Wednesday, 4 January 2012

My favourite books from the last year.

The Butterfly Isles: A Summer In Search Of Our Emperors And Admirals

Is it possible to see every one of Britain's 50 species of Butterflies in a single season? This is the story of one man's attempt to do so. It's an engaging read that tells us much about the butterfly's themselves, the environments they inhabit and about the author and the people he meets along the way.

The Morville Hours: The Story of a Garden

It is indeed the story of a garden, but the story is intertwined with local history around Shropshire and somehow structured around the liturgical hours. These are the 8 times of prayer, for example Matins and Vespers. I was intrigued to learn about the others and delighted by how they were matched to the seasons in the gardening year.

Salmon Fishing In The Yemen

This is a satire on government and business and 'research which must be economic and useful'. A rich Yemeni wants to introduce Salmon to the Wadis of Yemen for sport. Mad and funny.

The Breaking of Eggs

Can ones political and philosophical convictions held for a lifetime be changed? Apparently his beliefs were nothing but smoke and mirrors. Beautifully written with a great story and intriguing ideas.

Mr Chartwell

A story about depression where the 'black dog' is brought to life in way which is both funny and gruesome.

Books I've dipped into all year

Tender: Volume I, A cook and his vegetable patch
Tender: Volume II, A cook's guide to the fruit garden

Always good for when the garden produces more than you know what to do with.

Growing Vegetables (The Royal Horticultural Society)

Everything you need to know when you are not sure when and not sure how.

Field Guide to the Dragonflies of Britain and Europe
The Butterflies of Britain and Ireland

Whenever I need to know what I'm looking at. Invaluable text and beautiful illustrations.

Books on my shelf waiting to be read

Pigeon English
A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople - From the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube
Notes from Walnut Tree Farm
Beyond the Mountain
Scottish Canoe Classics: Twenty-five Great Canoe and Kayak Trips
Bright Earth: The Invention of Colour