Landmarks introduces us to forgotten words and reinvigorates our relationship with language and the natural world. In this astonishing word-hoard and field guide to the literature that he loves, Macfarlane introduces a sense of wonder and of the stories that lie on the periphery of our consciousness and embedded in the landscape of the British Isles.
Mary Oliver choses “to live thoughtfully and intelligently and to observe with passion.” In Upstream, a selection of essays, she reflects on the craft of writing and reveals the quiet but exuberant discoveries of a life spent immersed in nature and the work of other writers.
In Becoming Wise, Krista Tippett’s rigorous and tender enquiry into of the nature of wisdom, we step across divides and join her in an exploration of new ways of thinking about the experiences that unite us and draw from her deep well of conversations with scientists, poets, religious figures, activists, artists, mathematicians and politicians about the art of living, beauty and mystery.
Poems and Prose
Gerard Manley Hopkins
I keep a battered copy of Gerard Manley Hopkins poems and prose selected and edited by W. H. Gardner beside our bed so I can be captured again and again by Hopkins’ astonishingly beautiful, accurate and inventive language, his sensuous evocation of the essence of nature, and lifted and lulled by his rhythmic effects—for the comfort of a stanza before sleep.
The Book of Hygge
Louisa Thomsen Brits
It seems the Danish word hygge is everywhere these days: appearing in articles in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Forbes, Jezebel and countless other venues, “hygge” was even named one of the top words of 2016 by the Oxford and Collins dictionaries. So, what is it? Hygge is the quality of coziness, togetherness, and contentment, which provides a warm and welcome antidote to frigid winter days and uncertain times. Hygge anchors us, reminding us to slow down, to connect with place and with one another, to dwell and savor rather than rush and spend.
Reading affords us stillness, connection and inspiration and often, like hygge, moments of restorative ease. When we curl up to read, we experience a sense of abundance and contentment, a taste of hygge—a feeling of engagement and relatedness, of belonging to the moment. I’ve selected books that focus on the rhythm of daily life and our relationship with ourselves, with each other and with the natural world—books that explore the art of living that inspired me during the weeks that I wrote The Book of Hygge, the poetry that I turn to for comfort, and a slender masterpiece that explores the moments, big and small, that shape us.
Featured image: Ollinka/Shutterstock.com
Author Photo:© Susan Bell