The Year in Books :: December 2016

Better late than never – right??

I thought I would pop by to tell you what I read in November – October seemed to be a bit of a lull in reading and I didn’t really read anything at all.  November got me back on track though, so here we go;

hygge

First up was the gorgeous The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking.  This was delightful – beautifully presented with some wonderful ideas to put into practice to make your like a little more hygge.  I can’t wait for Christmas, as I think it will be easier to be a little more hygge then than at any other time of the year.  I am looking forward to hunkering down with some good books, films, food and (hopefully) no internet for a while.  Bliss.

witches

Next I dipped into Accused: British Witches Throughout History by Willow Winsham which was fairly interesting.  I did find the style a little disjointed and confusing at times, but a lot of the cases discussed were really absorbing.  I knew very little about any of them, and I was so interested to see such recent cases – going right up to the 1940s.  Well worth a dip into if witches are your thing.

murder

After that, I fancied a little lighthearted murder!  So I picked up the first in a series, Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver.  I enjoyed this one a lot – it is a lighthearted murder mystery set in the 1930s.  It was very fluffy and there were lots of small descriptions of dresses (which I found slightly annoying after a while) and some fun characters.  I would recommend it for light escapism, and I would certainly read the next in the series if I came across it on my travels.

December might see me reading Christmassy things – including my annual rereads of A Christmas Carol by Dickens and Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien.  I am hoping that I can fit in some more wintery feel good reads too – what they will be, only time will tell!

What have you been reading lately?

Organdie. x

If Women Rose Rooted – Sharon Blackie

 

“A life changing journey from the wasteland of modern society to a place of nourishment and connection.

If Women Rose Rooted has been described as both transformative and essential.  Sharon Blackie leads the reader on a quest to find their place in the world, drawing inspiration from the wise and powerful females in native mythology, and guidance from contemporary women who have re-rooted themselves in land and community and taken responsibility for shaping the future.

Beautifully written, honest and moving, If Women Rose Rooted is a passionate song to a different kind of femininity, a rallying cry for women to reawaken their natural power – not just for the sake of their own wellbeing, but for the love of this threatened earth.”

Joining Sharon on this journey was a joy.  I lapped up every word of this book and immediately wanted to reread it once I had finished.

It covers such a wide range of topics – environmentalism, belonging, personal development and mythology – that my copy is stuffed full of page markers and underlining.

I loved the way the Celtic stories interspersed with the narrative mirrored the author’s stories and added extra depth.  I have always been fascinated with the idea of belonging – it is not one I particularly identify with, but one that I would dearly love to.  Celtic mythology and roots particularly intrigue me, so this book with its original subtitle of “The Power of the Celtic Woman” and its 2nd edition subtitle of “The Journey to Authenticity and Belonging” sang to me.

The wasteland of Western culture is something I think about often and why I often escape into the past – nostalgia for something I have never experienced perhaps, or a yearning for an imagined simpler life? – and why nature spiritualities and of course nature itself draws me in so well.

I think this books is such an important read for so many reasons – one that I will be returning to again I am sure.  If you are interested in roots, belonging, mythology, the modern world, nature or the environment I am sure you would find something to interest you in Sharon’s book.

Organdie. x

I was kindly sent this book by the publisher September Publishing – you can find a copy by going to their website here.  All views and opinions in this review are my own.

The Year in Books :: October 2016

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Bit of an unintentional break from the blog again – I don’t really have any excuses this time, so I will just say sorry for the gap and leave it at that.

Because of the break, I have a couple of months of reading to let you know about, so here we go;

July saw me read My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell which I absolutely loved.  It was a warm, funny, brilliantly evocative and had a host of wonderful characters.  Definitely one to add to my favourites shelf to revisit again soon.

I also read Foxes Unearthed by Lucy Jones which was a thoroughly enjoyable look at foxes and the human relationship with them.  It started off with Roald Dahl and his Fantastic Mr Fox and moved off through hunting and hunt saboteurs and ended up with the urban fox. I learned a lot and saw foxes through different people’s eyes which was very interesting.  The key thing I came away with from reading this, is that foxes are just being foxes and any problems humans have with them are our own, not the foxes.  Highly recommended reading. I will probably do a separate post on this one soon as it was kindly sent to me by the publishers Elliott and Thompson

Next up was Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham which was a very unusual memoir from one of my favourite TV personalities.  Using the 3rd person in a memoir is not something I have ever come across before and it gave a very different perspective to a moving and revealing memoir.

