And here are my five star reads for 2017, with my book of the year at the end of the list
I first read this a long while ago and hated it. It wasn’t Pratchett enough for me but I have since discovered just how bloody brilliant that Gaiman can be. Time for a re-read. This time I appreciated the dark undertones and the almost schoolboy humour to the audacity of the book. One of the classics and I cannot wait to see the TV adaption
This is a wonderful insight and a peek behind the scenes look at the tour de force that is Neil Gaiman. If you like anything that he has written or created, then this is one to read.
Lois Pryce is a motorcyclist who decided to tour Iran on her bike. Alone. it is a wonderful portrait of a country that is a juxtaposition between moderate and hard Islamic influences. A fantastic travel book that ticks all the boxes.
Dave Goulson has an obsession with our little buzzy friends and in this book, he travels to places as exotic as Patagonia, Ecuador and California as well as heading to Salisbury Plain to discover what is happening to the worlds rarest bees. Without bees to pollinate our crops we are doomed, so his research is necessary and urgent.
This is another superb book from Moss, but more importantly is it timely too. The state of the wildlife in the country is at a tipping point after decades of pummelling from chemicals and dramatic loss of habitat. This is a book to read if you care about the very future of our countryside.
Niemann’s soft lyrical voice has given us a really wonderfully written book on the ancient forests that dot our landscape, and the fight that people have undertaken to save them and bring them back from the brink of the abyss. We lose them at our peril
Neil Gowers art makes this a thing of beauty. Not just a coffee table book either as Alex Preston’s prose shows just how passionate he is about our feathered friends.
Fifty years ago an unassuming book was published by J.A Baker and the way that people read and wrote natural history books was changed forever. he writes in an uncompromising way that you will either love or hate. This was the second time that I read this and I now appreciate just how good it is.
And my book of the year is
There are a lot of natural history memoirs out there now, The Outrun, H is for Hawk and so on. I have read almost all of them, but this unassuming book by Jessica J. Lee is one of the most beautifully written that I have read.
Read it and savour the beautiful, immersive and effortless prose.