This is a hugely enjoyable book centred in and around the natural world, and our relationship with it. It contains something like 40 essays, spread over 250 or so pages – some are brief at two or three pages; small chapters – bite size even – you can take in as many or as few in a sitting as you wish. I had a spell, somewhere near the middle of the book, where for a while I just read one a day, every day. And that worked as a rest, a way of rinsing the mind of the day’s troubles, without being at all onerous.
Macdonald writes beautiful clear prose and is obviously skilled at explaining things economically. I read the title piece when it was published a couple of years ago in a newspaper somewhere and was entranced – it probably helps that I am fascinated by swifts.
If you’re looking for something that is quick and refreshing, whilst also at times, weighty enough to be thought-provoking. This is your book.