The Almanac - A seasonal guide to 2018 by Lia Leendeetz October 05, 2017 14:16
My copy of The Almanac arrived on the morning of the Autumn Equinox - I felt this, in itself, was a good omen! But before I get into full review mode about the actual book, let me just provide a little context behind the way in which this wonderful new read has been published...
Sometimes, something comes into your life that just tickles your imagination. That is exactly how I felt when I read a tweet about a kickstarter project looking to fund a new book by Lia Leendertz. I'd read, loved (and reviewed) a previous book by Lia - Petal, Leaf, Seed. And to be honest, I'd heard a bit about kick-starters, but didn't really understand how it all worked. So, couple together curiosity for the process, an appreciation for the author, and a real sense of 'this needs to get published' about the proposed book, I put my name down and signed up to be a supporter.
I wasn't alone. In total, 555 people stumped up the cash to get this book published. Ever so often, an email would drop into the inbox with an update on the publishing process and how things were working out. I loved that connection to the project. Really nice. The other weekend, as a special treat, an early bird copy arrived, looking and smelling fresh. Lovely stuff. But, importantly, was it all worth it?
Well for me, absolutely.
Reading this book reminds you of how much there is in the world to cherish and love. As the full title suggests, The Almanac looks ahead to 2018. Each month is given a separate section, which start with a run down of all the special dates in that month - things to look forward to, learn more about or just to be aware of. Then, the book takes you on a guided tour of that month through the eyes of Mother Nature herself - the timings of the tides, the phases of the moon, the likely temperatures and growing conditions for the weeks ahead. What to harvest and ideas on how to cook it up is also included. The Almanac paints an intricate, beautiful scene of nature, dancing around you, going about it's business with such fluidity and grace. Your role is to observe, learn, nurture and of course enjoy this purposeful sequence.
For me, The Almanac gives me the same sense of well being as a full, carbo-loaded dinner. Or the shipping forecast... which I don't understand, but just love to listen to. It's calming, warming, slightly hypnotic and just plain lovely. It is full of the kind of wisdom you'd love to share with your kids; magical observations made about the stars, oceans, soil and air. The real world. The one that is so rich, beautiful and precious, and yet so often overlooked.
If, like me, you find yourself saying 'Er, October, we're in OCTOBER?!!', this book will help you slow down, focus and enjoy the details of our changing seasons. Nourishing, thoughtful and enlightening, The Almanac is food for the soul as well as the stomach. Definitely one for the Christmas list.