Books to reflect, refresh and restore
Ask the book buyer about...
The perfect books to read this January
Thank you to everyone who has bought tickets for our upcoming online book events so far – there is still plenty of time to sign up for a chance to watch events with Elly Griffiths (and receive a copy of her exclusive Jarrold short story), Kate Mosse (just added) and more, plus receive signed copies of their new books.
Meanwhile, I’ve put together the perfect book edit for January: books that encourage us to stay healthy, gather strength and keep occupied during what continues to be a challenging time. And I don’t just mean diet and fitness books (though you’ll find the best of these included) but titles carefully curated to help you reflect (on the world around us), refresh (your hobbies, diet, creative spirit and more) and restore (your health and wellbeing).
Below are a selection of my favourites from the main edit – enjoy!
The Natural Health Service: How Nature Can Mend Your Mind
I really admire Isabel Hardman, a well-respected political journalist and now a familiar voice on the subject of looking after our mental health. She has talked at length about her experience of anxiety and depression and in this latest book she draws on both her personal story and interviews with other sufferers and psychologists, to examine the role wildlife and exercise can play in helping cope with mental illness. The ‘nature cure’ is not a new idea but one that is gaining more widespread understanding and at them moment feels more valuable than ever. Hardman’s style is compassionate, smart and accessible.
365 Days of Art in Nature
Lorna Scobie’s art books are a real hit with Jarrold customers, each offering a year-long set of ideas, exercises and inspiration to keep you creatively active and inspired. This is the latest addition to the series, inviting readers to take a closer look at the natural world - whether that's outside on location, or inside the home – and use it to prompt art and creativity. With drawing activities, nature-inspired quotes, breakaway tasks to get you outdoors plus supportive hints and tips, this is such good value for money. Packed with resources it is lovely to have by your side to keep revisiting throughout the year.
Scandi Kitchen: The Essence of Hygge
If ever there was a time to embrace the spirit and atmosphere of the Danish concept of ‘hygge’, it is now. We’re all spending more time at home, appreciating the importance of connecting with our loved ones and finding little moments of appreciation in the day. These things are precisely what hygge is all about and this little book is a lovely, entertaining guide on how to create and enjoy more moments of hygge. I promise, you don’t need a roaring log fire, or tons of expensive scented candles, nor do you need to live in a log cabin, or indeed live with anyone else at all! Aurell, owner of London’s ScandiKitchen restaurant, simply shares the philosophy of what hygge can do for our heads and hearts, and stress levels – interspersed with delicious recipes along the way. I love this one.
JARROLD PRICE £14.99
This is one to help us reflect on and take stock of the world around us. Unique in being the first major memoir of its kind, I’m sure we’ll see many more books written by healthcare professionals about working during the pandemic. Francis, who is a GP in Edinburgh and Orkney, calls this (his seventh non-fiction book) ‘a contemporary history, an eyewitness account of the most intense months I have known in my twenty-year career’. It is so important we understand what is happening on the ‘inside’ of the NHS, on the ‘front line’ right now and this book is a tender, honest place to start. Look out for palliative care doctor Rachel Clarke’s highly anticipated memoir on the subject, Breathtaking, at the end of January too.
The Repair Shop: Tales from the workshop of dreams
JARROLD PRICE £15
Published just before Christmas to accompany the BBC TV series, this is a book that encourages us all to slow down and appreciate the way that objects can tell stories: the value of our possessions doesn’t always lie in monetary value but in the memories they hold. It takes us inside some of the stories of featured in the series, expanding on the process of repair and restoration of the family heirlooms featured. The expert craftspeople on the series, from metalworkers to clock and toy restorers, contribute to the book with more detail on how they helped bring the objects back to life, often uncovering a slice of social history too. It will make you look at your own possessions differently and is great for dipping into on long winter nights.
Conscious Creativity: The Workbook
Stanton’s original book, Conscious Creativity, is a practical, playful guide designed to stimulate the imagination and creative process by encouraging us to look more closely at the everyday objects and play with colour, texture and shape. Based on its success, Stanton is back with this beautiful workbook, full of new ideas and designed to function as a journal for your creative endeavours. It draws on the same techniques as her original and is presented as a space for play and experimentation, ‘to scribble, sketch, tear, fold or weave’. Now is the perfect time to get absorbed in a new project at home and the book alone will inspire you, packed with amazing photographs of Stanton’s own colourful works.
Availability and prices checked Friday 15 January 2021