Where Poppies Blow by John Lewis-Stempel reviewed

Posted November 21, 2017 / 0 Comments

The 2017 winner of the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Priz is a deeply thoughtful look at the nature that surrounded the soldiers in the trenches. Its strength is that it is based around actual quotes (hundreds!) from soldiers, either in letters, poems, booklets, newspaper articles, even illustrations.


What on earth is Christian Animism?

Posted November 21, 2017 / 3 Comments

Christian Animism by Shawn Sanford Beck provides straightforward explanations of animism and how it can be incorporated into Christianity. Recommended for those seeking an alternative spirituality combining conventional Christian faith with nature.




The Secret Life of Owls

Posted November 21, 2017 / 0 Comments

British naturalist and farmer John Lister-Stempel describes fascinating insights into the life of the owls on his Herefordshire farmland. A very interesting introduction to owls, if a bit on the short side.


The Marriage Lie

Posted November 21, 2017 / 6 Comments

How well do you that person on the other side of the bed, office or street? After reading this book, you may be asking yourself exactly that question. Will and Iris are the perfect couple. In Love. Forever. They have perfect jobs, live in a perfect house, and are trying for the perfect child. Will […]



The Butterfly Isles

Posted November 20, 2017 / 1 Comment

This is a really lovely story from start to finish of one man’s quest to see all 59 British butterflies in one summer. Thankfully Barkham chose a good summer to pursue his quest; I doubt if he would be successful in other summers. To be honest, I was actually expecting it to be rather tedious: […]


The Nature Principle

Posted November 20, 2017 / 4 Comments

In The Nature Principle, Richard Louv’s underlying belief is that connecting with the natural world is fundamental to human health, well-being, spirit and survival. To support this bold claim, he uncovers what is an extremely persuasive body of evidence – theoretical, anecdotal and empirical – that nature really does have a significant power to restore, […]


Blood River

Posted November 19, 2017 / 0 Comments

A gripping, harrowing, fascinating and informative account of one man’s solo trek through one of the most dangerous routes in the world at the moment. Tim Butcher writes extremely well: clearly, concisely, logically, yet very personally. He’s not afraid to reveal his own shortcomings and frailties, even his downright fear. And why shouldn’t he? You […]


Chasing the Devil

Posted November 13, 2017 / 0 Comments

Tim Butcher’s epic trek through three West African countries, following the footsteps of Graham Greene’s 1935 route, does not disappoint. It is gripping throughout, delightfully insightful, and full of fascinating details. Highly recommended.


At the Water’s Edge

Posted November 6, 2017 / 1 Comment

British naturalist John Lister-Kaye is one my favorite nature writers and At the Water’s Edge is full of magical and insightful observations that characterized his earlier books: Nature’s Child and Song of the Rolling Earth. And what observations! A kestrel seizing a slow worm only to end up with a tail in its talons as […]


Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo

Posted November 6, 2017 / 1 Comment

There’s an important message in this book. But for me, the author’s rather flowery style rather diluted it. Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo” is Michael McCarthy’s attempt to bring to our attention the worrying and drastic decline in numbers of Spring migrants to Europe. It’s a noble and important message. But for me, the way he […]


Pride and Perjury

Posted November 4, 2017 / 0 Comments

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I had expected it to be well written; after all, Mr. Aitken was a journalist before he became a politician. But what I didn’t expect was his humility. He clearly accepts the faults he made, apologizes for the hurt it caused his family, and writes very movingly about […]


Nature’s Child

Posted November 3, 2017 / 0 Comments

I came to this book shortly after reading the author’s “Song of the Rolling Earth”, doubting if the author could maintain such superbly high standards. I was not disappointed. Wonderful, exhilarating, charming, humorous, profound, challenging … and that just describes the first chapter! Lister-Kaye has a unique way of observing and describing nature; it’s as […]


Song of the Rolling Earth

Posted November 2, 2017 / 0 Comments

I’ve never been to the Aigas Field Centre (unfortunately), which the author established in 1977 and which is the focus of this book. But thanks to Mr. Lister-Kaye’s excellent book, I feel I know it and the surrounding area as well as I do my own garden and local patch of countryside. His powers of […]


Gods of the morning

Posted November 1, 2017 / 0 Comments

From childhood tales of his pet rook Squawky to the attempts of pine martens to penetrate his hen coop, and from the delights of stumbling across a willow warbler’s nest to the danger of getting lost on the mountains in a freak snow blizzard, John Lister-Kaye once again demonstrates his superb skills of identifying and […]