12 Birds to Save Your Life by Charlie Corbett

3 out of 5 stars

Grief is an intensely personal thing that people cope with, in their own way. When Charlie Corbett lost his mother after a short but aggressive cancer he began to realise that his perspective on life was slipping away.

He had gone out alone with no real purpose in mind and found himself lying on a hill in the rain. His mind was full of dark thoughts and he couldn’t see the point in carrying on anymore. When he heard the song of a skylark above. It was a timely distraction. It was listening to that bird that changed his outlook on life.

He has chosen twelve birds that anyone can see with a little bit of effort and explains why and how they have helped him recover to the point where he has been able to cope with the stress and strains of normal life once again. In amongst that recovery, is the wider story of his mother and his family history and an acknowledgement that his childhood made him who he is today.

There is a strong natural history element to this book, but be aware that the central theme is about him dealing with the grief following the loss of his mother. Nature and birds, in particular, are his way of coping with all the trauma. What it does show though is how life can be improved and in certain circumstances saved by immersing yourself in the natural world. He is not a bad writer either and this is an engaging book.

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4 Comments

  1. Liz Dexter

    Not my kind of book but many will be helped by it, I’m sure. Thank you for your clear review! My friend and I stood and listened to an amazing thrush’s song in the middle of our run today – in fact, another runner stopped to ask what we were looking at!

    Waved last weekend as was in Dorset FINALLY seeing my cousins and auntie – a bit of a flying and packed visit but good to see the see and get sight of dear old Brownsea Island!

    • Paul

      I am sure that you wouldn’t like it! It kind of misfitted several categories…

      That is good to hear. Next time you’re down, I’ll get you a coffee

      • Liz Dexter

        It’s great when your blog friends can “save” you from books as well as recommend them! And that would be lovely.

        • Paul

          I have found a bunch of bloggers who have similar tastes to me and it is quite useful. That said, sometimes it is good to push the boundaries a little with what I read as I can be surprised.

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