Christ­mas wish­list

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Books Reviews -

It’s De­cem­ber, it’s time to start Christ­mas shop­ping. And for the na­ture-lovers in your life, we’ve wrapped up a se­lec­tion of the nicest, new­est books... Stephen Moss’s The Robin: A Bi­og­ra­phy brings a dose of sea­sonal cheer (Square Peg, £10.99), while the The Se­cret Life of the Owl by John Lewis-Stem­pel (Dou­ble­day, £7.99) ex­plores the le­gends and his­tory of th­ese won­drous birds. If it’s puffins, ful­mars et al that you’re af­ter,

The Se­abird’s Cry by Adam Ni­col­son (Harper Collins, £16.99) is an en­tranc­ing ac­count of the lives, loves and losses of 10 species, and As

King­fish­ers Catch Fire by Alex Pre­ston (Cor­sair, £25) is a must for bird and lit­er­a­ture lovers.

TO MARVEL AT AND DE­LIGHT OVER…

For a gift with cof­fee-ta­ble clout, con­sider Blue Planet II (BBC Books, £25); Wildlife

Pho­tog­ra­pher of the Year: Port­fo­lio 27, a show­case of stonk­ingly bril­liant images from across the globe (NHM, £25); or Birds in

Pic­tures by renowned pho­tog­ra­pher Markus Varesvuo (New Hol­land, £30). Po­ets and artists will love the vast-for­mat The Lost Words by Robert Mac­Far­lane (Hamish Hamil­ton, £20), an ut­terly ex­quis­ite se­ries of po­ems and paint­ings, and Found in the Fields by Car­rie Akroyd (Mas­cot Me­dia, £29.95), a stun­ning com­pen­dium of land­scape lith­o­graphs.

TO CURL UP WITH…

His­tory comes to life in A Sea Mon­ster’s Tale by Colin Speedie (Wild Na­ture Press, £22), a vivid ac­count of hunts, slaugh­ter and even­tual sav­ing of the bask­ing shark off the Bri­tish Isles. The ad­ven­tur­ous among you will en­joy Kather­ine Lowrie’s per­sonal story of tri­umph with Run­ning

South Amer­ica (Whit­tles, £20); but for a gen­tler read, delve into The Ot­ters’ Tale by Si­mon Cooper (Wil­liam Collins, £16.99). For lyri­cal na­ture prose at its finest, look no fur­ther than

The Na­ture of Win­ter by Jim Crum­ley (Sara­band, £12.99) or Won­der­land by Brett West­wood and Stephen Moss (John Mur­ray, £20).

TO MAKE YOU SMILE…

Bill Od­die’s Tales of a Lu­di­crous Bird Gar­dener (New Hol­land, £16.99) of­fers an en­ter­tain­ing back-yard ret­ro­spec­tive and a por­trait of his plot, a hot­bed of gnomes where birds eat out of sax­o­phones. Lastly, for a bit of stock­ing-filler fun, don’t for­get the Com­edy Wildlife Pho­tog­ra­phy

Awards – what’s not to like about frogs that look like they’re smil­ing (535, £9.99)?

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