Thirteen Ways to Smell a Tree: A celebration of our connection with trees is a small, easy-to-read non-fiction book packed with facts and insights – both historical and modern-day. The author, David George Haskell, took me around the world to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most marvellous trees, including one of my favourites, the Ginko, and one I’d never heard of, the American Basswood. He also encourages readers to explore trees outside of their natural habitat, closer to home, through the aroma of books, gin & tonic and olive oil.
This book reminded me to open my nostrils and focus on scents when surrounded by trees. I love being reminded to engage with nature in different ways. It is so essential to our fight against climate change. Those who connect with the natural world are far more likely to take action to avoid further damaging our amazing green planet.
After reading, I stepped out of the house I was staying in, where I have been many times before I was knocked backwards by the scent of the lavender outside the door. The book had focused my mind on my sense of smell, and I was now primed to enjoy the soporific, soothing aromas oozing from the small, unassuming bushes in front of me. The book served as a great reminder not to only rely on my eyes and ears when I am out and about.
If you think you know trees, think again. It would make a great present for nature lovers or for anyone who is curious and loves to learn.
I was given a free copy of the book in return for an honest review by Random Things Tours.
Hannah is the author of The Cactus Surgeon, a nature & health memoir. Living in London, Hannah suffered burnout and was diagnosed with a functional neurological disorder. With no information available to help her, she found her own way to get better.
Growing up in a garden centre, her childhood was full of nature and plants. This starkly contrasted with the concrete of the capital, where she became unwell. In searching for the answers to her illness, she wonders whether being torn from her pot and replanted in a more hostile environment was why her body started to malfunction.
After seeking out alternative therapies, and moving to the countryside of North Essex, her ‘green recovery’ continued. It’s a book of mindful moments, savouring the small wonders of nature.