NON-FICTION//The Christmas Chronicles- Nigel Slater

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Although I read this in the run up to Christmas, now feels like a good time to review it; after all, despite the name, it charts the journey from November to January- a true chronicle of the deep (but not bleak) midwinter.

This is more than *just* a book of recipes- although those are wonderful and three-dimensional something here for most tastes (as a picky pescatarian, I wanted to eat pretty much everything that didn’t have meat in it). If you wanted this in your foodie arsenal for next year, you’ll be happy.

It’s in the storytelling that this book really captivates, though. Punctuated with his own photos and anecdotes of Christmases past, Nigel Slater takes the reader on a journey of the traditions of the season. I found myself reflecting on the Christmas traditions I’m setting up in my family (one being that I plan the year’s garden on New Year’s Day, something I feel the author would approve of.)

There are also handy snippets of advice, ranging from how to choose a Christmas tree to the best candles to burn during the dark days- like me, Nigel Slater is a fan of candles that smell like church. I accidentally enabled a friend who shares this taste into buying a very expensive candle after sending her his list. I have no regrets and plan on going round to her house to smell it soon.

I borrowed this book from the library and read it on a stormy Sunday afternoon, buried under a blanket on the sofa, Christmas tree lights twinkling; I think I will have to buy a copy so that it can become part of my own festive traditions.

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