January Review of Books 

One of the challenges I set myself this year was to read 100 books in 2017. The challenge has started well. I’ve read thirteen books this month. 

Here’s a brief run down of what I’ve been reading. 

TreesMagnum Photos

A book of photographs of trees, taken by Magnum photographers. Beautiful and thought provoking. 

A Charm of Goldfinches & Other  Collective NounsMatt Sewell

A lovely book of Matt Sewell’s quirky yet accurate pictures of animals and birds, complete with humorous and informative descriptions of each creature and an explanation of their collective noun. A fabulous read! 

Winter: An Anthology for the changing season Edited by Melissa Harrison

I loved this book. A selection of poetry and prose to mark the winter season, it includes new writing combined with much older works, some dating back 700 years. The writing is gorgeous, rich, varied, a feast to devour, to absorb yourself in this beautiful season. We read most of the book aloud to each other while curled up in a Shepherd’s Hut on a New Year’s break, rain pounding outside. Wonderful! 

Wild Times: Extraordinary Experiences Connecting with Nature in Britain- Jini Reddy

Great ideas for wild experiences all over Britain. The book includes everything from a bumblebee safari to prehistoric cooking. Some of the ideas are things we’ve already done, like a Deer Rut Safari at Knepp Wildlands, others are completely new ideas, that make we want to take off to explore and  enjoy all the great experiences to be had. 

Feral- George Monbiot

Thought provoking, made me see the world in a different way and question what I thought I knew about our landscape. Well written, full of striking ideas to rewild the landscape, amazing what changes could be seen if this idea was taken up more widely on a landscape level. I definitely recommend that you read this book. 

The Midnight Witch-Paula Brackston

Enjoyable magickal fiction, necromancers and Sentinels cone into conflict in the years around WW1 in London. The lead character steps into the role of Head Witch of the Lazarus Coven as the story begins and we follow her growth as a witch and a woman. A good lightweight read. 

The Muse- Jessie Burton

I was excited to see a new book from Jessie Burton, having read The Miniaturist last year. This is a great book, combining the story of a West Indian woman in 60s London, with a young female artist in 30s Spain, linked by a mysterious painting attributed to a Spanish artist lost during the civil war. An interesting and absorbing read- so good in fact that I’ve already bought another copy as a gift! 

Discover Scotland-Lonely Planet

A useful guide book to Scotland, dived into to plan a trip for later in the year. A good overview to help us plan the structure of our trip. 

Shepherd’s Huts and Living Vans- David Morris

This was provided in the Shepherd’s Hut we stayed in for New Year and was an interesting read to get a better understanding of the history of shepherd’s huts. 

Spotting and Jotting Guide Our British Birds- Matt Sewell 


Penguins and Other Sea Birds- Matt Sewell 

Another couple of lovely books from Matt Sewell. The Spotting and Jotting Guide has been added to my “out and about” rucksack for bird spitting opportunities. The penguin book opened my eyes to the variety of penguins. These books are cheerful little works of art. 

The Little Book of Hygge The Danish Way to Live Well- Meik Wiking

I’m intrigued by the concept of Hygge, which roughly translates as a cosy and relaxed way of being. This little book is a guide by Meik Wiking of the International Happiness Institute, describing how central the concept of Hygge is to Danish life and how to introduce more Hygge into your like. I enjoyed reading this and am introducing more Hygge moments into my life. 

Shed Chic: Outdoor Buildings for Work, Rest and Play-Sally Coulthard

This was another book left for reading at our Shepherd’s Hut stay. I can only dream of having space for an outdoor building of the kind described in the book, but it was a pleasant escape and had some great ideas to add some decorative touches to the garden. 

What did you read in January? Do you have any recommendations? 

6 thoughts on “January Review of Books 

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