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OT:Land Lines - finding UK's favourite nature book
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tjj
tjj
3342 posts

OT:Land Lines - finding UK's favourite nature book
Oct 28, 2017, 09:55
Apologies in advance if off topic. Nature's relationship to ancient places used to be discussed here quite a lot (in the good old days). It's difficult to choose from so many excellent reads so am going with something contemporary about Orkney's wildlife and landscape; also about a young woman's personal journey overcoming alcohol addiction - The Outrun by Amy Liptrot.

"Land Lines: finding the UK's favourite book about nature
For hundreds of years writers have been capturing the wonder of the natural world in poetry and prose, and exploring our changing relationship with nature. With a new research project Land Lines now taking a deeper look at this popular genre, we’re asking the public to help us find the UK’s favourite book about nature.
What’s your favourite book about the natural world? Is it one from your childhood, or that later inspired a life-long love of nature? Or something that you’ve read more recently that has rekindled a connection with the world of wildlife.
Simply enter your nomination, which has to be by a UK-based writer or by an author who writes about the UK's landscape and/or wildlife, below by midnight on the 30 November 2017"


http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/favouritenaturebooks/
thelonious
216 posts

Re: OT:Land Lines - finding UK's favourite nature book
Nov 03, 2017, 21:07
It will be interesting to see what makes the list.

I do get a litle bewildered by the array of nature books in the bookshop nowadays. Any recommendations by folk on here would be most welcome :-)
tjj
tjj
3342 posts

Edited Nov 03, 2017, 23:51
Re: OT:Land Lines - finding UK's favourite nature book
Nov 03, 2017, 23:41
thelonious wrote:
It will be interesting to see what makes the list.

I do get a litle bewildered by the array of nature books in the bookshop nowadays. Any recommendations by folk on here would be most welcome :-)


I hoped someone like Moss might have had a suggestion or two as I'm no expert - though have read a few nature books over the past decade or so. I particularly like the ones that include my other great love which is walking - how better to observe nature than to walk in it. Anything by Robert Macfarlane. Also, just off the top of my head - Patrick Barkham, Roger Deakin, Edward Thomas, Richard Jefferies.
Very much enjoyed Fingers in the Sparkle Jar Chris Packham's own quirky autobiography.

Edit: Mustn't forget The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd.
moss
moss
2822 posts

Re: OT:Land Lines - finding UK's favourite nature book
Nov 04, 2017, 07:25
Well the book I am about to reread is 'The Plot - A Biography of an English Acre' by Madeline Bunting, basically because it is about my part of the world, North Yorkshire, and it tackles a lot of history. She has also written I see, 'Love of Country - A Hebridean Journey' which looks good as I have become fascinated by all those islands.
Latest book through the post, was Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris's 'Lost Words. Very sumptuous it picks out the words that the Oxford Children's Dictionary left out in lieu of the wretched technical terms we use today. It is for children? no it is for everyone. Anyone who follows Macfarlane on Twitter will know of his hunting out original words.... so a Macfarlane poem, to be spoken aloud ;) Wren

When wren whirrs from stone to furze the world around
her slows, for wren is quick, so quick she blurs the air
through which she flows, yes -

Rapid wren is needle, rapid wren is pin - and wren's song
is sharp-song, briar-song, thorn-song, and wren's flight
is dart-flight, flick fight, light-flight, yes -

Each wren etches. stitches, switches, glitches, yes -

Now you think you see wren, now you know you don't.

Reading online about stones I find there are many good blogs around to take you on the journey.
tjj
tjj
3342 posts

Re: OT:Land Lines - finding UK's favourite nature book
Nov 05, 2017, 17:46
moss wrote:
.... Anyone who follows Macfarlane on Twitter will know of his hunting out original words.... so a Macfarlane poem, to be spoken aloud ;) Wren

When wren whirrs from stone to furze the world around
her slows, for wren is quick, so quick she blurs the air
through which she flows, yes -
Rapid wren is needle, rapid wren is pin - and wren's song
is sharp-song, briar-song, thorn-song, and wren's flight
is dart-flight, flick fight, light-flight, yes -
Each wren etches. stitches, switches, glitches, yes -
Now you think you see wren, now you know you don't.



Thanks for your lovely post Moss and in particular the Wren poem by Robert Macfarlane as the wren is one of my favourite birds. I don't use Twitter that much but do have an account and yes, do follow Robert Macfarlane (probably the reason for going there). One of his recent 'words of the day' was:
"petroglyph" - image created in rock by carving, cutting or abrading the rock's surface (Gk: petro; stone: glyph; cut mark)

- which seems totally appropriate for this forum.
thelonious
216 posts

Re: OT:Land Lines - finding UK's favourite nature book
Nov 05, 2017, 18:02
I had a quick flick through 'The Lost Words' in the bookshop yesterday, looks nice, hopefully pick it up soon.

I've not read anything by Madeleine Bunting. I will keep a look out for the Hebridean book. Thanks.

'The Small Isles' by John Hunter is nice. Large book with some lovely photos of Eigg, Rum etc. Lots of history about the islands as well. Worth getting if anyone is planning a trip there.
Monganaut
Monganaut
1728 posts

Re: OT:Land Lines - finding UK's favourite nature book
Nov 08, 2017, 03:13
Interesting article in The Quietus which touches on your topic, but takes it in a slightly different direction....
http://thequietus.com/articles/23446-landscape-punk-nationalism-politics

Plus a few recommendations for further reading.
moss
moss
2822 posts

Re: OT:Land Lines - finding UK's favourite nature book
Nov 08, 2017, 07:56
Monganaut wrote:
Interesting article in The Quietus which touches on your topic, but takes it in a slightly different direction....
http://thequietus.com/articles/23446-landscape-punk-nationalism-politics

Plus a few recommendations for further reading.


When I read the Quietus article Will Self came immediately to mind and his perambulation through London to the countryside. This video captures looking at the 'edgelands' very well as long as you ignore Brand.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNGskCNrBHY&t=1s

But of course all this landscape writing is escapism from the full horror of what is happening in our world, which is slowly dying. We should not forget that all these megaliths on TMA represent another dead world; every time we go through the Yorkshire Moors I think bloody Bronze Age people destroying the forests as they did..
tjj
tjj
3342 posts

Edited Nov 08, 2017, 20:22
Re: OT:Land Lines - finding UK's favourite nature book
Nov 08, 2017, 18:23
Monganaut wrote:
Interesting article in The Quietus which touches on your topic, but takes it in a slightly different direction....
http://thequietus.com/articles/23446-landscape-punk-nationalism-politics

Plus a few recommendations for further reading.


Thanks - a thought provoking article and I guess that's how you know your still alive as opposed to sleep walking - when someone comes along who makes you re-examine the things in life we take for granted as generally 'good'. I will probably buy 'Hollow Shores' by Gary Budden (am intrigued by his re-weirding as opposed to the re-wilding of place).

For me personally 'Nature' is about getting away from politics - and people for that matter. Every once in while you can step into an almost other realm induced by a combination of sunlight, wildflowers, trees, birdsong - either alone or with a good companion. I am thinking it is this 'almost other realm' that people sometimes feel compelled to write about.
Rhiannon
5225 posts

Re: OT:Land Lines - finding UK's favourite nature book
Nov 09, 2017, 08:25
This looks positive for a change
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/09/uk-will-back-total-ban-on-bee-harming-pesticides-michael-gove-reveals
(and of course there's a new series of Detectorists :)

two things to feel ungloomy about
but I know where you're coming from
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