Summer is in full swing and so is my basket of foraged berries. My basket might actually be full of Welch’s fruit snack berries, but I’m trying my best. This past year, the fashion aesthetic, Cottagecore, has been a big influence on me and many other people on this planet.  This is thanks to our good friend, the world wide web (especially Instagram and TikTok). Cottagecore is a fashion and lifestyle aesthetic that celebrates an idealized rural life. Think of living in a cottage in the English Countryside, living a slow but fulfilling life, taking walks in the morning sun, baking a pie, petting a goat, learning to sew and drinking a lot of tea.

 

It’s not surprise that this aesthetic has been so popular in the last few years. People seeking an escape from their reality can instead just pretend that things are fine while wearing an apron and eating biscuits. The world may be crumbling around us, but I can assure you that my fictional farm will remain intact.

If you too want to get into the Cottagecore mood, throw on your best smocked dress and check out these books.

The Secret Wisdom of Nature by Peter Wohlleben

Master storyteller and international sensation Peter Wohlleben takes readers on a thought-provoking exploration of the vast natural systems that make life on Earth possible. In this tour of an almost unfathomable world, Wohlleben describes the fascinating interplay between animals and plants and answers such questions as: How do they influence each other? Do lifeforms communicate across species boundaries? And what happens when this finely tuned system gets out of sync?

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Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise.”

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The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons. After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives-and eventually her own.

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How to be a Good Creature by Sy. Montgomery; Illustrated by Rebecca Green

Understanding someone who belongs to another species can be transformative. No one knows this better than author, naturalist, and adventurer Sy Montgomery. To research her books, Sy has traveled the world and encountered some of the planet’s rarest and most beautiful animals. From tarantulas to tigers, Sy’s life continually intersects with and is informed by the creatures she meets. This restorative memoir reflects on the personalities and quirks of thirteen animals, Sy’s friends, and the truths revealed by their grace.

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Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

‘Oh, it seems so wonderful that I’m going to live with you and belong to you. I’ve never belonged to anybody—not really.’ When a scrawny, freckled girl with bright red hair arrives on Prince Edward Island, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert are taken by surprise; they’d asked the orphanage for a quiet boy to help with the farmwork at Green Gables. But how can you reject a child like an unwanted parcel, especially when she tells you her life so far has been a ‘perfect graveyard of unburied hopes’? So the beguiling chatterbox stays. Full of imagination, spark and spirit, it is not long before Anne Shirley wins their hearts.

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