Thrilled to be hosting today's stop on this Blog Tour
|Octopus Publishing Group|
17 September 2020
My thanks to the publishers and Random Things Tours
for my copy of the book and the invitation to be part of the blog tour
If there is one thing that most of us aspire to, it is, simply, to be happy. And yet attaining happiness has become, it appears, anything but simple. Having stuff - The Latest, The Newest, The Best Yet - is all too often peddled as the sure fire route to happiness. So why then, in our consumer-driven society, is depression, stress and anxiety ever more common, affecting every strata of society and every age, even, worryingly, the very young? Why is it, when we have so much, that many of us still feel we are missing something and the rush of pleasure when we buy something new turns so quickly into a feeling of emptiness, or purposelessness, or guilt? So what is the route to real, deep, long lasting happiness? Could it be that our lives have just become overly crowded, that we've lost sight of the things - the simple things - that give a sense of achievement, a feeling of joy or excitement? That make us happy. Do we need to take a step back, reprioritise? Do we need to make our lives more simple? Kate Humble's fresh and frank exploration of a stripped-back approach to life is uplifting, engaging and inspiring - and will help us all find balance and happiness every day.
What did I think about it..
I've always enjoyed watching Kate Humble on television, whether it be her knowledgeable country lore or her lively travelogues, there is always something really trustworthy about how she shares her genuine interest in whatever subject she is presenting.
From its stunning cover, with the Kintsugi bowl as its centre piece, the book takes us through a myriad of thoughts and feelings which are so beautifully described by an author who leads you by the hand into the ways and means of a simpler life. There is much to enjoy, not just in terms of the writing, which is wonderfully informative, without being preachy, but also in the description of how Kate's own search for a simpler life led her to meet the most amazing people who were all trying, each in their own small corner of the world, to make a difference in the way in which they lived their lives.
What I gleaned from reading the book is that we can all make small differences, it's no use trying to leap in with no clear idea of what you want to achieve, but rather start with what's achievable and work your way from there. I particularly enjoyed the interspersed snippets entitled, Simple Pleasure, which act as a reminder to us that we can always find something to enjoy and take pleasure from which doesn't need to harm the planet or cost money. There's also some really great recipes in Growing and Cooking. I am definitely going to try the No-Sugar Banana Loaf, something I love to bake, but then always feel guilty about the amount of sugar needed to make it palatable. Having never known what to do with a celeriac, there's even a delicious sounding recipe for Celeriac Soup with Apple and Thyme, which is now definitely on my to-do list!
Quite simply, The Year of Living Simply is about valuing the life you have and making small but meaningful changes to help bring your world into focus, whilst at the same time enjoying the rather lovely conversational journey of this talented author as she sets about making her own life less complicated.
A Year of Living Simply is a really lovely look at the different ways in which we can all make our lives less frantic, and believe me, in this difficult year, anything that will make my life simpler is gratefully received.
About the Author
Kate Humble is a farmer, writer, activist, entrepreneur and one of the UK's best-known TV presenters. She started her television career as a researcher, later presenting programmes such as 'Animal Park', 'Springwatch & Autumnwatch', 'Lambing Live', 'Living with Nomads', 'Extreme Wives' and 'Back to the Land'. Her last book, Thinking On My Feet, was shortlisted for The Wainwright Prize and The Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award.
Twitter @katehumble #AYearofLivingSimply