As well as bringing you the best culture writing in the blogosphere, The Dabbler also gives away a lot of free books. Here’s what we thought of a recent choice…
We always like it when a book club member who wins a book takes a moment to send in their own short review – Here’s the opinion of Dabbler Frances Tew on May’s Dabbler Book Club book of choice:
Subtitled ‘Living with the weather’, this book is really five separate essays on various aspects of the weather. Full of personal reminiscences by the author and scattered throughout with interesting facts about weather lore and weather phenomena, it is rather more light-weight than other Mabey works. It’s hard to categorise – not big enough to be a coffee-table book (only 90 small pages but lovely paper and beautifully produced),it would make a nice present for anyone interested in the outdoors. I see that the five chapters were originally broadcast on Radio 3 as fifteen-minute talks late at night. Perfect with your Ovaltine.
And here’s Dabbler Worm with his view:
I think it’s fair to argue that any fan of nature writing should have at least one Richard Mabey book in their collection, and Turned out Nice Again would be an excellent short and sweet introduction to the UK’s best writer currently working in this crowded genre. Author of over 30 natural history books since the early 70’s, Mabey’s writing is more prosaic than lyrical wordsmiths like Richard Jeffries or Roger Deakin, but none the worse for that.
Mabey’s 2011 book Weeds was an excellent attempt to elevate the status of the lowly weed to a par with our more favoured garden flowers. Turned Out Nice Again is much less ambitious in scope, being a small collection of essays on the British preoccupation with the weather. The book is small, meaning that you can easily devour the whole thing in one sitting. This is a lovely little amuse bouche, and a perfect bedtime read, though let’s hope that there will be a substantial Mabey tome to savour in the near future – I hear rumours that the next one will be about subterranean Britain…
You can buy a copy of Turned Out Nice Again here.