April 2022 Review

April always seems to come and go really quickly. I did have a week off where I had hoped to read more,  but it was disturbed by work ringing me up about various issues…  Anyway, here are the 15 books that I did get read in April. Not a bad selection and a good variety of subjects.


Books Read

Hope and Fear – Ronald H. Fritze – 4 Stars

Seed To Dust – Marc Hamer – 4 Stars

Secret Bristol – James MacVeigh – 2.5 Stars

The Mercenary River – Nick Higham – 4 Stars

Tomorrow’s People – Paul Morland – 4 Stars

12 Birds to Save Your Life – Charlie Corbett – 3 Stars

Fledgling – Hannah Bourne-Taylor – 4  Stars

Mysterious Britain – Homer W. Sykes – 3.5 Stars

Kid – Simon Armitage – 3 Stars

Ariel – Sylvia Plath – 3.5 Stars

The Year the World Went Mad – Mark Woolhouse – 3.5 Stars

The Four Horsemen – Emily Mayhew – 4 Stars

Who Are We Now? – Jason Cowley – 4 Stars

Umbria – Patricia Clough – 3.5 Stars


Book of the Month

The Nanny State Made Me – Stuart Maconie – 5Stars

I thought that this was excellent. Maconie has a distinctive voice that comes through strongly in this book and he is not afraid to put forward his point of view about the failing of the current government and those that have gone before. It is more than a middle-aged guy having a rant too. He looks back at the way that the state enabled him to be able to participate in society by having a properly funded education and health system and he is seething that those opportunities have been successively taken away by Tory governments over the years.


Top Genres

Natural History – 11 books

Travel – 9 books

History – 7 books

Poetry – 7 books

Science – 5 books


Top Publishers

William Collins – 6 books

Faber & Faber – 4 books

Quercus – 4 books

Picador – 3 books

Eland – 2 books

Little Toller – 2 books


Review Copies Received

Thank you to all the publishers who are generous enough to send me these:

The Ghost Slayers – Ed. Mike Ashley (British Library)

Riding Out – Simon Parker (Summersdale)

The Best British Travel Writing – Ed. Jessica Vincent (Summersdale)

Machine Journey (Self)

The View From The Hill – Christopher Somerville (Haus)

Illuminated By Water – Malachy Tallack (Doubleday)

Ring Of Stone Circles – Stan L. Abbott (Saraband)



Library Books Checked Out

Iconicon: A Journey Around the Landmark Buildings of Contemporary Britain – John Grindrod

Wild City: Encounters With Urban Wildlife – Florence Wilkinson

The Crow Folk – Mark Stay

Secrets Of A Devon Wood: A Nature Journal – Jo Brown

The Ship Asunder: A Maritime History In Eleven Vessels – Tom Nancollas

Otherlands: A World In The Making – Thomas Halliday

Salt Lick – Lulu Allison


Books Bought

The Olive Harvest – Carol Drinkwater (Signed)

Down To The Sea In Ships – Horatio Clare  (to be passed on to a friend)

Border – Kappa Kassabova

Street Fight In Naples – Peter Robb

Wild Signs & Star Paths – Tristan Gooley

Coronation Everest – Jan Morris

Cruel Crossing: Escaping Hitler Across the Pyrenees – Edward Stourton

London Overground: A Day’s Walk Around the Ginger Line – Iain Sinclair

Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled from India to Europe for Love – by Per J. Andersson, Tr. Anna Holmwood

Blackmore Vale – Hilary Townsend

Geology – Paul Ensom

Isle Of Purbeck – Paul Hyland

Cranborne Chase – Desmond Hawkins

Madagascar – Gian Paolo Barbieri Tr. Carola Lodari

Wanderers in the New Forest – Juliette De Bairacli Levy

To A Mountain in Tibet – Colin Thubron

Eat Pray Eat: One Man’s Accidental Search For Enlightenment – Michael Booth

The Tao Of Travel – Paul Theroux

Barbed Wire And babushkas: A River Odyssey Across Siberia – Paul Grogan

River Dog: A Journey Down the Brahmaputra – Mark Shand

Russians Among Us – Gordon Corera

From the Camargue to the Alps: A Walk Across France in Hannibal’s Footsteps – Bernard Levin

The Eastern Fells – Alfred Wainwright

The Far Eastern Fells – Alfred Wainwright

The Central Fells – Alfred Wainwright

The Southern Fells – Alfred Wainwright

The Northern Fells – Alfred Wainwright

The North Western Fells – Alfred Wainwright

The Western Fells – Alfred Wainwright

Island Reich – Jack Grimwood

Shape of Light: 100 years of Photography and Abstract Art – Simon Baker & Emmanuelle De L’Ecotais

The History of the Countryside – Oliver Rackham

Serpent In Paradise – Dea Birkett

For Love and Money – Jonathan Raban (to be passed on to a friend)

Trees & Bushes – Eyre Methuen

Discovering Timber Framed Buildings – Richard Harris

Iceland: People Sagas, Landscapes – Hans Siwik

Sky – Storm Dunlop

I am very much out of shelf space…

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  1. Liz Dexter

    Whoo – where did you buy all those books?! I am struggling to find the Iceland one, was that an old one or am I looking in the wrong places? Also I could have sent you the Ginger Line one had I known you’d want it – one of my readalongs with my best friend and NOT a great success, I have to say, though we enjoyed not enjoying it, if you see what I mean!

    • Paul

      Mostly charity shops, though a few were in a WHSmith’s sale. I read some of London Orbital about 30 years ago and didn’t understand it at all, but my reading tastes and comprehension has changed considerably since then so have been acquiring a few of his to have another go! The Iceland Book was also from a charity shop, but there is scant information about it online. I have now added it to Good Reads.

      • Liz Dexter

        I really enjoyed London Orbital so I fear my tastes have changed in the other direction in the interim (his John Clare book was a terrible slog, though!). Regarding the Iceland one, if and when you read it and if and when you decide you don’t need to keep it, could I please be first in line for it?! Such a random find that doesn’t seem to exist anywhere!

        • Paul

          I think I will now. Back in the 1990s when I read it, it really wasn’t for me, though I knew it should be the sort of book that I like. I think I will start with his Black Apples from Gower book first though. Ok, I will think about that, Liz. Not sure when I am going to get to it yet

          • Liz Dexter

            Potholes and caves in the Gower one – eeps! And not to worry about the Iceland book as I have managed to source a copy … finding some more to add to my wishlist on the way, of course.

          • Paul

            No way! Where from?

          • Liz Dexter

            I found a single copy on AbeBooks today – they must have listed it really recently as I swear I looked the other day!

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