On a Sunday evening, I like to clear the shelf next to my desk, in preparation for the week ahead. There will always be a pile of books that have accumulated beside me. These will include stories my daughter has brought over for me to read to her and those that I have quickly grabbed to find a quotation, or check an ingredient for a recipe. There might be a seasonal book or two where I have looked up a flower name or gardening wisdom.
I enjoy the moment when I scoop them up and shelve them again, the titles on the spines evoke a diary of the days just passed: A Week in Books.
I Am The Seed That Grew: A Nature Poem for Every day of the Year by The National Trust
The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2020 by Lia Leendertz
This week’s reading reflects a change in the seasons. As winter begins, our daily poetry book, I Am The Seed That Grew, encourages us to listen to the sounds of the night-time garden and watch the “silent moon.”
My Almanac also reminds us that the “Full Cold Moon is the highest and brightest of the year.”
Every evening I look skywards as November draws to a close. After days of fog and cloud cover, one crisp and clear evening, the shining moon’s reflection is caught in our tiny garden stream. A moment of perfect stillness.
Dancing by the Light of the Moon: How poetry can transform your memory and change your life by Gyles Brandreth
I have been browsing all year through this beautiful poetry collection curated by Gyles Brandreth. Now though, I am going to spend the colder months reading it from start to finish and learning the poetry off-by-heart as I go. I wonder; can I learn over 250 poems by this time next year? Brandreth starts us off with a quick and fun Tom Stoppard poem.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Autumn seems to me the perfect month to be wandering the moors with Catherine and Heathcliff. My copy of the book is from my childhood and was later covered in notes during my college and university years.
As I read through this much-loved book for close on the 40th time, I have been sketching my favourite scenes. Here is my draft of Catherine’s wooden bed and the snowy tree beyond the window that scratches at the glass one stormy night.
Shadow and Light: A Journey into Advent by Tsh Oxenreider
A rare new book purchase for me was “Shadow and Light”. Each day of Advent brings a reading, a reflective question, a suggested piece of seasonal music to listen to and an artwork to contemplate. I was drawn to the gentle, contemplative lead-in to Christmas Day and beyond, especially after such a difficult year of uncertainty. Rather than reading this at night, because we are very early risers, we have been lighting a candle and listening to the recommended music as day breaks.
It is now Sunday evening and time to gather up all of the books and replace them on the shelves, whilst wondering what the next week will bring.
I hope that you have a calm and peaceful Advent time wherever you are in the world.
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National Trust: I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree: A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year (Poetry Collections)
The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2020
The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2021
Dancing By The Light of The Moon: Over 250 poems to read, relish and recite