Friday, 16 March 2012


I used to find reading quite difficult.
 I thought I should read novels but could rarely finish them. More recently I've been reading what I think is described as nature writing. I read Notes from Walnut Tree Farm and loved it. Then Brooke recommended Summer at Little Lava which equally inspired me. Both stories of connectedness to nature. Not even really stories, but observations, journals. Really enjoying those accounts of living within nature helped me to relax about reading and now I can't stop buying books, nature writing or not. These are the ones I've got my hands on recently, which sit beside my bed. Three of these books are individuals journeys of connecting with nature and the rest a mix of things that currently interest me - herbs, japanese asthetic, japanese cooking, and places to walk in London.
Japanese cooking
London Walks
Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers
my journal
Neal's Yard Remedies
Far Out Isn't Far Enough
The World of Interiors
The Woodland House

Tell me, which books have you been reading lately? Or have you read any nature writings which you would recommend?


  1. I love reading Roger Deakin's books: I went to a talk by Robert MacFarlane once ~ he was a good friend of Roger's: he told that Roger had he lived within a large fireplace of his house while the rest of it was being renovated: he had many outbuildings and sheds that he would use for his writing spaces at various times of the year: how cool is that!
    enjoy your journey into books Jill ☯

    are two favorites
    beautiful writing and insight into two very different landscapes

  3. Hi Jill,

    I've been loving your blog for a long while and never think to comment- I think we lived in the same bit of London for a while- it was fun spotting local things.
    Nature writing is a great genre which I've steeped myself in for the past couple of years- so much it's spurred me to leave my job (yesterday!) and spend the rest of the year travelling the British Isles.
    Some books I've loved are-
    Wildwood bt Rodger Deakin- his last finished just before he got ill- the tales of his trip to the walnut forest of central asia are amazing
    Deep Country by I'm sorry I forget who- Neil Someone, an account of living in a remote Welsh cottage alone for 5 years and getting into birdwatching
    Nature Cure by Richard Mabey (actually anything by Richard Mabey) another friend of Rodger Deakin, this book is a story of his recovery from depression in the landscape of East anglia- not a landscape I love but this shows it through new eyes
    The Unofficial Countryside- another Mabey, one of his first books, I read at a low point with London, he describes the nature to be found in unexpected places in the city- an old book, written in the 70s he describes the land round the Lea and the now olympic park as wasteland and forgotten- very interesting!
    Further afield, I love Barbara Kingsolver- her fiction, but especially her book Animal, Vegetable , Miracle- which details her family's year of eating only local seasonal food in the Appalacian mountains of Virginia- I love her political yet poetic style.
    Another wonderful woman's account of nature is Wild by Jay Griffiths- a bit of a heavier and at times dense going reading- it is an amazing exuberant anthropological journey across the world, finding herself, and telling the tale of indigenous cultures from the Arctic to the Amazon- I loved it as it starts with her 'crying in her flat in Hackney' before she gets the chance to travel to the Amazon- I think I related deeply at the time.

    Sure there are a few others I can think of. It strikes me that you would very much appreciate Farmer Boy- one of the little house on the prarie books- although about the agricultural upbringing of Laura Ingalls Wilder's husband. A fantastic childrens book going through the rhythms of the farming year.

    That's more than enough probably- I also wonder if you've heard of or been to visit Organiclea? A workers coop and food growing project in North Chingford they are an inspiring bunch of people- with monthly open days right beside Epping Forest.

    Thank you Jill for inspiring me with your creativity over the last couple of years. What an odd place the internet is where we watch others but do not engage- glad I have now,

    take care,

  4. I'm sorry I don't have any book to recommend. Chris read this one not long ago but it's in French & hasn't been translated yet (êts-Sibérie-Sylvain-Tesson/dp/207012925X/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332191649&sr=1-3 ) You can read a review at the bottom of the page.

  5. your picture's are very very beautiful!