“In 1914 a large number of British women doctors and nurses formed their own medical units for war service; but, as women, they were rejected by their own authorities so they volunteered for service with Allied armies, and nowhere were their courage and fortitude put to the test more savagely than in Serbia where bitter campaigns raged between 1914 and 1918 in circumstances the equal of those faced by Florence Nightingale in the Crimea.” Continue reading “The Quality of Mercy: Women at War, Serbia 1915-1918 – Monica Krippner (Review)”
When James Bowen found an injured, ginger street cat curled up in the hallway of his sheltered accommodation, he had no idea just how much his life was about to change. James was living hand to mouth on the streets of London and the last thing he needed was a pet.
Soon the two were inseparable and their diverse, comic and occasionally dangerous adventures would transform both their lives, slowly healing the scars of each other’s troubled pasts. Continue reading “A Street Cat Named Bob – James Bowen (Review)”
Octopuses (or octopodes, but never octopi) are fascinating and beautiful creatures, perhaps the most intelligent and most alien of all the other species on the planet. They taste with their skin and think with their arms. How could you not be entralled by them?
The Soul of an Octopus is Sy Montgomery’s account of her own fascination with the creatures. It’s also an exploration of how intelligent an octopus actually is, and the extent to which we can form meaningful relationships with them. Continue reading “The Soul of an Octopus – Sy Montgomery (Review)”
H is for Hawk is about a hawk. A goshawk, specifically. But it’s not just about that. It’s also about T. H. White, and falconry, and the grieving process.
After the death of her father, Helen MacDonald returns to her childhood hobby of falconry. She withdraws from society and begins training a goshawk – a famously grumpy and difficult-to-train bird. Through this training, and her growing relationship with the hawk (Mabel), MacDonald deals with her grief and explores ideas about nature and identity.
This isn’t the kind of book I normally read. It’s non-fiction, for a start, and while I don’t have anything against non-fiction, it’s rarely what I’d seek out – there is so much fiction I want to read first.As a result, I only really read non-fiction on direct recommendations, or when given books as presents. That’s how I got Our Farm – it was a Christmas present.
Rosie Boycott is a journalist in the city who moves to the countryside. She and her husband begin renovating the garden, and slowly start, mostly accidentally, farming. The book deals with their attempts to make their extremely small farm profitable, whilst also covering the issues of the local community and a proposed supermarket. Continue reading “Our Farm – Rosie Boycott”