The Way Back Almanac – Melinda Salisbury

Published by: Watkins Publishing
Pages: 272
Date Released: 10/08/2021
Date Read: 21/06/2021

The traditional almanac is a month-by-month prompt to the beautiful transformations of nature that offer a magical and poetic way to celebrate the year. The Way Back Almanac is a modern twist on the conventional almanac, an accessible and truly contemporary guide back to natural rhythms, designed for those who feel most removed from the old ways and cycles.

If you are concerned about the planet, climate emergency and sustainability, this interactive journal will help you discover a way of living more harmoniously with the planet, but without the necessity for a garden or to make major changes to your life. Both a practical companion to the year and a stunning piece of nature writing, it will show how even a busy modern life in a city can be infused with meaningful connections with the world we live in.

Thanks to NetGalley and Watkins Publishing for providing me with an advanced copy of this Almanac in return for an honest review.

I think this is such a timely book and such an important book at the moment. Out of the negatives of the COVID pandemic has come a more thorough appreciation of the natural world around us. For some of us who have gardens, we realised how lucky we were to be able to be outdoors at any chosen point during the strictest lockdown measures. For those in flats or those without outdoor spaces, the daily hourly walk in nature became a lifeline. With the whole world locked down for a third of 2020, the natural world healed itself. I hope it continuous once we start to live properly again.

Each month in this almanac includes information on the weather, the skies and stars, gardening, produce and recipes, the home, the environment, book suggestions, and interviews. I love this because it’s not just about how to save the planet in the basic sense of global warming or recycling. It’s about how we as individuals can be more with nature.

On a personal note, I love that this was written by a British author. A lot of non-fiction books, especially about nature and the environment, I’ve found have catered more towards a US market, and whilst there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s nice to read suggestions directly linked to the world I live in and my experiences.

I love how sensitive Melinda is in this book. She’s aware that not everyone has a garden or access to outdoor spaces, and not everyone is in a position to venture further afield to find outdoor spaces, but she realises they still need to emerge themselves in nature, so she provides links to nature websites and video links so they can still feel part of it all.

Sadly, the e-book version didn’t show any of the images, which I think will be a major part of the book’s message. I plan to buy this book for Christmas (sorry for saying the C word so early) presents so I may flick through the imagery then.

I am very much an autumn and winter and festive season girl and have a dislike for hotter months, so I definitely felt more comfortable with the October-February months. The December chapter specifically is so warm and cosy and joyful. Most people say the summer months makes them happy, but I am the complete opposite. Give me snow and comfy jumpers any day.

I am very much a home bird, and like my own company curled up in bed with a good book. But when I’m feeling anxious or sad, I choose to take long walks through parks or down to local lakes where you can only hear bird song, and you realise the world is bigger than just the problems in your head.

The writing isn’t simplified or dumbed down, but is written in such an easy to read and pleasant manner that you find yourself seamlessly gliding your way through it. Such a warm and inviting book.

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