When you work in a large city, and you work with people every day and then ride home on a crowded train, I find it is often easy to dream of being alone.
This is when I start planning holidays in my head spent walking the cliffs of Dorset or Cornwall, or spend whole days longing for my parents’ coastal farm in New Zealand. I dream of landscapes without people, and start to feel some peace. But when I can’t actually get away and go to such places, sometimes a narrative containing an exploration of solitude and wilderness is just as restorative.
So, my comfort shelf: the books I turn to when I’m looking for that wild and quiet place.
Plainwater by Anne Carson
A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
The Dubious Hills by Pamela Dean
Always Coming Home by Ursula Le Guin
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Consolations of the Forest by Sylvain Tesson
Deep Country: Five Years in the Welsh Hills by Neil Ansell