Wintering by Katherine May

The subtitle of Katherine May’s memoir-meets-nature-writing, Wintering, is ‘The power of rest and retreat in difficult times’. The subtitle might suggest a how-to guide for coping with pandemics but that’s not the case.

Instead, May’s gentle book examines the cues that flora and fauna take from the weather; and the human response to the cold, including winter recreation (saunas and rolling in snow); and rituals and customs.

Plants and animals don’t fight the winter; they don’t pretend it’s not happening and attempt to carry on living the same lives that they lived in the summer. They prepare. They adapt. They perform extraordinary acts of metamorphosis to get them through. Continue reading

The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

The Comfort Book by Matt Haig is a collection of thoughts and reflections on happiness and hope. Haig doesn’t claim to have any particular insight or expertise. Instead, his words are intended to soothe in times when many people are feeling frayed.

Like any book of this nature, it’s one you can open to any page – it’s probably the best way to read it, taking from it what you need at any one time. As a result, some entries will resonate more than others (although, the entry which simply says  – ‘No physical appearance is worth not eating pasta for’ is universal, and equally, ‘It’s rare to escape a maze on the first attempt’, is also useful). Continue reading