Thursday, 23 May 2013

This month's books were brought to you by the letter M !

I didn't notice until I took them back, that the library books I borrowed in May all began with the letter M.

1) Meetings with Remarkable Trees by Thomas Pakenham was a beautiful book to look at. It's full of pictures of wondrous trees that made us all go, "Wow!"

Like the Crowhurst Yew in Surrey with its completely hollow trunk.

2) Or the broad-leaved lime at Pitchford Hall, near Shrewsbury, complete with tree house.

3) I've already read and found useful several books by Jon Kabat-Zinn, who's well known for his work on mindfulness-based stress reduction in the medical world. (He's the Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School).  Containing short reflections and practices, 5 guided meditations on CD and a really comprehensive 'further reading' section Mindfulness for Beginners is a great resource for beginner and more experienced meditators. I get to teach mindfulness techniques in one of the groups of kids I work with, and try to 'practise what I preach', so this book counts as professional as well self development. 

I loved the Ministry of Food by Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall (Hugh's mum). The blurb states that "The Ministry of Food shows how we can all survive the credit crunch with a bit of wartime wisdom and ingenuity." Written to accompany an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum in 2010, the book has three sections: Dig for Victory, The Kitchen Front and Turn Over a New Leaf. It gave me a real insight into what life would have been like for my grandmothers, who were both young women during the Second World War, and what life was like under rationing. 

"By the end of food rationing in 1954, Britain's children
were taller and healthier than they have ever been."
The book also serves as a practical handbook for today with many wartime recipes (some of which have been adapted with more appealing ingredients) and lots of sound gardening advice. The artwork in the book, which is taken from the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Food's campaigns, is also part of the book's attraction for me. I loved the posters and slogans.

Now what books can I find beginning with J to read in June...


  1. I am really interested in the book about WWII. A couple of years ago, I saw an exhibit about government and food and a large part of it was about WWII--very interesting. I like your book theme. We'll see what you come up with for June. Don't be too ambitious with the J's. July comes right after June.

    1. Oh dear, what have I begun? Looks like I might be doing a lot of jousting, jewellery making, jam making and joke telling over the next couple of months.

  2. I want a hollow tree with a door in it, and the Dr Carrot poster to hang in the dining room..

  3. I love that Dr. Carrot! I could've used him when my kids were young. "Eat your veggies, dear, Dr. Carrot says so!" But that's interesting what it says under the image, that children were both taller and healthier by the end of rationing. I've always felt that we eat better (healthier(, in our family, because we have been keeping a veggie garden since my kids were sprouts. We wind up eating foods that may not have made it into our grocery cart (if we'd been relying on shopping for all our produce), like kale, chard, mustard greens, simply because they're so easy to grow in a garden.

    1. Having a veg box delivered has done the same thing for us - introduced us to some veg that we would probably not have bought or even grown for ourselves.