The Year in Books – May 2015


Stone books

Stone bookshelf with hand carved stone books by Terrence Parker

What a wonderful reading month I’ve had.   Badgerlands by Patrick Barkham. This is a stunning book, difficult to put down and I didn’t want it to end – so immediately started reading again.

It is full of vividly told experiences of, and encounters with Badgers or Badger related matters and has such a sensitive, balanced tone when explaining views, facts and ideas, that it beautifully guided my own thoughts.  Its wide-ranging and well researched information, beautifully curated and told, makes this an intense and memorable account of our extraordinary Badgerland.  I enjoyed this book immensely.

The Birdman book

I also read Birdman – Memories of birds, by Henry Douglas-Home which is a lovely account of the wildlife and birds at The Hirsel, which is his family home.  The grounds and woodland surrounding the house are a haven for birds and Henry writes about his experiences as a naturalist and conservationist. (I read this book as I’m showing my sculpture at the White Fox Gallery which looks out over the lake at the Hirsel).

H is for Hawk

My book for May is H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald.  So many of you have read and recommended this book, that I thought it was about time for me to read it.

Stone books

Stone books in the garden – Terra Firma Landscape Architecture




The Year in Books is an ongoing project started by Circle of Pine Trees which is open to everyone.  The aim of the project is to read (at least) a book a month during 2015.



  1. Comment by Leanne:

    Ooh I really hope that you enjoy H Is For Hawk. I thought it was wonderful.
    Leanne xx

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      I’ve heard lots of lovely things about it, so looking forward to making a start this evening!

  2. Comment by Christina:

    I like the sound of your badger books. I find badgers quite mysterious. x

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      Hello Christina – there is quite a feeling in the book about the mysteriousness of badgers and discussion about what it might be that makes them so. I watched a set here one year, and it was completely thrilling when the young surfaced for the first time – they made a sort of whickering sound and were very noisy and boisterous at play.

  3. Comment by Emma:

    I absolutely loved H is for Hawk – I listened to it, so I am going to read it next time to see if it is very different!

    Badgerlands was also amazing – I love it when you find a book you just have to start reading again as soon as you have finished it!

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      I’ve just started H is for Hawk now – a couple of chapters in – so far so good! Glad you enjoyed Badgerlands too, have you read his book The Butterfly Isles too (I think that might be my next month’s read).

  4. Comment by Claire:

    I’ve heard so many good things about ‘H is for Hawk’, it’ll be interesting to see what you think- happy reading!

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      Thanks for popping in and for comments – I am such a happy reader and am already enjoying this book – you’ve got quite a list yourself this month – happy reading too!

  5. Comment by Ellen Abbott:

    love the stone book shelf and books!

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      Brilliant isn’t it Ellen – almost tempted to copy the idea in some way – though really I’m very happy taking my actual book into the garden, sitting on my stone bench and reading.

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