The Way Back Almanac 2022
A contemporary seasonal guide back to nature
by Melinda Salisbury
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 10 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 3 Aug 2021
Watkins, Watkins Publishing
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.
Beautifully illustrated throughout, each month includes sections on stargazing, gardening tips, seasonal vegan recipes, home organisation or crafting ideas, digital wellbeing practices, rituals, book club reads, folklore or ancient wisdom as told by modern women from different walks of life, and free space for your own writing, notes or recipes. This interactive and treasured item will gently encourage creativity, fulfillment and ultimately a way back to yourself.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 21 members
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.
I was ready to be irritated by this book upon starting it but in fact really loved it. A great read and insight to the year. Loved everything about if from the history to the recipes. A triumph!
Loved! We recently moved and we’ve acres of room to spread out and grow things. This book was a perfect companion to figuring out what to plant and grow. I love the little tidbits each month. This is great a great learning tool for students as well. **huge thanks to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review
The Way Back Almanac 2022 is an almanac and seasonal guide full of practical tutorials and exercises to reconnect with the outdoors, nature, and our relationship with the wider world written and presented by Melinda Salisbury. Due out 10th Aug 2021 from Watkins Publishing, it's 272 pages and will be available in hardcover format. The chapters are arranged around the yearly calendar and seasons, January through December. Each chapter includes some almanac type information: astronomy, first full moon, other celestial events, seasonal garden tasks, what plants to start, checklists, small indulgent self-care tasks and tutorials and some recipes. There are also plenty of writing prompts to help with journaling and diary-keeping. There are also bits of folklore included and some small rituals and lots of philosophy. The layout is restful and easy to read with high contrast printing. The art is simple with small line drawings scattered throughout. I found the whole very restful and engaging. This would be a really lovely gift for a journaling or gardening friend. I intend to buy a hardcopy for myself and imagine myself sitting with my morning tea and (hopefully) carving out some time to put pen to paper. The vegan friendly recipes have their ingredients listed bullet style in a sidebar. Measurements are given in metric (grams & ml) with American standard measurements in parentheses (yay!). The cooking instructions are easy to follow with alternative presentations listed at the end of the recipe. None of the recipes include pictures. Five stars. Contemplative, engaging, restful, and worthwhile. Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
I’ve had an alamac for Christmas for the past three years, I absolutely love reading all about the seasonal changes and what to look for in nature; but the recipes are quite often not very relevant or appetising and it can be a little old fashioned. This book is modern relevant up to date for busy people in 21st century. The author encourages you to start small, and has thought about everyone, even people with a window box; encouraging the reader to venture further afield to discover the seasonal delights. The box is split into 12 sections; a month for each chapter. It’s ideal to dip in and out throughout each month. It section is interesting and relevant; I loved the vegan recipes which have easy obtainable seasonal vegetables for a tasty easy dish. There is a Section for phone; whether is actually taking photos, using your phone as a plant identifier or simplifying your like it has great tips for the month. I love reading about the weather, skies and moons. Then into gardening, what you can grow or how to care for your garden for that month. There is. Book club section which you can actively join in using hashtag on Twitter and IG. My most favourite section was caring for yourself making balms and indulgent body products which would make fabulous gifts. This book will definitely on my kitchen table and be dipped in throughout the month, I love reading snippets and looking forward to the month ahead. Thank you Net Galley and the publisher for giving me an advance copy, I will definitely be buying this when it’s published and buying a few for presents.
This is the perfect book for me! I am the follower of nature, a lover of the moon and stars, a gardener, live by checklists and reminders, enjoy journaling! This book is all of that plus more! The chapters are layout in a calendar format including the seasons. Each includes information including astronomy, full moons, seasonal garden duties, planting start times, checklists, small self-care activities, tutorials and even some recipes. There are also many hints to help with journaling and diary-keeping. You'll even find a small amount of folklore and rituals included. A whole lot of information compacted into a concise way! Perfect! The almanac is easy to read, the simple art fills in space nicely. This is definitely a book I would want in hard copy on my desk for using day to day, month by month. I also would consider giving it as a gift and would recommend to anyone interested in journaling, nature or gardening. Thanks to Watkins Publishing and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read, peruse and review this wonderful book. I am going to be order it!
This is an almanac with a twist. It includes many of the elements one would expect in traditional almanac such as moon phases and what to plant when (Salisbury is British so her growing periods are a bit different than mine in a more temperate climate). She mixes in recipes for hand creams, salt scrubs (I want to try them all!), etc. along with sustainable living advice. She's mindful of the differences in veg names across the pond and I found that much of her folklore for various times of the year varied greatly from the tales & adages I'd grown up with--I loved that! This book really spoke to me because I wish we would get back to seasonal fruits and veg rather than trucking all of our produce from goodness knows where. This book will definitely find an audience among my library patrons!
One of the best informative books I've read in ages. A mix of natural and spiritual wellbeing, it has information about the night sky, recipes ( both eating and skin care) garden tips and folklore. This book will help you appreciate nature. Thank you NetGalley