THE CURIOUS BIRD LOVER'S HANDBOOK
Niall Edworthy Black Swan, SB, £8.99
Whether you're a keen birdwatcher, a pub quiz aficionado, or just a lover of trivia, this is the book for you. It's packed with more than 1,000 facts, packaged in bite-sized chunks, so it's a great book to have to hand during your quiet moments on future birdwatching trips. It ranges from the highly practical (what to feed your garden birds, and how to stop birds flying into windows), through the literary and cultural (it's littered with poetry), to the scientific (discussions of how birds store fat up for migration, for example). The writing is clear, concise and engaging, and Edworthy has a knack of getting across some pretty complex information and concepts in an accessible, but never patronising, way. You're unlikely to pick it up and read it through in one sitting – it's much better digested by dipping into it – but I guarantee that you'll be quoting facts and figures from it at bemused friends for months. The Curious Bird Lover's Handbook is both entertaining and educational.