A shared gold medal and an Olympic knitter: The most heartwarming moments from the Olympics so far
A shared gold medal and an Olympic knitter: The most heartwarming moments from the Olympics...

Sarah Finnan

Sustainable Irish sleepwear brands to help you catch some zs
Sustainable Irish sleepwear brands to help you catch some zs

Sarah Finnan

Andrew McGinley: ‘I cannot forgive the act of murder. I can’t forgive how my children died’
Andrew McGinley: ‘I cannot forgive the act of murder. I can’t forgive how my children...

Amanda Cassidy

What actually consitutes self-care when you’re a mother
What actually consitutes self-care when you’re a mother

Sophie White

The expert guide to your hair problems, from thinning hair to heat damage
The expert guide to your hair problems, from thinning hair to heat damage

Melanie Morris

Best hotel restaurants: 16 places to add to your Irish staycation bucket list
Best hotel restaurants: 16 places to add to your Irish staycation bucket list

Sarah Finnan

Here’s how you can manage symptoms of work anxiety
Here’s how you can manage symptoms of work anxiety

Jennifer McShane

Step straight onto the sand with these 5 Irish hotels on the beach
Step straight onto the sand with these 5 Irish hotels on the beach

Megan Burns

5 inspiring self-help books that will change your life
5 inspiring self-help books that will change your life

Jennifer McShane

Jamie Lee Curtis shows every parent how to handle their child transitioning
Jamie Lee Curtis shows every parent how to handle their child transitioning

Jennifer McShane

Image / Editorial

3 brilliant adventure novels to tide you over until we can travel again


by Jennifer McShane
23rd May 2020
blank

These three book recommendations will kick-start the endorphins and keep the Wanderlust intact until we can travel once more, says Jennifer McShane  


I’m usually suspicious of any method that promises to bring about instant happiness; happiness is an ephemeral feeling, so to chase it means you’ll likely spend forever trying to catch it. But, I’m all for things that can boost my mood and aid the feelings of contentment – especially during Covid-19. Which is why I loved this take away from a study from Business Insider which found that focusing on certain little tasks kick-start our endorphins. Out of the lot, my favourite was that reading adventure novels make you feel better about life.

They detail a 2012 study from the University of Minnesota which found that the feeling of awe triggers less stress, less impatience and greater life satisfaction than those who didn’t read these stories.

For some of the participants, this feeling of awe was conjured up when they read a short, wonder-inspiring narrative. Eliciting a feeling of awe, compared with a neutral state, increased perceived time availability. This led participants to strongly prefer experiential goods over material ones and to view their lives as more satisfying said the study academics.

When you think about it, the study findings make perfect sense. Reading stories of faraway adventures are a reminder that our world is meant to be explored and even though we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, one day, we will be able to go on adventures again. Scroll for three of favourite adventure reads, to tide you over until that happens.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Novelist and hiker extraordinaire Cheryl Strayed embarked on an incredible 1,100-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in the United States in 1995 as a journey of self-discovery following her mother’s death, and this had a profound effect on her life. Her experience formed the basis of a best-selling novel and film Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon. While the film was a good effort, it doesn’t compare to Strayed’s writing which is raw, brilliant and emotive. She’s at a crossroads; distraught and looking to start again as she begins her redemptive trek, and by the end of it all, her life outlook has completely changed. It’s a gorgeous, riveting, and open-hearted read.

Under the Almond Tree by Laura McVeigh

The story is set on a moving train as 15-year-old Samar and her family flee the conflict in Afghanistan in the 1990s – they are refugees, nomads aboard the Trans-Siberian Express travelling towards Russia and a future full of uncertainty but a new adventure. Samar is our curious narrator (she longs to be a writer and is fascinated with Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina), documenting their journey, the one she so longs to end; she is sick of always running and remembers fondly their brief time in Kabul – in the yellow house, playing under the almond tree – but soon discovers there are so many secrets in her life she does not know. It’s a beautiful novel made for inspiring a journey that you’ll be sorry to see end.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

This comes on the back of much hype – highly recommended by both Oprah and Barack Obama – the story of Cora, a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia, who manages to escape a hellish existence via an underground railroad (which was, in reality, a series of safe houses to act as a secret railroad in America). Her journey is long and harrowing as she seeks a life free from slavery. This isn’t always easy to digest; it’s dark and disturbing, yet so powerful is the message of hope that you simply won’t stop reading, if only to stay with Cora until the end of her life-changing journey.

Main photograph: Unsplash


Read more: #IMAGEReads: 4 books we have on our social distancing must-read lists

Read more: 40 books to read before you’re 40

Read more: ‘Make Your Bed’: this empowering book could change your life (or at least your lockdown experience)

Also Read

blank
EDITORIAL
‘We have not heeded the warnings sufficiently’: The health emergency we’ve ignored while focusing on the pandemic

The climate change debate has been going on for so long its become white noise. But this week, the effects...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Totally allowed but totally shouldn’t: Welcome to the Great Irish Pandemic Paradox’

In a time when cool heads are needed – it’s more than the current heatwave that’s melting minds, writes Amanda...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
The life-changing act of binning all your terrible underwear

A life of wearing the wrong underwear had Sophie White’s knickers in a twist. She reports on the unexpected satisfaction...

By Sophie White

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
When speaking about ageing, we should follow Julianne Moore’s lead

Actress Julianne Moore is tired of all the cliched tropes about female ageing. The way we speak about it; the...

By Jennifer McShane

Britta Baranowsky The Flowerfield
EDITORIAL
Happy World Bee Day: These are the best bee-friendly flowers to plant right now

Attracting bees to your outdoor patch is a cinch, with a little forward-planning. We speak to two flower growers in...

By Amanda Kavanagh

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
No, the Olympics haven’t given athletes ‘anti-sex’ cardboard beds

Despite some media coverage, the beds are actually focused on sustainability as opposed to intimacy restrictions. Recently, distance runner Paul...

By Jennifer McShane

Full House, onscreen father Danny Tanner
EDITORIAL
We’re remembering our favourite onscreen dads for Father’s Day

With Father’s Day just around the corner (this Sunday 20h June, so yes, you do have time to buy yours...

By Grace McGettigan