- 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: 731,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Nature Magpie: A Cornucopia of Facts, Anecdotes, Folklore and Literature from the Natural World (Icon Magpie) Hardcover – 2 May 2013
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'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
About the Author
Dr Daniel Allen is a British author making a name for himself in the world of animal/nature writing. His first book, Otter, was published in Reaktion Books' Animal series in September 2010. Virginia McKenna OBE described the book as 'the most brilliant mix of facts ancient and modern about the otter species'. A second title, Squirrel, will be published as part of the series in 2013. Daniel is also a columnist for Small Furry Pets and Practical Reptile Keeping magazines.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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.Published on 21 Dec. 2014 by ryan
From the first page I was totally engrossed in this book, and it works on so many levels.
You can read it, as I did, cover to cover, or pick it up and read the odd tid bit now... Read more
Great to dip in and out of, full of interesting facts - a very good purchase - what more is there to say!Published on 30 Jan. 2014 by Wendy
So much information and insight in such a small space. A great book for the coffee table or waiting room. Read morePublished on 14 Jan. 2014 by Alison-Frances McKnight