Chosen by Rachel Lankester, Mutton Club editor
Would you like to gift a book to someone special? Books are always welcome gifts in my house! They can be entertaining, inspiring and useful! I love to be entertained and to learn at the same time. Here’s my pick of books I’ve read recently which are sure to be enjoyed and to inspire!
Rich with the combination of myth, landscape and eco-feminism that took her earlier work If Women Rose Rooted to cult status, Hagitude reclaims the mid years as a liberating, alchemical moment – from which to shift into your chosen, authentic and fulfilling future. Drawing inspiration from mythic figures and archetypes ranging from the Wise Woman and the Creatrix to the Henwife and the Trickster, as well as modern mentors, Sharon Blackie radically rewrites the future for women in their mid and elder years. This was such a new way of looking at our elderhood for me. I loved it!
Marina Cantacuzino seeks to investigate, unpick and debate the limits and possibilities of forgiveness – in our relationships, for our physical and mental wellbeing, how it plays out in international politics and within the criminal justice system, and where it intersects with religious faith. Cantacuzino speaks to people across the globe who have considered forgiveness in different forms and circumstances. She talks to a survivor of Auschwitz; to someone who accidentally killed a friend; to people who have lost loved ones in acts of violence; to a former combatant in The Troubles as well as to the daughter of someone he murdered.
I couldn’t not include my book! This is certain to inspire any woman in midlife (and beyond). I unpick the accepted status quo and negative stereotypes associated with women’s midlife and aging. I offer a radical research-based rebranding of midlife and menopause, highlighting the possibilities inherent in this transformational time in a woman’s life.
In this ground-breaking history Elinor Cleghorn unpacks the roots of the perpetual misunderstanding, mystification and misdiagnosis of women’s bodies, illness and pain. From the ‘wandering womb’ of ancient Greece to today’s shifting understanding of hormones, menstruation and menopause, Unwell Women is the revolutionary story of women who have suffered, challenged and rewritten medical misogyny. This a powerful and timely exposé of the medical world and woman’s place within it. This book is fascinating and really makes it plain how women have been short-changed when it comes to their health.
Walking with Nomads: One Woman’s Adventures Through A Hidden World From The Sahara To The Atlas Mountains
I discovered this book because I interviewed the author Alice on my podcast and I’m so glad I did! Accompanied only by three Amazigh Muslim men and their camels, Scottish explorer Alice Morrison set off to find a hidden world. During her journey along the Draa river, she encountered dinosaur footprints and discovered a lost city, as well as what looked like a map of an ancient spaceship, all the while trying to avoid landmines, quicksand and the deadly horned viper. For armchair and real adventurers everywhere!
For most of human history, death was a common, ever-present possibility. But now, as medical advances push the boundaries of survival further each year, we have become increasingly detached from the reality of being mortal. So here is a book about the modern experience of mortality – about what it’s like to get old and die, how medicine has changed this and how it hasn’t, where our ideas about death have gone wrong. This book was recommended to me and I was transformed by it. We’ve got getting older and death wrong in so many ways in modern Western society especially. This is an attempt to rethink how we can age and die well. This book is remarkably uplifting considering the topic!
Another book from a podcast guest and how great is this! Dálvi is the story of Laura’s time in a reindeer-herding village in the Arctic, forging a solitary existence as she struggled to learn the language and make her way in a remote community for which there were no guidebooks or manuals for how to fit in. Her time in the North opened her to a new world. And it brought something else as well: reconciliation and peace with the traumatic events that had previously defined her – the sudden death of her mother when she was three, a difficult childhood and her lifelong search for connection and a sense of home. This book is profound, moving and beautiful.
Another great book from Sharon Blackie (soon to be a podcast guest). If Women Rose Rooted has been described as both transformative and essential. Sharon Blackie leads the reader on a quest to find their place in the world, drawing inspiration from the wise and powerful women in native mythology, and guidance from contemporary role models who have re-rooted themselves in land and community and taken responsibility for shaping the future.
Second Spring is the more earthy and grounded version of my book, I reckon. It’s wonderful! It offers a new vision for menopause, mapping the psychological phases and showing how this period in your life can be a time of personal growth. Whether you choose a natural route, HRT or a combination of both, there’s a wealth of self-care practices available here to soothe your symptoms, and soulful enquiries to find real-life solutions for managing symptoms with kindness, helping you to become the person you always longed to be. Listen to Kate on my podcast here.
This riveting memoir by Laura Davis, the author of The Courage to Heal, examines the endurance of mother-daughter love, how memory protects and betrays us, and the determination it takes to fulfill a promise when ghosts from the past come knocking. You can listen to this amazing story direct from Laura on my podcast.
Last Updated on January 30, 2023 by Editorial Staff