Reading inspires my creativity, I hope you might find the same, so I’m going to keep a reading log here…
I Belong Here by Anita Sethi
A beautifully written personal account of walking the Pennine Way whilst trying to make sense of and recover from a racist attack. Sethi made me want to tie my walking boot laces and explore the landscape that she writes about.
January 2023 Landlines by Raynor Winn
I was so happy to find this book in my Christmas ‘Jolabokaflod’. This Icelandic tradition giving books on Christmas Eve goes down well in our Bookish household – 4 avid readers means our bookshelves are heaving but there’s always space for new books!
The third book by Winn records a walk from the far north of Scotland, she comments on the changing landscape and wildlife. Noticing how intensive farming vastly reduces the insect population and celebrating when in untouched areas the wildlife increases. She also touches on the problems of second homes; where beautiful villages become ghost towns out of season and how, during lock down this harmed local businesses. Winn’s descriptions of the places that she and her husband walked through left me itching to get my walking boots on and head out – but then her descriptions of the midges and horse flies that they encountered just left me itching!
Three books, three landscapes, if you like walking and the natural world these will appeal. The personal story of Winn and her husband winds through these three books in heartrending prose showing how the natural environment gives us all strength.
Thanks to my favourite independent bookstore Forum Books/The Bound for keeping my bookshelves overflowing!
December 2022 Light Rain Sometimes Falls – Lev Parikian
I’ve been reading this book all year! Parikian explores the Japanese idea that there are far more than four seasons in a year, so each chapter covers a micro season of a few days. He wrote the book when the country was in Covid lock down so it records the daily changes in his very local area in London. Whilst there were some (!) temperature differences between his city and mine, the similarities were notable. I especially liked that he was recording nature and seasonal change in the urban environment. I think I might have more choice of natural spaces available to me here in Heaton, Newcastle but like the author, I can spot changes in flora and fauna from my doorstep. The book made me appreciate my local green spaces even more and become more aware small but definite changes as each season, micro or otherwise progressed.