(Please note that this Review contains an Affiliate link
– which means I will earn a small fee if you purchase, at no extra cost to you!)
A couple of months ago I saw a post in a Facebook Group. It invited members to apply for a review copy of Lia Leendertz’s latest book “The Almanac: a seasonal guide to 2019“. So I did. And eventually a copy arrived in a large brown cardboard wrapper even though the book is much smaller.
(NB The Publishers sent me a free copy in exchange for this review)
I didn’t get to read The Almanac for 2018 so I was thrilled to be able to have the chance to not only read the 2019 version but to review it here too.
The Almanac – First things first
Whilst we are told not to judge a book by its cover I am happy to report I love this one, the cover I mean. Apart from the fact it is in my favourite colours, it has the delightful woodcut-style art work of the talented Celia Hart. And her lovely illustrations are throughout the book too.
If you are a book fanatic like me the touch, sight and smell of the paper is important. So here I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. The book is so tightly bound I didn’t like to flatten it open, the paper has a rough texture like a paperback, and the print is light. The typeface is pleasant but a touch on the small side, all of which makes me feel this is a book that has been produce like a paperback but dressed in a hard cover, with the addition of a Ribbon marker.
The Almanac – Content is king or maybe not
….It depends what you are looking for. Perhaps I misunderstood what the content would be, having seen this and the previous edition reviewed in Garden magazines, etc.
First and foremost it is not a book just for Gardeners or just about gardening. I would say that the content is more for the readership who are generally interested in Country matters. For gardeners there is useful information about the monthly weather conditions, and if Lunar planting is your thing; the phases of the Moon are included too. Monthly features include a(!) gardening job and a seasonal plant.
For the Cook there is a section on How to deal with the Glut of the Month, and an interesting section highlighting a regional cheese. However the recipe of the month was somewhat anomalous. For a book focusing very much on the British Isles (with the inclusion of the Channel Isles too) the recipes were often from other cuisines. I expected, and would rather have seen Regional dishes.
The Almanac – Fascinating details
If you want to increase your general knowledge there are plenty of fascinating entries. There is information about the naming of the months and the celebration specific festivals, along with nature notes and life in a Bee hive.
As a book to dip in and out of, there is plenty to amuse. If you are planning a regional visit you will be well informed of likely weather, tides and the sky at night.
My Conclusion of the Almanac
Many years ago I attended a funeral. The Minister’s opening remarks were that the dearly departed could, in life, be difficult. Whilst what sounded a tad harsh to my ears, the truth of his statement was acknowledge by hearty nods and knowing chuckles within the Church. He went on to explain how and when she was difficult. The Minister continued his Address by then painting a verbal picture of a warm hearted and generous soul, who had been a blessing in many lives.
Such is my opinion of this book.
If this personal and frank review has tickled your taste buds, you may like to get hold of a copy of the book for yourself. Just click on the image to read more about it and to buy