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The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2018 Hardcover – 5 Oct 2017
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"A richly layered book of events, celebrations and everyday information that together create a beautiful, fascinating resource . . . In the single month I’ve had my hands on it, the book has quietly “worked”." (Telegraph)
"The perfect companion to the seasons." (India Knight)
"An absolute beauty of a book." (Cerys Matthews, BBC 6 Music)
"Beautifully written, this pocket-sized guide is a labour of love and will remind you to appreciate little moments throughout the year." (Garden's Illustrated)
"Elegant . . . an ideal stocking filler." (English Garden)
About the Author
Lia Leendertz is an award-winning garden and food writer. She writes a weekly column for the Telegraph, a monthly column for The Garden magazine and a long-running series on growing and eating seasonally for Simple Things magazine. She also contributes frequently to the Guardian and Gardens Illustrated. She is the author of several gardening books and the cookbook Petal, Leaf, Seed: Cooking with the garden’s treasures.
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The Almanac is a smallish book, smaller than A5 and satisfyingly plump. Not so fat that it makes it unwieldy, or heavy, just weighty enough to convey a sense of substance and authority, while the watercolour illustrations adorning the chunky cover board (there’s a crab, and a sheep and a worm and a slug, pumpkins, nasturtiums and phases of the moon) seem to say “there’s Good Stuff in here. But we’ll not be taking ourselves too seriously.
Each month begins with an opening spread featuring a seasonal illustration, and a list of notable dates for that month. This is followed by an introductory page that sets the scene, with anecdotes, ephemera and Lia’s personal reflections on the month. Tabulated information, interspersed with illustrations by Emma Dibben and more of Lia’s observations, is presented for each month, arranged into sections on the sky, the weather, the sea, the garden, kitchen, festivities, recipes and nature.
In the few days since the book arrived, I’ve already extended my repertoire of cocktails, and earmarked recipes for bramble babka, parkin (might need some dairy-free tweaking) and quince and hazelnut mincemeat; I’ve learned that the Jewish new year Rosh Hashanah is inextricably linked to the planting of trees, and put into my diary dates for wassailing and Imbolc. I’m aspiring to grow enough of our own food to produce a glut of anything other than blackberries and nasturtiums, and looking forward to gazing into the December sky at murmurations of starlings.
It features lots of useful, monthly information such as tide times, what food is in season, holidays, recipes, seasonal plants, astrological information, what you should be doing in the garden, etc.
It’s all laid out in a very easy, useful and attractive way, and features lovely illustrations to go along with the information.
I’ll defi be referring to this book throughout the coming year!
Lots of curious information is included, plus pencil sketched botanical imagery adds a lovely touch to each section.
As with everything in life, there are other less fascinating facts that didn’t appeal to me personally (such as tidal data, and so forth). But on balance it’s quite difficult to criticise the overall content and attractive presentation of this delightful pocket-sized hardback.
Probably more suited to younger age brackets but a really lovely thing to have.
Very quick delivery.
The internet made almanacs redundant and this title does nothing to reverse it. Having purchased this on kindle to give it a read, I decided to return within 20 minutes after having read two chapters. The content is scantly lacking in detail. I know for a fact there is much information missing here. I should have been tipped off by the page count. My father's old almanac from 1997 is almost a thousand pages, this has barely two hundred...
For anyone interested in better contents there are plenty of great websites out there dedicated to providing similar information. I'm not going to list them as they are really easy to find with your favourite searching engine.
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