February 2023 Review

Even though it is the shortest month, February always seems to drag. I have no idea why it feels that way. Didn’t quite reach my target of 16 books, but I am happy with 15, including three five star books this month! So here is what I read

Books Read

The Bookseller’s Tale – Martin Latham – 4.5 stars

Wahala – Nikki May – 3 stars

The Ship Asunder – Tom Nancollas – 3.5 stars

Dandelions – Thea Lenarduzzi – 3.5 stars

Pharmakon – Almudena Sánchez Tr. Katie Whittemore – 3.5 stars

The Quiet Moon – Kevin Parr – 4 stars

Sea Fever – Stuart Franklin – 3 stars

RSPB How to Photograph Garden Birds – Mark Carwardine – 3.5 stars

Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis – Wendy Cope – 4 stars

Asian Waters – Humphrey Hawksley – 3.5 stars

Park Life – Tom Chesshyre – 3.5 stars

Walking With Nomads – Alice Morrison – 4 stars


Book(s) Of The Month

Eating to Extinction – Dan Saladino – 5 stars

This is a brilliant exploration of the global food system and the perilous state it is in because of our reliance on only a few species of Food. We need to start bringing more diversity into the food system as soon as possible.

Under The Blue – Oana Aristide – 5 stars

Even though this is about the catastrophic effects of a global pandemic, this is a brilliantly written story of three people who are trying to get to safety.

The Lost Orchards – Liz Copas & Nick Poole – 5 stars

I love books on orchards and this one about the discovery of the apple trees that were once thought lost is quite magical.


Top Genres

Normal service is starting to be resumed…

Natural History– 4

Fiction– 4

Poetry– 3

Science Fiction– 3

History– 3

Fantasy– 3

Photography– 2

Travel– 2

Politics– 1

Environmental– 1


Top Publishers

Faber & Faber– 3

Simon & Schuster– 3

Particular Books– 2

Little Toller– 2

William Heinemann– 1

Peepal Tree Press– 1

Basic Books– 1

Bardwell Press– 1

Serpent’s Tail– 1

William Collins– 1


Review Copies Received

Two Lights: Walking through Landscapes of Loss and Life– James Roberts

The Last Sunset in the West: Britain’s Vanishing West Coast Orcas– Natalie Sanders

More Numbers Every Day: How Data, Stats, and Figures Control Our Lives and How to Set Ourselves Free– Micael Dahlén & Helge Thorbjørnsen

Cry of the Wild: Tales of sea, woods and hill– Charles Foster

The Flaw in the Crystal: And Other Uncanny Stories by May Sinclair– Ed. Mike Ashley


Library Books Checked Out

Nightwalking: Four Journeys into Britain After Dark– John Lewis-Stempel

Cane, Corn & Gully– Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa

Manorism– Yomi Sode

Quiet– Victoria Adukwei Bulley

The Last Overland: Singapore to London: The Return Journey Of The Iconic Land Rover Expedition– Alex Bescoby

Wayfinding: The Art And Science Of How We Find And Lose Our Way– Michael Bond

The Catch– Fiona Sampson

Ravilious & Co: The Pattern Of Friendship– Andy Friend

The Road: A Story of Romans and Ways to the Past– Christopher Hadley

All My Wild Mothers: A Memoir Of Motherhood, Loss And An Apothecary Garden– Victoria Bennet

Waypoints: A Journey On Foot – Robert Martineau

Grounded: A Journey Into The Landscapes Of Our Ancestors– James Canton


Books Bought

The Meaning of Liff– Douglas Adams & John Lloyd

The Old Drift– Namwali Serpell

It’s Not About the Tapas: A Spanish Adventure on Two Wheels– Polly Evans

The London Nobody Knows– Geoffrey Fletcher

West with the Night– Beryl Markham

The Wild Flowers of Dorset– Stuart Roberts

Spanish Lessons: Beginning a New Life In Spain– Derek Lambert

A Short Philosophy of Birds– “Philippe J. Dubois & Élise Rousseau”

Write It All Down: How to Put Your Life on the Page– Cathy Rentzenbrink

Travelling Light: Journeys Among Special People and Places– Alastair Sawday

I Remember: Farming Memories of Lincolnshire– George L.A. Lunn

Back to Nature: How To Love Life – And Save It– Chris Packham & Megan McCubbin

Castles and Forts– Colin Pomeroy

Landscapes of Legend: The Secret Heart of Britain– John Matthews & Michael J. Stead

Two Degrees West– Nicholas Crane (Signed)


Any from this long list that you have read? Any that you now want to read? Let me know in the comments below (now they are working again)

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  1. Rebecca Foster

    I also loved Under the Blue — a book that deserved a lot more attention! I have the whole of the Folio Prize poetry shortlist out from the library and hope to read and review them all before the announcement.

    • Paul

      I had read two of them already and they had the rest in Poole library. I probably won’t review them as I find poetry very difficult to review.

  2. Marcene Jones

    I am 1/3 of the way through Waypoints by Martineau. Interesting combo of history or ideas interspersed with his walk.

    • Paul

      I am looking forward to reading it. I like books that blend many different things as that reflects life, or at least my life.

  3. Liz Dexter

    I keep seeing Nightwalking and I’m sure I’ve read It’s Not About the Tapas … and so I did, in 2009 https://librofulltime.wordpress.com/2009/11/28/polly-evans-its-not-about-the-tapas/ appropriate as I’m sitting in Spain trying to catch up with my blog posts right now!

    • Paul

      Very nice! Enjoy the sun and your break

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