December 2022 Review

Another month passes and this one is always the strangest of them. I had a slower reading month for one reason and another. but did reach my Good reads Target of 190 right on the last day of the year. I knew this would be the case as I was reading two books that had a daily reading. Have got some underway to leap ahead in the new year.

A thank you too, to the few of you that come and read my mutterings and reviews. I know that there are not many of you, but thank you for all your comments and conversations. Anyway, to the books:


Books Read

Remainders Of The Day: More Diaries From The Bookshop, Wigtown – Shaun Bythell – 4 Stars

Once Upon A Tome: The Misadventures Of A Rare Bookseller – Oliver Darkshire – 3.5 Stars

West Cumbria Mining: The Silence Between The Shadows – David Banning – 3.5 Stars

Word Perfect: Etymological Entertainment For Every Day of the Year – Susie Dent – 4 Stars

Swifts and Us: The Life of the Bird that Sleeps in the Sky – Sarah Gibson – 4 Stars

I Belong Here: A Journey Along the Backbone of Britain – Anita Sethi – 3.5 Stars

The Wheel of the Year: A Nurturing Guide to Rediscovering Nature’s Seasons and Cycles – Rebecca Beattie – 4 Stars

Ephemeron – Fiona Benson – 3 Stars

A Poem for Every Night of the Year – Allie Esiri – 3 Stars

On Travel and the Journey Through Life – Ed. Barnaby Rogerson – 4 Stars

True North – Gavin Francis – 4 Stars


Book(s) Of The Month

I had two five star books this month. Both are very different and excellent in their own way and I cannot recommend them enough:

The Book of Trespass: Crossing the Lines that Divide Us – Nick Hayes – 5 Stars

Smelling the Breezes: A Journey through the High Lebanon in 1957 – Ralph Izzard & Molly Izzard – 5 Stars


Top Genres

Natural History – 38

Travel – 26

Poetry – 17

Memoir – 14

History – 14

Science – 9

Fiction – 9

Environmental – 7

Science Fiction – 6

Photography – 5



Top Publishers

William Collins – 9

Faber & Faber – 8

Bloomsbury – 8

Gollancz – 6

Eland – 6

Unbound – 5

Elliott & Thompson – 5

Little Toller – 5

Jonathan Cape – 4

Profile Books – 4


Review Copies Received

Handbook of Mammals of Madagascar – Nick Garbutt

We Saw It All Happen – Julian Bishop


Library Books Checked Out

Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine – Anna Reid

Circles and Tangents: Art In The Shadow Of Cranborne Chase – Vivienne Mary Light

Elegy For A River: Whiskers, Claws And Conservation’s Last, Wild Hope – Tom Moorhouse

We, Robots: Staying Human In The Age Of Big Data – Curtis White

The Golden Mole: And Other Living Treasure – Katherine Rundell

In the Shadow of the Mountain: A Memoir of Courage – Silvia Vasquez-Lavado

The Women Who Saved the English Countryside – Matthew Kelly


Books Bought

The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature’s Great Connectors – David George Haskell

The Twelve Birds of Christmas – Stephen Moss

Favourite Middle Eastern Recipes – Pat Chapman

Terminal Zones – Gareth Rees

In the Catacombs: A Summer Among the Dead Poets of West Norwood Cemetery – Chris McCabe

The Old Weird Albion – Justin Hopper

Feral Borough – Meryl Pugh

The Girl Who Forgets How To Walk – Kate Davis

Out For Air – Olly Todd

Nemesis, My Friend: Journeys Through the Turning Times – Jay Griffiths

The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula K. Le Guin

Weymouth And Portland At War: Countdown to D-Day – Maureen Attwooll & Denise Harrison

Weymouth: An Illustrated History – Maureen Attwooll & Jack West

Given Ground – Roger Garfitt

Nature’s Child – John Lister-Kaye

Telling the Seasons: Stories, Celebrations and Folklore around the Year – Martin Maudsley

The Valleys – Anthony Stokes

Taste:My Life Through Food – Stanely Tucci

A House by the Shore – Alison Johnson

Turning the Tide on Plastic: How Humanity (And You) Can Make Our Globe Clean Again – Lucy Siegle

Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now—As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It – Craig Taylor

River Diary – Ronald Blythe

How Not to Travel the World: Adventures of a Disaster-Prone Backpacker – Lauren Juliff

The Epic City – Kushanava Choudhury

A Small Place In Italy – Eric Newby

My Early Life – Winston S. Churchill

The Song of Stone – Iain Banks

The Cloudspotters Guide – Gavin Prettor-Pinney

Botanical Folk Tales Of Britain And Ireland – Lisa Schneidau

Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole – Susan Cain

Ancient Monuments and Stone Circles: Photographic Memories – Les Moores

Circles And Standing Stones – Evan Hadingham

Into Iraq – Michael Palin

Wild Light – Angela Harding

Malarkoi – Alex Pheby


Any that you have read>? O take you fancy? Let me know below

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  1. Liz Dexter

    Oh, The Book of Trespass was excellent, wasn’t it, I read it a while ago (for Shiny, I think) and loved it. Have you reviewed it here yet And the Anita Sethi, I’ll be interested in your thoughts on that, I was a bit so-so about it as I celebrated its existence but thought it could have done with an edit. Anyway I’m sooooo behind with blog reading so I might find those reviews soon!

    • Paul

      It was. I haven’t written a review yet, bit behind on them at the moment. I have written a review for Anita Sethi’s but have not published it yet. I tend to agree with you on that, hence why I bought a copy to support her

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