Recovering a sense of wonder in a post-lockdown world

British author Katherine May’s “Wintering,” published at the height of the pandemic in 2020, spoke to the darkness of the times and captivated readers with its warming advice on how to get through low periods by accepting them and slowing down. She urged us to embrace winter – by which she meant not just the cold, but fallow stretches when you feel cut off and “out of sync with everyday life.”

May’s lyrical follow-up, “Enchantment: Awakening Wonder in an Anxious Age,” is another beautiful, determinedly uplifting volume that manages to transcend typical self-help books. It concerns immersing oneself in the world rather than withdrawing from it, largely by opening up to a sense of the wondrous. Suffering from a post-lockdown funk – which May senses is widely shared – she searches for ways to lift herself out of it.

As in “Wintering,” May mixes memoir with reportage to diagnose and alleviate what ails not just her, but modern culture. Once again, she turns to nature and a quirky series of excursions in her English seaside town of Whitstable and further afield to ameliorate her mood. But where in “Wintering” she sought solace, she now seeks sparks of enchantment.