barrington faced with a dead juror, a suspicious meeting and a dark and difficult past. 


Poetry lovers are in for a treat in May, with lots of new titles to explore from Arlen House, especially the third in its series Washing Windows, that collects a hundred poems from women poets who are shaping Irish poetry, featuring work in this edition from Nuala O’Connor, Josepha Madigan,  Helena Nolan, Una Ni Cheallaigh, Jackie Lynam and many more.

Salmon Poetry’s two new offerings for May are Dani Gill’s Lessons in Kindness, her second collection, which focuses on identity, sexuality, strength and vulnerability and Eamonn Wall’s My Aunts at Twilight Poker.


May 2023’s nonfiction titles are a rainbow of personalities, interests, histories and musings, touching everything from diet culture with No Apologies from Niamh Orbinski (Harper Collins) to meditations on the natural world around us in Cacophony of Bone from the acclaimed author of Thin Places, Kerri ni Dochartaigh (Canongate Books).

For the history enthusiast, you can follow Tom Crean’s journey into one of the world’s harshest environments in Crean: The Extraordinary Life of an Irish Hero (Merrion) or dive into the dark details of the 1980s Malcolm MacArthur case in The Murderer and the Taoiseach: Death, Politics and GUBU from Harry McGee and Hachette.

Some big voices and personalities also chime in to tell their side of the story, with Sean Quinn’In My Own Words releasing this month alongside The Grass Ceiling: On Being a Woman in Sport from Eimear Ryan, on the discomfort of being a girl in a male-dominated world.  

Children’s Books

There are lots of charming and eye-catching stories and illustrations in the children’s titles for May, with Dogman being translated into Irish with Futa Fata, and A Limerick Fairytale from Grainne O’Brien and Lena Stawowy from O’Brien Press bringing Irish stories into focus.

Marita Conlon McKenna returns with another historical children’s book with Safe Harbour telling the tale of two children displaced from their home during the London Blitz. Sam Blake offers up a murder mystery YA read in Something Terrible Happened Last Night that combines house parties and murder in a chilling combo, and Little Island bring us another fantastical and mind-bending read from Philip Womack with Ghostlord

May is leaving us spoiled for choice, and this is just a taster of what’s listed in the database. Scroll through First Flush to find your next great read!