Wintering

By Katherine May,

Book cover of Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

Book description

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK

'A beautiful, gentle exploration of the dark season of life and the light of spring that eventually follows' RAYNOR WINN

'My favourite book of the last five years' CAITLIN MORAN

Wintering is a poignant and comforting meditation on the…

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Why read it?

4 authors picked Wintering as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I’m not sure I could love this book anymore–I often speak about the importance of accepting and working through negative emotions and that there are no inherently “bad” feelings, but this book expresses the importance of the difficult seasons we experience in life in an utterly breathtaking and encompassing way.

This is more of a memoir than a scientific book that wraps you in a warm embrace of personal narrative, like talking to a dear friend after a heartbreak. With the inclusion of historical and anthropological examples of “wintering,” this book beautifully takes a stance against toxic positivity and why…

Reading Wintering was like receiving a permission slip to slow down, exhale, and take stock of the natural world around me. 

It reminded me that there are seasons to the year, and seasons to life, and the two are inexorably linked, despite what popular culture tells us. There’s a beauty—and a strength—to be found in resting during fallow periods, and we ignore that wisdom at our peril.

So take a breath, light a candle, and sit in the darkness for a spell. You’ll come away with a greater appreciation for the light.

Katherine May’s Wintering is a treasure for any season of life. This personal narrative, told through gorgeous, evocative prose, describes a period of physical and emotional suffering in the author’s life akin to winter – when the world feels cold and causes us to retreat to a much darker place that we’d prefer to avoid. Ms. May chronicles this painful stage of her life and describes the spiritual “hunkering down” necessary for not only acceptance and healing, but for true transformation, emerging on the other side wiser, freer, and more fully alive. I cracked open this book as the COVID-19…

From Barbara's list on transforming suffering.

I read Wintering during a winter in my own life—both literal and figurative. I’d felt thwarted in every direction, no growth in sight, and this book was not only a comfort but an essential reminder of how necessary fallow periods are for recovery. May’s book captures how our relationship with nature isn’t between two separate things, because we are a part of nature, our own lives have seasons that mimic the wider world. There is grace to be found in this message, a greater acceptance of limitations, and a recognition of its beauty.

From Kassandra's list on our relationship with nature.

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