Happy World Book Day! It’s no secret that I am total book geek, and if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’re bound to have seen that I often share my latest book purchase — or the title I am currently reading (yes, I even have an Instagram hashtag; #kateonconservationreads) — and it’s no coincidence that my book collection is FULL of Natural History books.
Today, however, I want to highlight some lesser known, independent authors whose work has brought me much joy in 2018.
Fiction: The Absence of Wings, written by Mark Stewart
A collection of beautifully written short stories, often inspired by the author’s real life encounters with animals; The Absence of Wings is delicately penned with haunting tragedy encased in enchanting language.
I must admit that my bookcase doesn’t house nearly enough short story collections (which is surprising, given Rudyard Kipling‘s The Jungle Book is one of favourite books of all time), but this is one I’m so glad I own.
Easy to read (and lose oneself in) over and over again, I thought perhaps the best way to share it with you would be to share a reading from my favourite story Snow Bear, read by Mark Stewart’s daughter, Natasha especially for Kate on Conservation readers! Please take a few moments to listen to the video below:
The Absense of Wings can be purchased here:
Poetry: ‘Animated Nature’ Selected Poems by Richard Bonfield from 1989 – 2009
I’m a lover of poetry, and huge fan of the great American poet Robert Frost, whose musings of rural life in New England are laced with nature and references to weather and the seasons. Even so, it’s rare for me to actively seek poetry collections; owing to the fact that I’m often enthralled in reference books, learning about the next animal, conservationist or political issue that I’m going to be writing about.
Richard Bonfield is an exception however, perhaps because his work found me. I discovered Richard’s poetry through wildlife artist Pollyanna Pickering, who has illustrated his books and their beautiful front covers. Richard was present at one of Pollyanna’s exhibitions and by chance I got chatting to him — and left with one of the most charming collections of poems!
Richard was Born Free Foundation‘s Poet in Residence, and described by Virginia McKenna (herself an accomplished poet) as “one of poetry’s most original and amazing talents”, with his poems described as “extraordinary, deep and evocative.”
This captivating collection swings between profound, beautiful and humorous, and is well worth a read! Here, given it’s the 1st of March, Nick Stephenson reads the poem ‘Hare’. Please take a few moments to listen to this charming poem in the video below:
Animated Nature can be purchased through Amazon here.
Non Fiction: Wild Lives, written by Lori Robinson and Janie Chodosh
One of my favourite new finds, and the book I am currently reading, Wild Lives by Lori Robinson and Janie Chodosh is a fascinating exploration into the lives of some of the world’s leading conservationists.
Featuring 20 extraordinary wildlife warriors who have dedicated their lives to studying and conserving endangered and threatened species from across the globe; including lions, cheetahs, jaguars and dolphins, this book is a brilliant tool of inspiration!
Some of the familiar faces included in its pages are: National Geographic filmmakers and big cat experts Beverly and Dereck Joubert; dolphin advocate Ric O’Barry, who features in the Oscar-winning film The Cove; and lion champion (and author of the book Lions in the Balance), ecologist Craig Packer. This book is brilliant for discovering the wonderful stories of some of wildlife’s biggest heroes!
Wild Lives can be purchased here: http://savingwild.com/lori-robinsons-books/
While the mainstream media debates whether or not World Book Day has simply become an excuse for fancy dress in schools, I’d like to use it as a chance to celebrate two of my favourite things: Natural History and learning! Happy reading!
Want to discover more books?
- Discover which book Sir David Attenborough recommended to me
- Sacred Nature; a must-own photo book by The Big Cat People!
- Find out about Julie Ward and the book that inspired my journey
- Learn about the book launch of Remembering Rhinos
- Badgered to Death: book by Dominic Dyer
- What happened when I attended the book launch of Wild Savannah?
2 thoughts on “World Book Day: My recommended Natural History reads!”
This is brilliant. I love your list and am thrilled you chose Wild Lives for your reading. I loved listening to you read it. Ian Craig is amazing and so are all the other conservationists. Thanks for sharing the book on World Book Day.
Thanks Lori. I was more than happy to share, as I’m learning so much from the book! All three of these books are brilliant, and I hope I’ve inspired a few others to check them out!