Last year’s seasonal hit was Norwegian Wood- a guide to chopping, stacking, and drying wood- and this year it looks like we are finally able to burn the stuff.
The hottest non-fiction books this Christmas are titles about bushcraft, firelighting, and wilderness survival. It seems people are looking to nature more and more, and getting ready to connect with the natural world around them.
According to The Guardian, the rise in popularity of non-fiction books concerned with the natural world was sparked off by last year’s hit Norwegian Wood. Author Daniel Hume’s latest book The Art Of Fire looks to be the next big thing on our bookshelves this year.
Speaking to The Guardian, Hume’s editor at Century commented:
“A lot of nature writing is doing really well. As we hurtle towards all sorts of technologies, we’re still not that far off from being cavemen in terms of evolution. Technological stuff is moving quicker than we can keep up with it, and there’s a sense that we want to slow down … so when Daniel Hume’s book came in, it was almost like it picked up where Norwegian Wood left off.”
Throughout these past five years or so the practice of mindfulness has been increasingly popular, and nature books follow along with this concept. Being close to the natural world around you, understanding your place within the world, and how to use the tools Mother Nature offers, can all help us stay grounded while the modern world around us seems to speed by.
(Left) Daniel Hume (Right) Ray Mears
Speaking as an old Ray Mears bushcraft expert, Hume says:
“The majority of us don’t light a fire to boil the kettle. But there is something mindful about it. You have to be in the moment, observant, you have to know what you’re looking for – it’s a great way for people to connect to the natural world.”
“I think nature is like a vitamin, an essential part of our makeup. We’ve been working on the land for countless millennia, but today we’ve gone away from that in a major way. I think something lingers. It imprints something in our genes, and when we come away from it, as we have to some extent, a bit of that is left. And we feel something is missing.”
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