Books that sing to you

I am new to the Book Club.I have however been a member for the RSPB for many years (journals still about from the '70s I think)

I wanted to recommend a book to like-minded  - passionate - bird lovers. It is an extraordinary book: it sang out to me from the first page.

I found it on a shelf in a rented cottage on the Pembrokeshire Coast. The man himself you may know of through his pioneering ornithological work on Skokholm. A search for information online brings good return: Ronald. M. Lockley. I had picked up his autobiographical book of his early years: The Way to an Island. Perhaps it is better known than I realise, but currently it is out of print. As a boy his whole life was consumed by the natural world and the birds within it. His immediate visceral contact with the landscape around him and his desire to be immersed in the elements in which the birds thrive drove him to educate himself and become an outstanding naturalist. And to seek the island of his heart where he might live and breath the natural world.

We happened to be immersed in the wildest elements of the Welsh coast as I read this book, far from the madding crowd, which was great. I was also creating additional small black and white drawings at the time, in relation to another book - quite a different one:

Self-published, described in the latest online review as: 'a genuine treasure... beautiful, moving and funny..'  it is The Purple-Bellied Parrot by William Fagus. This glorious adventure of a small bird seeking his place to belong  - (as, dare I be so bold to say, Lockley yearns for his island) -  strides across all book categories: it is for anyone who is young, free thinking and likes to laugh out loud. It IS a very funny book...  It is easily found with a brief search on Amazon books or via The Book Hub. If you are hooked, try the author's extraordinary website too:

As I write I am thinking that despite their very different styles The Purple-Bellied Parrot and The Way to an Island share roots. They both spring from a deep joy and love of birds and the soaring worlds they live in. They not only champion every essence of life that they exude, but also offer to us humans warnings of what we have to lose - or indeed may have already lost, if we do not listen to the song. 

I hope this Book Club offering of two wonderful reads is of interest: I have so much enjoyed reading many of the posts on here and I look forward to reading many more, glad I have joined at the community at last.

Thankyou,  Sonia

  • Hi Sonia, sounded like you were in the perfect place to read these books, being surrounded by nature and all its wonders. I think most of us on here can identify with the magical senses experienced from watching the wildlife around us and also learning how fragile and vulnerable it can be to any changes or damage than can or has been done and the importance of our guardianship for future generations to enjoy. Thank you for your book recommendations and hope you also continue to enjoy reading the posts on this forum. I have learned so much in the time I have been on here and it is always good to be part of a caring community of wildlife enthusiasts.


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Hi Hazel,

    It is lovely to link in. Yes, to me as I grow older, wildlife and its extraordinary diversity holds the key to living being something beyond the immediate turmoil of daily negotiations with humans! I look forward to more posts.

    All Good wishes, Sonia