It was May when I last wrote a book post, so I’ve a few to share with you;
Having discovered Robert MacFarlane books on Tracks and The Old Ways, I started to look out his other books. The first two books had been very much about walks he had done, the history, the landscape and the emotions of walking. Next I read Landmarks, this was a fascinating book, it’s like a dictionary of local nature terms. If you love words, you will love this book! A few examples; zwer is an Exmoor term for the sound of partridges taking flight, a smeuse is a Sussex word for the gap in a hedge made by the passage of small animals, and snow-bones are patches of snow on ridges or in furrows after a partial thaw here in Yorkshire (apparently!) The words are intermingled with walks and descriptions of nature writers through the ages.
Last night I finished his most well known book, Mountains of the Mind, it is a history of mountains and their relationship with man, from being places to fear and avoid to being climbed for enjoyment and exhileration. He describes in detail the early attempts on Everest and how it seem to hold people spellbound. Both books were really interesting, though ‘heavier’ to read, I preferred the first two books which were mainly about actual walks.
A Wood of One’s Own is by Ruth Pavey. She lives in London but several years ago she decided to buy 4 acres of scrubland in Somerset and set about restoring it to mixed woodland. This book is about how she managed it, transforming it into a haven for wildlife. It’s a beautifully written book, I read it in a day, which is my favourite way of reading a book, all at once. OK it was mainly because I was sat in A&E for several hours checking out I’d not caught Lyme Disease – I hadn’t!
The Shepherds Life by James Rebanks; he is a shepherd based in the Lake District, his family have farmed in the area for 600 years. It took me a bit to get used to his style of writing, it’s what I would call very honest writing, it’s like he’s stood there talking to you. It’s a wonderful insight into a disappearing way of life.
…and now for something completely different, I pulled this book off the shelf to lend a friend and ended up reading it again quickly before I passed it to her…
It’s not often a book completely changes your opinion on something but Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult did when I first read it about 7 or 8 years ago. It’s about a couple who get divorced and she then wants to use embryo’s from their IVF in her new relationship, her new partner is a woman and her ex has joined a very evangelical church who are very against gay marriage. You can imagine the court battle. It has all the twists and turns which you come to expect in a Jodi Picoult book, I find her books very well researched and they often cover difficult issues. Whilst I’ve never had an issue with gay marriage, I did have qualms about them having a family, not from any concerns about them as parents, more to do with a children coping, possible bullying, confusion with their own sexuality. Reading this made me realise that actually all children need are parents that love them unconditionally.