2017 Review of Books

Somehow I managed to read 74 books during the year, so far, not counting picture books. They range from natural history to poetry, graphic novels and much in between. Below is a selection of some of the most notable books I read this year. You can see the complete list on my 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge page

Natural History

Sightlines: A Conversation with the Natural World – Kathleen Jamie

This was one of the first books I read this year and it instantly became a favorite. Jamie’s collection of essays range in length, but most of them are set in her native Scotland. She investigates a wide variety of subjects but perhaps my favorite was the essay in which she visits a natural history museum in Norway and watches as workers clean the bones of an old whale. Later in the year…

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Nature Picture Books: Lila, Fox and Barnacle

We recently brought home a stack of books from the library and three in particular really stood out. They all had a nature focus but were very different in tone. 

Lila and the Crow

Written and illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard, this book was first brought to my attention by Georgia of Local Ecologist who frequently shares books her family is reading on Twitter. I was intrigued by the crow and put it on hold at our library. Lila and the Crow is perhaps one of the most beautifully illustrated children’s books I’ve ever seen. The landscapes and scenes are full of a sense of place and Lila’s emotions are easy to feel through the illustrations. 

The story is ultimately about overcoming being bullied for being different. Lila is called a crow because of her appearance and each day finds…

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Book: Fauna & Family

In 2016 I read 39 books, not counting picture books which would surely triple that number and then some. Although I posted about a few of them during my 365 Nature Project, there were many I didn’t mention on my website. This year I’m aiming to read at least 40 books and try to post notes about all of them on here. Yesterday I finished my third book of the year (I’ll post about the first two later), Fauna and Family by Gerald Durrell. It’s the third and final book in his Corfu trilogy and I’ve had a great time reading the first two books. The first, My Family and Other Animals would find itself on any of my top books lists and it had me laughing so hard in places I cried. The second, Birds, Beasts, and Relatives was also…

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365 Nature – Day 364

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


After my final adventures for the year, today I spent going through photos and finishing my posts from the last two days. I’m exhausted, but fulfilled. It’s now started raining and it feels like a good day to rest. And what better way to rest on a rainy day than with a set of nature poets?

In the autumn I was reading the poet John Clare from the new Faber Nature Poets series and shortly before that I had purchased the John Keats edition from the same series. I’ve enjoyed the books very much and had the rest of the series on my wishlist. Luckily for me I received the rest of the set as gifts last week and have been eager to read them. Now that my…

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365 Nature – Day 358

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


Today is wet and earlier we even saw a few snowflakes mixed in with the raindrops. The goldfinches, juncos and chickadees are visiting the feeders and it’s not officially winter. Cold, wet days like this are ideal for reading and I’m relieved and happy my daughter gets as much joy from books as I do. A week ago we went through her shelves and pulled out all the books that have to do with winter and we’ve been reading them, along with Christmas books the last few days. There are some which I really like to read for different reasons and I thought I’d share some of them today.

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal

This beautifully illustrated book follows a child through the snowy forest…

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365 Nature – Day 354

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


It was serendipitous that one of the last books I read this year was The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane, one of my favorite authors. Finishing the book last night marked the 39th book I’ve read in 2016, not counting the dozens upon dozens of picture books I’ve read to my daughter. If you’re interested in what other books I read this year, you can see them on my Goodreads page. They’re mostly natural history with some fiction mixed in. I’m hoping to finish one more book before the end of the year to make it an even 40 books.

I’ve now read all of Robert Macfarlane’s books, with the exception of his first, Mountains of the Mind. Although The Wild Places is his second book, I only just…

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