The Light in the Dark: A Winter Journal by Horatio Clare #BookReview #Repost @eandtbooks

 

THE LIGHT IN THE DARK: A WINTER JOURNAL

Published by  – Elliot & Thompson

Paperback release – 3rd October 2019

About the book

A moving winter diary that reveals the healing power of the natural world

• An evocative exploration of the season, beautifully designed.

• Horatio Clare is a multiple award-winning memoirist, nature and travel writer.

• Combines scintillating nature writing with a moving personal narrative, touching on issues of winter depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder.

• For readers of The Outrun by Amy Liptrot and the Seasons series by Melissa Harrison.

As November stubs out the glow of autumn and the days tighten into shorter hours, winter’s occupation begins. Preparing for winter has its own rhythms, as old as our exchanges with the land. Of all the seasons, it draws us together. But winter can be tough.

It is a time of introspection, of looking inwards. Seasonal sadness; winter blues; depression – such feelings are widespread in the darker months. But by looking outwards, by being in and observing nature, we can appreciate its rhythms. Mountains make sense in any weather. The voices of a wood always speak consolation. A brush of frost; subtle colours; days as bright as a magpie’s cackle. We can learn to see and celebrate winter in all its shadows and lights.

In this moving and lyrical evocation of a British winter and the feelings it inspires, Horatio Clare raises a torch against the darkness, illuminating the blackest corners of the season, and delving into memory and myth to explore the powerful hold that winter has on us. By learning to see, we can find the magic, the light that burns bright at the heart of winter: spring will come again.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

hive.co.uk

About the author

Horatio Clare is a critically acclaimed author and journalist. His first book, Running for the Hills: A Family Story, won the Somerset Maugham Award. His second book, Truant is ‘a stunningly-written memoir’, according to the Irish Times. A Single Swallow: Following an Epic Journey from South Africa to South Wales, was shortlisted for the Dolman Travel Book of the Year; Down to the Sea in Ships: Of Ageless Oceans and Modern Men won the Stanford-Dolman Travel Book of the Year 2015. Horatio’s first book for children, Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot, won the Branford Boase Award 2016 for best debut children’s book. He lives in West Yorkshire. 

Twitter @HoratioClare

MY REVIEW

It’s that time of year again! The time when we all want to hibernate thanks to the longer, darker evenings and freezing cold mornings, and this book lets you know that you’re not alone in feeling that way! The author has used this book to share his thoughts on how this time of year makes him feel, along with exploring the power that nature has of keeping you looking forward, despite those days when all seems bleak and hopeless.  

It’s a simple concept but the style of writing and honesty that the author shares allows you to see the world through his eyes over the autumn and winter months that he has come to dread so much, and how his attitude to winter has changed over the years.  This is his journal of all that he sees mixed alongside the trivialities of real life and that what makes this a book that you can connect with.  

It’s a beautifully written book that struck a chord with me on many occasions.  The process of seeing the landscape and wildlife change from month to month and seeing how that affects his mood, and how just a simple task of writing a shopping list often became too much when his mind becomes too dark for him to be able to function on a daily basis.

Alongside the sights and sounds of nature, there are also many fascinating facts about S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder) and he also explores the strength that his family give him when he’s suffering alongside useful tips that he’s found in ways of distracting his mind, and realising that he can’t do it all by himself and it’s ok to ask for help.  With the topic of mental health so prevalent in society today, this is a book that can help a reader engage with their own feelings and find help if needed – be that by talking to somebody or just taking time to notice the small things in life.  

I found this to be such an insightful and thought provoking book and it is definitely one of those reads that gives you lots to think about and helps to lighten up the darkness of Winter.  

 

#nonfictionnovember Something of his Art by Horatio Clare #bookreview @LittleToller

About the book

In the depths of winter in 1705 the young Johann Sebastian Bach, then unknown as a composer and earning a modest living as a teacher and organist, set off on a long journey by foot to Lübeck to visit the composer Dieterich Buxterhude, a distance of more than 250 miles. This journey and its destination were a pivotal point in the life of arguably the greatest composer the world has yet seen. Lübeck was Bach’s moment, when a young teacher with a reputation for intolerance of his pupils’ failings began his journey to become the master of the Baroque

Published by Little Toller Books

Author on Twitter – @HoratioClare

Purchase Links

hive.co.uk

waterstones

Little Toller Books

MY REVIEW

I found this to be the perfect Sunday afternoon read – whilst listening to Bach! I have to admit to knowing very little about him, or classical music in general other than listening to Classic FM to chill out, before I picked this book up but the way the author tied in his walk following in the footsteps of Bach, who made the journey to Lubeck in 1705, alongside his observations of the wildlife and changes in the scenery over the years was totally absorbing and has made me want to learn more about the composer.

The author went on this walk for a series that Radio 3 were putting together and this book helps you enjoy the journey with him – retracing the steps that the young Bach took in 1705 when he was disenchanted with the restraints placed on him when he was playing at his local church, so he set off to visit another composer in Lubeck to help him learn more. His family were all musicians but were happy to play by the rules – Bach wasn’t!!

It gives time to look back at his childhood and the things he faced during his life – the good and the bad!

The author also adds so much to the journey with his insights on the wildlife of Germany and how the sights have changed since the journey of Bach and some staggering statistics on the loss of wildlife in the area. The author also shares why Bach means so much to him in relation to his battle against depression and to get that background makes the journey even more poignant.

A truly fascinating read.

My thanks to the publishers for the copy they sent my way in exchange for a fair and honest review.

                                               🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