Thinking on my Feet by Kate Humble (Aster/Octopus, £9.99)

In the preamble to this delightful book, Kate Humble describes walking daily in a remote African village whilst on location, evoking beautifully the atmosphere, sights and sounds of the place. It was here that she decided to create this journal, part diary, part reflections on the act of walking.

Humble is a great advocate for getting out and seeing the world on foot. She believes in regularly taking the time in the day to step outside and “to refresh and raise the spirits by deep breathing in the open air”.

Humble lives a glamorous jet-setting life, often away filming in exotic locations, so the book is part travelogue. She gives brief accounts of a remote Indian village, reflects on the contentment of life, and has a thrilling trip to the Scandinavian Artic where she has to learn to manage a dog sled. At home, meanwhile, Humble is well grounded in a farmhouse near the Wye Valley, which leads to wonderful descriptions of the area.

She is a good observer, noticing the small natural changes in her local landscape as the seasons pass. Whether it is helping with the lambing or strolling through London to a meeting, Humble has a positive attitude that is quite infectious. She has an enthusiasm for the small details in life that lift us up, like spotting the first skylark of spring or the first leaves of the horse chestnut after a long winter.

Naturally curious about people, she also makes wonderful human connections on her travels, from a young man walking as a cure for PTSD to a therapist who does walk-and-talk sessions in America.

Humble will be talking at the York Literature Festival this year on March 23rd (7pm) at St Peter’s School. For more details visit

Philippa Morris