BiteSizeSaturday goes National Trust! #bookreview #100WordsforRain #JustAddNature #NetGalley

Hi and welcome to #BiteSizeSaturday! As I previously read and reviewed (and loved!) the National Trust Gardener’s Almanac 2024 (ICYMI), I was invited to read and review two books that are supported by the National Trust. Obviously, that was an offer I simply couldn’t refuse!

Just Add Nature – How to boost your health and happiness, wherever you live by Rebecca Frank is an illustrated, inspirational and informative little book that was a pleasure to read. Just Add Nature does exactly what it says on the tin: it discusses just how vital nature in all its shapes and sizes is for our physical and mental wellbeing. I’ve always been an outdoorsy person, not in any kind of adventurous manner, I’m no Bear Grylls by anyone’s standards, but I do love spending as much time outdoors as I can, and in recent years, I have become an avid gardener and birdwatcher as well as a houseplant mum and a hen herder. No one needs to convince me of the power of nature, but Just Add Nature was a lovely confirmation for me, and a lot of my feelings translated into words. In that way, I think many people who already enjoy nature will love this book, and all the fun little facts and tips it offers. For people seeking to (re)connect with nature and/or city dwellers who think nature is unattainable, or anyone, really, who is looking for a way to slow down and infuse their life with a feeling of calm, Just Add Nature will prove a veritable treasure, I’m sure. 

100 Words for Rain – And everything else you need to know about British weather by Alex Johnson is a fun and informative book discussing rain, sunshine, storms and every other meteorological phenomenon you could think of, and probably more.
I’ve learnt that the average Brit supposedly spends the equivalent of about five months talking about the weather during their life (and I’m sure the same could be said for Belgians!).
100 Words for Rain takes a look at the importance of weather in this day and age, but also takes us back in time by means of many interesting and/or quirky historical facts involving the weather. It shows the impact of the weather on mental health and even in literature: from Shakespeare to Frances Hodgson Burnett, from Charles Dickens to Virginia Woolf, from James Joyce to Thomas Hardy, meteorological phenomena play an important part in their works.
Obviously, as the title predicts, I learnt so many new words for all sorts of rain and storms and snow. I’m doomed to forget most of them, but one I know will stick is that in Scotland, it rains auld wives and pike staves instead of cats and dogs, it’s more or less the same in Dutch (although in Dutch it’s one or the other) and I had no idea it was a Scottish saying as well.
Overall, I had a great time with 100 Words for Rain and if you’re looking for non-fiction that has a bit of everything, with the weather as a common denominator, this is the one for you.

Both Just Add Nature and 100 Words for Rain will be published in hardcover on 11 April.

Massive thanks to Collins Reference and Rachel Quin for the eARCs. All opinions are my own.

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