Shall I get the four niggles out of the way first? I shall.
I don’t like the title, I’m not drawn in by the cover, the font size is a touch on the small side and the spineside margins of the pages are too small so the text tends to dive into the centre fold in an off-putting way. All of these things are minor, and perhaps personal to me, but each time I looked at the book they put me off a bit.
However, each time I read the book it pleased me greatly, and that’s the main thing.
Conor writes about the passage of the year in a series of blog-like essays. I like the range of subjects and I like the style of writing.
Part of my delight is, no doubt, personal too. Some of the characters are people I know, and some of the settings are places I know too. But even if you haven’t sat in the RSPB Library and been distracted by Chaffinches pecking at the window (as I have) you should find Conor’s account of it, and exploration of it, truly delightful.
There isn’t a story in this book – there are many. They are linked together by the passage of the year and by the thread of Conor’s writing which makes this reader want to read the next, and the next, and the next instalment each time one finishes one.
So, the two things I like are the subject matter and the style of the writing. And those matter most in any book.
Shrewdunnit: the nature files by Conor Mark Jameson is published by Pelagic Publishing.