For several years now I have always had a book that I read slowly, over the course of the whole year.
‘The Almanac - a seasonal guide’ is compiled by Lia Leendertz. She writes a new version every year, with nature notes, gardening notes, recipes, phases of the moon and stars, tide tables, and more for every month. I love the illustrations; delicate black and white drawings scattered through the text.
‘One Woman’s Year’ by Stella Martin Currey, originally published in 1953. Each It is an engaging mixture of anecdotes, stories in which her family makes an appearance, recipes, anthology of prose and poems from a time when life was very different to today. The cover is plain grey, like most Persephone Books, so I have taken the illustration from the publisher’s website, which is well worth a visit if you can't get to the shop in Bath. Although I have seen some of their books for sale in various bookshops.
I have promised that I will constrain myself to buying just one book, and no more, per month from them this year. Of course, that doesn’t include any secondhand bargains that I might trip across!
‘The Wild Remedy’ by Emma Mitchell, through the year. This is the account of how being out and about in woods and fields helps her overcome the deep and dark depression that threatens to overwhelm her every Winter. Just looking at the photographs and illustrations inspires me to go outside and look at what is growing.
This year I have bought ‘The Country Life Cookery Book’ by Ambrose Heath, illustrated by Eric Ravilious and originally published in 1937. Food cookery was very different back then.
I was given ‘A Year Unfolding – A Printmaker’s View’ by Angela Harding just before Christmas. She records the view from her studio window through the seasons with a commentary, so that is also keeping me company this year.