Thursday, October 09, 2008

One Shelf at a Time - Shelf 5

Next shelf down ... this is a deeper shelf so has the larger homeschooling books - Real Learning, Literature Alive, Educating the Whole-Hearted Child, Natural Structure - and a couple of catalogues. Some nature books are on this shelf, including books from the Reader's Digest Living Countryside series, Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, and The Natural History of the Garden by Michael Chinery, which is my favourite resource for identifying bugs and weeds. Next to them are a couple of geography books, my collection of National Geographics and some back issues of Catholic Life magazine. The three books I have picked out to share are:

Wildlife on Your Doorstep (Living Countryside series) - I have picked up a few of this series from charity shops and second-hand book shops. They are all packed with information about the flora and fauna of different habitats. This one is particularly useful as it looks at the wildlife that can be found in towns and cities ... everything from London planes and cherry trees to urban foxes and feral cats. Section headings include "Down in the dump: compost heap life" and "Wildlife among the tombstones" ... which will either make you long to buy the book, or decide that anybody who does is cracked!

The Country Flowers of a Victorian Lady by Fanny Robinson - the same genre as The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady but less well known. The watercolour illustrations are stunning - prettier than Edith Holden's - and are matched by verses in a beautiful calligraphic hand. There is an accompanying commentary by Gill Saunders of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The English Landscape, intro by Bill Bryson - this book is a substantial collection of essays on the landscape of England (yes, I know that is obvious from the title, but how else can I put it?). It include contributions from a diverse selecton of guest authors, ranging from Michael Morpurgo to the Duchess of Devonshire. The essays travel through the whole country, beginning in the Scilly Isles of the far South-West and ending in the Cheviot Hills of the North-East. The book is illustrated with a satisfying number of photos and maps. As a map lover I particularly appreciate the latter!

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