Your Favourite Nature Book
During the winter of 2017-18, the UK's Arts and Humanities Research Council organised a poll to find the UK's favourite nature book. The result was something quite surprising. They produced the following shortlist of ten:-
- Winner: Fingers In The Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham
- 2nd Place: Tarka the Otter by Henry Williamson
- 3rd Place: Common Ground by Rob Cowen
- The Peregrine by J. A. Baker
- Poems by John Clare
- The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
- Findings by Kathleen Jamie
- The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris
- The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd
- The Natural History of Selborne by Gilbert White
The overall winner, Chris Packham, is one of our favourite naturalists. How to compare dear Chris with Kenneth Grahame, a man who died in 1932, or Gilbert White, who wrote his shortlisted title in 1789? Thankfully, we don't have to because you already did.
Two of the books are about Scotland, one is a poetry collection and one is aimed at very young children. Two, Tarka and Willows, are novels. Two (and a half) were women and a staggering six out of ten are dead. How can a novel be a nature book? Surely nature books are nonfiction? Why are so many of our best nature writers dead?
Answers to these questions will be found in the list of titles that we assemble as part of our first season as a nature publisher. There is only one certainty: everyone has their own definition of what a nature book actually is. We hope to arrive at an answer quite soon!