I don’t know if it’s the ex-teacher in me, but I always feel September is the beginning of a new start and with The Almanac – A Seasonal Guide to 2023 by Lia Leendertz heading for publication at the beginning of next month, now seems the perfect time to review it. My enormous thanks to Hazel O’Brien at Octopus for sending me a copy in return for an honest review.
Published by Octopus imprint Gaia on 1st September 2022 The Almanac – A Seasonal Guide to 2023 is available for purchase through the links here.
The Almanac – A Seasonal Guide
*THE ORIGINAL & BESTSELLING ALMANAC*
Reconnect with the seasons in Britain and Ireland with this month-by-month guide to the world around us – including key dates, tide tables and garden tasks; constellations and moon phases; sunrises, folk songs, seasonal recipes plus a ‘bun of the month’; and – because 2023 will be a good year for planet spotting – the solar system and the zodiac.
The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2023 gives you the tools and inspiration you need to celebrate, mark and appreciate each month of the year in your own particular way. Divided into the 12 months, a set of tables each month gives it the feel and weight of a traditional almanac, providing practical information that gives access to the outdoors and the seasons, perfect for expeditions, meteor-spotting nights and beach holidays. There are also features on each month’s unique nature, with this instalment following the swirling micro world of the garden pond through the year.
You will find yourself referring to The Almanac all year long, revisiting it again and again, and looking forward to the next edition as the year draws to a close.
This year’s edition is illustrated by artist Whooli Chen.
My Review of The Almanac – A Seasonal Guide
A guide to 2023.
What an absolute gem of a book. This is a nature lover’s dream. The Almanac might be pocket sized but it packs an almighty punch. The hard backed version is robust and durable so that it will last a whole year of reading, re-reading and dipping in to. I loved the red silk bookmark that adds a sumptuous feel too. The illustrations by Whooli Chen are beautiful and I couldn’t decide if they would have been even better in colour or whether that would detract from their exquisite subtlety. Either way, they add a lightness of touch that balances the stark and effective tide tables or phases of the moon.
It’s no exaggeration to say I feel somewhat in awe of the research and detail in The Almanac. It’s astonishing. There is something here for every reader and not just those who are nature lovers. Certainly there is information about the natural world and I loved the concept of following the life of an ordinary garden pond throughout the year, but there’s so much more besides. Written in an accessible style with some super smattering of humour in a conversational tone, readers will find recipes and songs, notable dates and traditions, the zodiac and gardens so that there’s everything from the seas to the skies contained here. It’s evident from the acknowledgements that The Almanac has been a collaborative effort and I really think that collaboration makes it more than the sum of its parts.
I found The Almanac engaging, interesting, entertaining and informative. It would make a brilliant gift for anyone interested in the world around them – or for anyone who is impossible to buy for. It’s fascinating and it’s living in our motorhome for the whole of 2023.
About Lia Leendertz
Lia Leendertz is an award-winning garden and food writer based in Bristol. She writes regularly for the Daily Telegraph, The Garden, Simple Things, the Guardian and Gardens Illustrated. Her reinvention of the traditional rural almanac has become an annual must-have for readers eager to connect with the seasons, appreciate the outdoors and discover ways to mark and celebrate each month.