Five short story and essay collections that will get you right back into reading
Finding it difficult to get back into the swing of reading? These five titles are sure to do the trick.
Send Nudes by Saba Sams
Made up of ten short stories, this collection is a true immersion in the contradictions and complexities of girlhood. From growing up too fast to succumbing to societal pressure, the stories tread between nightclubs at closing time, mucky music festivals, and beach holidays all while charting the treacherous terrain of growing up. These stories also track the relationships encountered and moments experienced in pursuit of the next step in life.
Pure Gold by John Patrick McHugh
This is a book I’ve returned to a multitude of times, and one I’ve purchased for friends on many occasions. Written by Galway author John Patrick McHugh, this eight-story collection is set on an imagined island off the west coast of Ireland, and the many different characters and perspectives encountered throughout will draw you in from the very beginning. From the lost and lonely to the dreamers and self-deceivers, these characters are created with nuance, compassion, and dark humour, and there is a resounding examination of masculinity, family, class, and friendship.
Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino
Recommended to me by our Beauty Editor Holly O’Neill with the forewarning that it will leave you feeling extremely existential, this collection of essays are reflections on self-delusions. Traversing themes of feminism, reality television, the internet, drugs, and identity, Trick Mirror is a thought-provoking response to the zeitgeist in an era where being chronically online is par for the course.
Notes to Self by Emilie Pine
Potentially one of my favourite books ever, Notes to Self by Emilie Pine was recommended to me in college during a genders and sexualities module by one of my favourite lecturers. Over the course of six essays, Pine interrogates what it means to be a woman existing in the modern world through intense reflection on vital moments from her personal life. From her father’s alcoholism and her fertility journey to the many taboos that surround the female body, each essay is poignant, probing, and utterly honest.
Constellations by Sinéad Gleeson
A gift from my mother for my 25th birthday, the pages of Constellations are filled with life. From birth to first loves, pregnancy, motherhood, sickness, old age, and eventually, death, this is a wide-ranging essay collection that also looks at our very way of seeing. These uniquely individual experiences somehow bear a universal resonance, and ultimate, the book is a reminder of the fierce joy and unbridled pain of being alive.