Hibernation 2018: Curate my reading

To Curate Something:

(especially on the Internet) to collect, select and present information or items such as pictures, video, music, etc. for people to use or enjoy, using your professional or expert knowledge

to pull together, sift through, and select for presentation, as music or website content:

Isn’t curate a crazy word? With its roots in the Latin word for care, curating content has become a popular phrase on the internet. It simply means paying attention to what we share and choosing that which is of good quality or serves the best purpose according to what we need. I was after another C word to sit alongside care, craft, company and cook but which would apply to the reading and watching side of my hibernation. On the basis that. as with computers, humans are very Gigo in nature it seems sensible to me to watch what I ingest mentally as well as physically.  I have a dreadful habit of making long lists of books to read, films to watch, places to visit which I make in my bullet journal or on a Word document and then never actually get around to completing. During #hibernate2018 I’m limiting myself to 6 books and very little TV. I want to read these books absolutely, reread them to catch the gems I missed first time and, in the case of at least two of them, apply the things I learn in them to my life so that they make a lasting difference to me.

Book meaning for you 1

In no particular order, my books are:

The Pickwick Papers: I have set myself a challenge to read through all of Dickens’ novels and the Claire Tomalin biography of him by June 2019. The Pickwick Papers is the first of his novels, and I estimate with the rest of life happening around me it’s a month’s worth of reading.  I’m enjoying it already, especially as so much of it is familiar in a kind of corner-of-the-eye way, in that I knew such and such was a character from Dickens but not that he was in this book, or I’ve read an excerpt in Christmas anthologies but never known how it fits in the narrative. It’s also interesting to see how attitudes have altered (for the better) in the 180 years since it was published.

We: A Manifesto For Women Everywhere: by Gillian Anderson and Jennifer Nadal. What will make us happier and more free? I don’t know, but this book sets out to help us live a life that is meaningful and purposeful. So far it has set out essential practices that make sense and it’s working through 9 Principles that women should hold dear, such as honesty, humility, peace, love, courage and kindness to ourselves and others. There’s an accompanying website, and a Facebook page. My only query is… why can’t men be part of We?

A Year of Marvellous Ways: by Sarah Winman. This is the January read for the bookclub I belong to. Marvellous Ways is the name of the main character, and she lives in a creek in Cornwall. That’s as far as I’ve got so far: but the book is set in the second World War, so I’m expecting something will happen soon.

Art and Soul Reloaded: A Year Long Apprenticeship for Summoning the Muses and Reclaiming Your Bold, Audacious, Creative side by Pam Grout. Because if anybody can reclaim her audacious creative side it’s a lady with the surname Grout. This is going to be a book for the long haul, because it really is designed as a lesson a week to read, ruminate and respond to.

I seemed to be crawling with the lemmings.jpg

The book aspires to be a guide to finding our authentic creativity (which may, or may not, include escape from daily grind) and so far (1 week in) I’m happy to read it slowly. I want to keep my creativity levels flowing this year, since most years I seem to keep them in a box and only let them out for Christmas or special occasions. I want to be my authentic creator, so expect plenty of pictures and poetry, since they were my creative outlets as a child.

Making Winter by Emma Mitchell:  In the USA this book is subtitled A Hygge-Inspired Guide to Surviving the Winter Months. I don’t know whether the subtitled was added by the American publishers to ride the Hygge Kahuna or left off by reticent British publishers who see Hygge as ‘last year’s trend’, but I really do think this book is a hibernation course in itself. And it is very inspirational. I am desperate to have a go at making some silver clay jewellery, instructions for which are in the book, and I love the whole aesthetic of the silvers, blues, and grey lived-with wood that pervades the book and its photographs. Emma writes her blog on living and making at Silver Pebble, and has a host of fans who long for a taste of the uncomplicated Norfolk life she must lead…. my bet is that she has as many unwashed dishes in her sink as most other people, and days when the whole thing seems ready to come off the rails. I don’t mind: I’m past lusting after a lifestyle or wanting to  swap lives with anyone, but I do like seeing how other people live, and I like Emma’s style. I’ve read this book already, and will review is shortly, but this is really a book to keep dipping back into, and to inspire me to create my own stuff. The picture below is from Emma’s website and shows you what I mean about the beautiful use of colour.

making winter cover.jpg

A Book That Takes Its Time: From the publishers of Flow magazine. I only got this last night and already I love it. It’s bright, cheerful, and full of bits to pull out, make or do. The chapters are about mindfulness and the role it plays in good mental health, so expect a few quotes from it to be used. My only problem is…. dare I take the bits out of the book, or cut the pages, or scribble and use it properly??? (The answer is, of course, yes. That’s what it’s made for)


I’ve created a new shelf on Goodreads called Hibernate 2018, you’re welcome to go and see it if you like. The links on this page all go through to Amazon.co.uk and if you buy from them I get a couple of pence to spend on more books. And, as always, if you buy my books from the links on any of the blog pages I get a couple of extra pence per copy.

If you’d like to join in, why not draw up a few ideas for your own hibernation and share them on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #hibernate2018. You can find me on Facebook as How to Hygge The British Way, although truthfully you’ll get a better reaction and enjoy being a member of The Hygge Nook more… it really is my happy place on Social Media, and I love how members post and share. It’s like a coffee break with a world of friends. On Instagram, I’m britishhyggejem. I tend to post my quotes there, and a few pictures of everyday life.

50 Ways to Hygge the British Way  is available in Paperback and Kindle version and so is How to Hygge Your Summer, again in Paperback and Kindle form, from Amazon.

Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas was released in September 2017 and is available again in paperback and ebook version.

****How to Hygge the British Way Blog isn’t monetised. I have taken the decision that I want to remain neutral and not to promote things just because. I will only ever review items that I have bought myself, or that I think will help to promote hygge in a busy life. To do this, I need support. Even just the price of a coffee adds up to a book over time, and it means I can stay independent. Would you help? Please consider clicking through to paypal.me/HyggeJem and leaving even a small amount. I’d be very grateful. Thank you.***

One thought on “Hibernation 2018: Curate my reading

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s