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The Nature Magpie: A Cornucopia of Facts, Anecdotes, Folklore and Literature from the Natural World (Icon Magpie) Hardcover – 2 May 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Icon Books Ltd (2 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848315333
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848315334
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 2.6 x 20.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 514,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'With innumerable gems and nuggets to spur your natural curiosity, The Nature Magpie is a repository of zoological treasures.' Chris Packham 'Not so much trivia titbits as intellectual petits fours ... a daily dip will be sure to prompt discussion, wonder and compulsive retelling.' BBC Wildlife Magazine 'This delightful little hardback is difficult to resist. For anyone interested in the natural world there are myriad facts and figures that will fascinate and surprise.' -- Alexandra Henton The Field 'A miscellany that keeps you turning the pages.' -- Desmond Morris, author of The Naked Ape 'Allen's book promises a cornucopia of facts ... It delivers just that, providing a bran tub full of informational morsels.' Fortean Times 'The Nature Magpie is seductively readable, a delightful and constantly surprising compendium of facts about nature' -- Bill Adams, author of Against Extinction: The Story of Conservation 'A delightful lucky dip of fascinating facts.' -- Kate Long 'This delightfully zany volume presents an eclectic selection of facts and fiction gleaned from Nature ... all lightly peppered by Allen's dry wit.' Good Book Guide

Review

'With innumerable gems and nuggets to spur your natural curiosity, The Nature Magpie is a repository of zoological treasures.' (Chris Packham)

'Not so much trivia titbits as intellectual petits fours ... a daily dip will be sure to prompt discussion, wonder and compulsive retelling.' (BBC Wildlife Magazine)

'This delightful little hardback is difficult to resist. For anyone interested in the natural world there are myriad facts and figures that will fascinate and surprise.' (Alexandra Henton The Field)

'A miscellany that keeps you turning the pages.' (Desmond Morris, author of The Naked Ape)

'Allen's book promises a cornucopia of facts ... It delivers just that, providing a bran tub full of informational morsels.' (Fortean Times)

'The Nature Magpie is seductively readable, a delightful and constantly surprising compendium of facts about nature' (Bill Adams, author of Against Extinction: The Story of Conservation)

'A delightful lucky dip of fascinating facts.' (Kate Long)

'This delightfully zany volume presents an eclectic selection of facts and fiction gleaned from Nature ... all lightly peppered by Allen's dry wit.' (Good Book Guide)

See all Product Description

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Throughly enjoyed reading this, every page turned was a new wonder and left me wanting to know more.
I was however disappointed when turning one of the pages to realise that i had come to the end!
I honestly can't praise this book enough..........if you love nature then this is the book for you. I am certainly looking forward to the next one.
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Format: Hardcover
A collection of anecdotes, facts and figures, folklore and literature from the natural world. Find out the likelihood of sharing your name with a hurricane, learn to dance the Hippopotamus Polka, or where are the planet's most biodiverse places - and much much more.
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Format: Hardcover
The Nature Magpie is a fantastic and well written collection of facts and figures - some will amaze, some will spark discussion, some will make you gasp . . . Whatever you read in this book, will give you a better understanding of our beautiful natural world. Daniel writes in a way that is easy to read, humorous and easy to digest. It is suitable for all ages - children (my 6 and 7 year olds have also enjoyed the book, and learnt a lot!!) to grand parents. Makes a great gift for anyone, as EVERYONE, regardless of who they are, is bound to enjoy the book and get something from it. Or just spoil yourself - you know you deserve it. A great read, and a great collection of information - all in one place. As one other reviewer said - the only bad thing about this book, is that, inevitably, you turn the last page :( I shall also be using this book as a reference, and to amaze my friends with miscellany about nature - yes I shall be stealing facts, just like a Magpie !!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A handy sized book that will look good on any bookshelf or coffee table. The book contains plenty of weird and unusual facts about nature as seen from the eyes of Daniel Allen. Well written, it contains a subtlety of humour mixed with a serious undertone on conservation and will appeal to nature lovers, collectors of weird facts, pub quiz/puzzle enthusiasts, young and old. My favourite sections were the Schmidt sting pain index and the hippopotamus polka....
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are at all interested in multifarious aspects of the biosphere this book is worth a read. From the recondite to the revered, a fact-fulled frolick.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wanted to like this book, I love nature, I spend much of my life in the outdoors and am always hoovering up facts and folklore and looking for more. This book however is just too lightweight for me.

Whilst there are some gems of information in there, they are vastly outweighed by pages and pages of stuff that is just (to me) common knowledge or culled from sources so popular its hard to believe any nature lover won't have come across them before (eg the animals David Attenborough chose to save in the TV series Attenborough's Ark; or the fact that Charles Darwin came up with the Theory of Evolution).

Others have questionable links to nature (eg a list of the world's largest beef consumers by nation).
Still others seem a bit morally dubious (eg a recipe for how to make bird's nest soup - made from the nests of the hugely over-exploited Asian Swiftlet)
It is also quite American centric which surprised me (eg lists of American national parks and American state animal mascots.)

When you do get an interesting little tidbit, it is usually exactly that, a tidbit of information that is quickly skimmed over with no satisfying weight to it. (I'm possibly being too harsh here, the book is clearly intended to only have short articles, but it is frustrating just how short they are at times)

Most of the stories feel like they've been plucked from a news headline - in fact they often read like a nature column in a local newspaper which is regurgitating popular nature news features.

its not bad exactly - as I say there are some really interesting bits (eg how researchers recognise individual turtles; why birds will happily eat peanuts covered in chilli powder).

It would probably be a great book for a child or young teenager but if you're intending it for an adult nature lover I'd maybe look elsewhere.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very much a cornucopia of information. A quirky mix of fact, anecdote and folklore - a very easy read to dip in and out of.
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