BILL BAILEY’S REMARKABLE GUIDE TO BRITISH BIRDS
Bill Bailey Quercus, HB, £20, BW Bookshop price £16.99 (quote BW119)
One of the quirkier bird books you’re likely to see, this is nevertheless a highly enjoyable read, as comedian Bill Bailey takes a very personal look at a wide selection of British birds. He manages to pack in plenty of facts about each, some of them the sort of thing you might find in field guides, others less essential but likely to stand you in good stead in a pub quiz. It’s nicely illustrated, with photos and artwork alongside Bailey’s own offbeat sketches – OK, so you probably don’t really need to see a New Orleans jazz Magpie funeral, but it’s fun anyway! What’s really appealing is that Bailey manages to convey genuine enthusiasm for the commonest of birds as well as harder to find species – for that reason, it’s likely to appeal even to non-birders, as well as those who take their hobby a little bit (but not too) seriously.