The shortlist is in for the UK’s favourite nature book and what a short list it is! Competition was always going to be tough for this prestigious title but the list is as follows:
- The Peregrine by JA Baker
- The Poetry of John Clare
- Common Ground by Rob Cowen
- The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
- Findings by Kathleen Jamie
- The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris
- Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham
- The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd
- The Natural History of Selborne by Gilbert White
- Tarka the Otter by Henry Williamson
Over 200 authors were nominated with a total of 278 different titles which span genres and time periods.
“The 10 books include poetry, memoir, explorations of local place, fiction and writing for children, reflecting the phenomenal breadth and beauty of Britain’s nature writing tradition. Some of the books are very well-known, others less so, but all deserve to be read and re-read.”
– Ben Hoare
Whilst I’d love to set myself the challenge of reading all 278 books as part of my nature and writing project, we all know that would be foolish and would never happen. Instead, I’m setting my sights much lower and aiming for the shortlisted titles, some of which I’ve already read, others are on my shelf and others are already on my wish list.
- The Peregrine by JA Baker – This is on my list of books I hope to read this month
- The Poetry of John Clare – I’ve already read some of Clare’s poetry and I want to include more poetry into my project this year. Unfortunately with the hospital stay and reduced concentration I’ve not been in the right place for reading and writing poetry but fingers crossed things will improve.
- Common Ground by Rob Cowen – I wanted to borrow this from my local library but they only had a hardback copy which I can’t hold so it’s currently sitting on my wish list.
- The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame – downloaded and waiting to be read, possibly when I get onto watery topics
- Findings by Kathleen Jamie – on my shelf
- The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris – This book looks so beautiful and I’ve read lots of reviews about it, they seem to be everywhere, and seen so many gorgeous images. I’m thinking perhaps a birthday present for myself next month…
- Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham – I’ve not read this so don’t really have much to say about it’s nomination but I hope that the recent publications – this, Common Ground and The Lost Words – don’t overshadow older titles.
- The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd – Started reading in hospital and want to read it slowly as it seems a most fitting way of experiencing her writing.
- The Natural History of Selborne by Gilbert White – This is quite possibly the first nature writing book and as such it’s worth reading, even if not in full, and also worth reading about it so you can appreciate the context. It’s also free to download on kindle.
- Tarka the Otter by Henry Williamson – I love Tarka!
Have you read any of the nominations or is there are title you’d like to have seen on the list? I’d love to know, I’m always looking for recommendations as my epic to read shelf and wish list will testify to…