Monday, 12 June 2017

Monthly Muse – May

Where are the days going? I though at the end of May, I’ll write this in a few days after the 31st and bang we are all of a sudden on the 11th June! Anyway here we are again. Managed to read 16 books in May. The majority of what I read was natural history, two or three travels books some memoirs and the odd fiction and science fiction thrown in for good measure. These are the quite beautiful covers:

For me best of the bunch was Wild Kingdom by Stephen Moss. Written in his engaging style he takes us around the UK looking at the state of the wildlife and the success stories and where things hang in the balance. Chris Packam’s memoir was a very intense read indeed, as an Asperger’s sufferer he was never really fully understood, which made for a sometimes traumatic childhood. Petley had a very different childhood growing up in post-war Kent, one that formed the person that he is today. Gurdon was a seventies child, and his obsession was with cars of any colour make and type, it did make for very funny reading though.

The Clocks in This House all Tell Different Time is Xan Brooks debut novel. Reading it was a surreal experience as you get further in you realise just what is happening to the main characters and was set in Epping Forest, tied in nicely to Strange Labyrinth which I read last month. Empire Games was one of those books that messes with your head, as all good sci-fi should do, with parallel worlds and sophisticated spy agencies. I also finished my second Anne Dillard book that I had been kindly sent by Canongate. She is a wonderful, perceptive and eloquent author and I cannot wait to read more of her work. Norman Lewis was a discovery too, I had not read any of his, and this one provided by Eland was quite special. Really enjoyed Pedal Power, a summary of all things cycling, and the Swordfish and the Star provided a very different perspective on the Cornish coast.

Where Poppies Blow was a different take on the horrors of World War One as Lewis-Stempel writes about the comfort that the soldiers took from the natural world around them. The Nature of Autumn is the second of Jim Crumbly’s books that I have read, he is a fine author as also Matt Merrit is as he takes us around the country in search of the spectacular bird displays that we have in the UK.

Favourite covers were Island home and A Sweet Wild Note, both beautifully done and stunning foil blocking to make them sparkle. Overall a great month of reading, not a single bad book amongst them.


  1. What a great month reading...16 books, chapeau au bas!
    The wrap-up has given met a few books I'd like to read especially...
    Anne Dillard (an unknown for me)

    Norman Lewis (who?...time to investigate) .

    Pedal Power,( I know I'll like this one...anything with cycling! Dumoulin is not riding in the Tour de France. He deserves a rest!)

    Swordfish and the Star (I've been to Cornwall once in my life...need to read about it now!)

    Island Home (T. Winton) you loved the cover...but how was the book. I've Winton on my reading list but don't know if I will read his fiction or non-fiction.

    Great post...looking forward to June wrap-up!

  2. Thank you Nancy. Review of Island home is here: