Desert Island Books
The Observer’s Book of British Birds
The Life of the Robin
A Dictionary of Birds
A New Dictionary of Birds
A Dictionary of Birds
Eds. Bruce Campbell and Elizabeth Lack (T & AD Poyser, 1985)
My third ‘dictionary’ choice.
Hitherto I have only dipped into these three dictionaries.
A prolonged sojourn would at least allow me to study how
our understanding of different subjects has changed over
the years. If ever rescued from my desert island, I would
at least come back much better informed even if, alas,
not much wiser.
Cuckoo (Cheating by nature)
Nick Davies (Bloomsbury, 2015)
Stunningly meticulous fieldwork, elegant prose, and a great grasp of history combine to produce an extraordinary single species account of a charismatic brood-parasite, one of nature’s oddities.
Tim Birkhead (Bloomsbury, 2012)
The subtitle says it all: “What it’s like to be a bird”. Tim Birkhead takes us through all their senses and the history of our understanding of them. I wish this sort of knowledge had been available when I was studying Philosophy.
Katrina Cook (Quercus, 2007)
And now for something completely different! A stunning collection of bird art put together by Katrina Cook (now Katrina van Grouw), herself an extremely accomplished artist.
The three non-books I would wish to take with me to my desert island would be a lifetime supply of both red and white Rioja (thats two, so possibly cheating!); a decent coffee table just to support Katrina’s book; and a camera would be good while I am away from seeing the work of those photographers who make me want to throw my current camera away!
About the author
Tell us about your desert island books!
We’d love to hear about the books you’d take with you to your desert island. Format exactly as above. So send us your eight books (title, author(s), publisher, year; max. 50 words on each book; your three ‘other’ items (excluding your binoculars and people), a short biography (max. 100 words) and a head and shoulders photo of yourself. We’ll
source the cover images. Email your contributions to the
BOU Office. Contributions from BOU members will be
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Blog posts express the views of the individual author(s) and not those of the BOU.