Lastly I read If Women Rose Rooted by Sharon Blackie which I am still processing I think.  There is a lot about the Celtic woman in this one as well as a lot of environmental issues.  I am going to write up my thoughts in a separate blog post for this one I think as it was kindly sent to me by the publisher September Publishing.

What have you been reading over the last few months? I have a lot to catch up on!

Organdie. x

The Year in Books :: July 2016

Hello July – how are you?  Have you brought Mr Sunshine along with you?!

I slowed down with my reading in June – almost entirely on purpose.  I was feeling like I was trying to get through my books as quickly as possible just to get them read, and then I realised that this was possibly the most silly thing I could be doing.  What’s the point of reading quickly if two days later, I cannot remember a single thing that I read? (I actually watched a video on YouTube the other day which discussed this among other things – funny how things all join up sometimes isn’t it?)

In June I read The Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine

Lady of Hay

I always enjoy Barbara Erskine’s books – they usually have a slightly spooky element (ghosts or similar) and a dual time line.  This one had the dual time frame, but no spookies.  This followed Jo, a journalist in the 1980s, who embarks upon a series of articles set on debunking certain things.  One of these was hypnosis.  As the story goes on Jo is hypnotised and finds that she was previous alive in the time of King John.

I did enjoy this, but I found some of the scenes slightly morally and ethically dubious – I won’t say too much in case you want to read it, but some of the actions taken by characters while others were under hypnosis just nettled me a little bit.

Overall, a fun absorbing story – I think I preferred the earlier storyline compared to the modern day parts.

I then switched to some non fiction and read Rising Ground by Philip Marsden

Rising Ground

This was beautifully written and very evocative of Cornwall and the surrounding countryside.  I did find the way it was split up into small vignettes dealing with certain interesting characters, or periods of history slightly disjointed.  I often find with this kind of book that half of the stories really grab me and the other half I find really quite dull.  I found the industrial parts of this one a little boring, and I found that they didn’t really get to the “spirit of place” as the subtitle suggests.  The parts dealing with prehistory and archaeology however, were really absorbing and I enjoyed those chapters a lot.

As is usual with me, I have no idea what I want to read next, all I know is that whatever  choose will be read slowly and savoured – it’s my new aim for sure.  What’s the point of reading if nothing sinks in, nothing resonates or makes me think?

What are you reading at the moment?  Anything amazing that I should add to my every growing wish list?

Organdie. x

PS – As always this project was started by Laura over at Circle of Pine Trees– go and say hi, her blog is gorgeous!  You can find more information about The Year in Books project by visiting the page on her blog here.

The Year in Books :: June 2016

Well, I am not sure how May seems to have completely slipped by without me noticing – or blogging!  I’m sorry about that – I’ll try and resume normal service soon!

I read some lovely books in May – maybe that’s where all my time meandered off to…

First up was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Burrows.

Guensey

I really enjoyed this book -I felt connected to the characters which is something that I usually find difficult in a book written via letters.  This one was just very cosy and definitely one I will keep to reread at some point.  Good for a summer read I would think – it is quite short and sweet.

I then had a little non fiction interlude and read The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson

dribbling

I enjoy Bill Bryson’s writing style – kind of funny and very easy to read.  Another fun read for a summer’s day!  I read Notes from a Small Island a couple of years ago and enjoyed that one, so it was interesting to hear some thoughts on Britain 20 years on.

Next up, sticking with the non fiction, I read The Shepherd’s Life by James Rebanks.

shepherd

This was a great read – not something I would normally pick out, but I am very into non fiction nature books at the moment and this one just appealed to me.

Lastly in May I read A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan.

dragons

This was a fun read, but I was expecting more dragons!  This one ended up being more about Lady Trent (obvious really as it is a memoir of Lady Trent!) and less about the dragons as a fantasy beast – more about them as a scientific subject.  Still a good read, just not the one I was expecting!

I am still working my way through Song of Rolling Earth by John Lister-Kaye  – this is not one I can read straight through it would seem, so I am taking it slowly and reading bits and pieces when I fancy it.  Luckily there doesn’t seem to be an overarching storyline to it, rather smaller vignettes of highland life, so it lends itself to reading in sporadic chunks!

Are you reading anything wonderful at the moment?

Organdie. x

PS – As always this project was started by Laura over at Circle of Pine Trees– go and say hi, her blog is gorgeous!  You can find more information about The Year in Books project by visiting the page on her blog here.