Feed your soul: the 31-day literary diet for January

Looking for a more positive new year resolution? From a Shirley Jackson short story to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 30-minute Ted talk, nourish your mind with our one-a-day selection of literary treats

Our revels now are ended and January looms, with its exhortations to get fit, lose weight, dry out. So here’s a radical alternative diet: instead of depriving yourself, how about making it a month of treats – but feeding your brain instead of your face? Our one-a-day calendar will take you into magical realms of poetry and prose, argument and imagination. It will transport you to some places you always wanted to explore, but couldn’t find the time, and to others you never knew existed, where you will find strange and wonderful things.

In fact, this calendar very nearly didn’t happen because I kept disappearing down rabbit-holes so deep and fascinating that, had I been the white rabbit himself, someone would have had to drag me out by the ears. Some entries – such as John Huston’s film of Malcolm Lowry’s mescal-fuelled modernist masterpiece Under the Volcano (20 January) – come with the authority of a full year’s leisurely burrowing (it is among the BFI’s list of 100 great films to watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime, which was a comfort and joy through lockdown, and is handily still being updated).

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