Sunday book review – An Illustrated Coastal Year by Celia Lewis


This book is pretty and interesting. It’s a bit different too.

The illustrations, by the author, of fauna and flora but also of ingredients for recipes and instructions for making ornaments or games, are very a big plus for the book. Those of birds are accurate enough, and very attractive (so it’s a pity that a Purple Sandpiper has slipped through labelled as a Sanderling).

The book moves through the seasons with relevant illustrations and recipes and ideas of things to do.  I haven’t tried the recipes but the laverbread, cockle and bacon quiche looks worth attempting. I learned what buckling are, and how they fit in with kippers, herrings, rollmops and bloaters.

Because it’s a pretty book, it might look a bit light-weight but that would be unfair – very unfair. The illustrations are lovely but the text is well worth reading. It is a smorgasbord of information about the seashore, what lives there and how you can enjoy it.

I hope that the author might have another couple of books like this up her sleeve which will appear in the next few years, dealing with other habitats.

If you need to send someone who lives on the coast a nice thank-you present, this is would be a good choice as it will appeal to many and lasts longer than a box of chocs or a half-decent bottle of plonk.


An Illustrated Coastal Year: The seashore uncovered season by season by Celia Lewis is published by Bloomsbury.

Inglorious: conflict in the uplands by Mark Avery is published by Bloomsbury – for reviews see here.

Behind the Binoculars: interviews with acclaimed birdwatchers by Mark Avery and Keith Betton is published by Pelagic – here’s a review.

A Message from Martha by Mark Avery is published by Bloomsbury – for reviews see here.


2 Replies to “Sunday book review – An Illustrated Coastal Year by Celia Lewis”

  1. Thanks you so much for this lovely review which I have only just seen – and also for pointing out the mistake with sanderling and purple sandpiper – you are quite right of course! I will get it corrected for the next print run.
    best wishes, Celia
    ps it was meant to be a Sanderling!

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