Book Club Choices – April / May 2018
Our love for trees has inspired our current Book Club choices. We think you’ll love both of these for different reasons. They are A Wood of One’s Own by Ruth Pavey and Gossip from the Forest by Sara Maitland.
A Wood of One’s Own
by Ruth Pavey
After years spent living amid the thrum of London, Ruth Pavey yearned to reconnect with the British countryside and she endeavoured to realise her long-held dream of planting a wood.
Touring to the West Country in the late 1990s, Pavey found herself in the Somerset Levels. On seeing this expanse of reclaimed land under its wide, soft skies she was struck by its beauty and set-out to plant a wood, tree by tree. She bought four acres, and over the years transformed them into a haven where woodland plants and creatures could flourish an emblem of enduring life in a changeable world.
A Wood of One’s Own is the story of how she grew to understand and then shape this derelict land into an enduring legacy a verdant landscape rich with wildlife. Interwoven with Pavey’s candid descriptions of the practical challenges she faced are forays into the Levels’ local history, as well as thoughtful portraits of its inhabitants both past and present.
Accompanied throughout by the author’s evocative hand-drawn illustrations, A Wood of One’s Own is a lyrical, beguiling and inspiring story; a potent reminder of nature’s delicate balance, and its comforting and abiding presence.
Gossip from the Forest – The Tangled Roots of Our Forests and Fairytales
by Sara Maitland
Fairytales are one of our earliest and most vital cultural forms, and forests one of our most ancient and primal landscapes. Both evoke a similar sensation in us – we find them beautiful and magical, but also spooky, sometimes horrifying.
In this fascinating book, Maitland argues that the two forms are intimately connected: the mysterious secrets and silences, gifts and perils of the forests were both the background and the source of fairytales. Yet both forests and fairy stories are at risk and their loss deprives us of our cultural lifeblood. Maitland visits forests through the seasons, from the exquisite green of a beechwood in spring, to the muffled stillness of a snowy pine wood in winter. She camps with her son Adam, whose beautiful photographs are included in the book; she takes a barefoot walk through Epping Forest with Robert Macfarlane; she walks with a mushroom expert through an oak wood, and with a miner through the Forest of Dean. Maitland ends each chapter with a unique, imaginitive re-telling of a fairystory.
Written with Sara’s wonderful clarity and conversational grace, Gossip from the Forest is a magical and unique blend of nature writing, history and imaginative fiction.
PS… We loved the beautiful cover on the paperback version of this book!
Where to purchase these books…
We’ve posted links to Amazon but, where possible, please do support your local book shop and library.
As we stroll into spring in our part of the world, we encourage you to spend time in the woods to enjoy the beautiful unfolding greenery. Find a quiet spot. Read. Breathe.
A Chance to Win…
Everyone who has registered for Carol’s newsletter is entered into a prize draw. You might win a book or a collection of gorgeous greetings cards. The next prize draw is May 31st. Remember to sign up!