Tuesday, 21 August 2018

A Book Prize List Worth Reading

There are lots of Book Awards out there............. The Man Booker, The Pulitzer, The Baileys Womens prize, The Costa, The Wellcome and a lot of others.
When a list of nominations appears anywhere I usually find I've not read any and wouldn't want to read them by choice anyway.

But this list popped up in an email from National Book Tokens .
It was the nominations list for  The Wainwright Prize for "the best writing on The Outdoors, Nature and UK Travel Writing. Named in honour of Alfred Wainwright, the fell walker and author, you can read about it here

 Goodness, people I'd actually heard of and a couple I've read already,

The Last Wilderness by Neil Ansell
Hidden Nature by Alys Fowler
Outskirts by John Grindrod
The Dun Cow Rib by John Lister-Kaye
The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris
The Seabird’s Cry by Adam Nicolson
The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

Neil Ansell also wrote "Deep Country: 5 years in the Welsh Hills"  which was a good account of his time in a remote hovel in the hills.
 I did have the book for ages but it went off to ziffit recently - worth over £2 to them that day. I shall order this new one from the library.

I read the Alys Fowler book last year. This is what I said about "Hidden Nature". 
 She travels round the unknown bits of the Birmingham canal system in an inflatable canoe noting wildlife etc. But it's also a story  of finding she is gay at the age of 37 and coming out to live with garden designer Charlotte Harris.(Published 2017)
  She is more well known for her various gardening books.

I don't know John Grindrod but will order this from the library too

The John Lister-Kaye book I borrowed earlier this year but sent it back unread although I can't remember why so I'll borrow it again and find out.

I borrowed The Lost Words from the library, it's a huge book, (as in Outsize not in length) with lovely illustrations.

Adam Nicolson is famous for being the grandson of Vita Sackville West and Harold Nicolson and the husband of the garden designer and flower grower Sarah Raven and was the driving force in the re-organisation of the Gardens at Sissinghurst National Trust property. He has written lots of books before this one and I've read Perch Hill, which is about the reclaiming of their house and garden. This new book looks at how seabirds are endangered. Not sure I want to read it.

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn was an unknown but there are 30+ people on the library waiting list so I'm obviously the only person who hasn't heard about this book.
This is the library description
In one devastating week, Raynor and her husband Moth lost their home of 20 years, just as a terminal diagnosis took away their future together. With nowhere else to go, they decided to walk the South West Coast Path: a 630-mile sea-swept trail from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall. This ancient, wind-battered landscape strips them of every comfort they had previously known. With very little money for food or shelter, Raynor and Moth carry everything on their backs and wild camp on beaches and clifftops. But slowly, with every step, every encounter, and every test along the way, the walk sets them on a remarkable journey. They don't know how far they will travel, but - to their surprise - they find themselves on a path to freedom

Sounds good - I shall add myself to the waiting list.

I began this post weeks ago before the winner was announce and strangely enough when the winner was announced it was the very book that I said I wouldn't want to read............................The Seabirds Cry.

Back Tomorrow


  1. I have to claim utter ignorance and admit I have heard of none of them but I do know of Sissinghurst. I've been there a couple of times and simply love it - a beautiful garden (or gardens).

  2. Deep Country is one of my favourite books - I could read it over and over and would love to go on a nature walk with Neil Ansell. I admire his perseverance at living so remotely for such a long time - a definite good read.
    I will be looking out for the Salt Path - sounds interesting.x

  3. I had heard of the Salt Path, so I am glad you have reminded us. Now that I have finally got around to getting a PIN number for the library, I can order it. Eeek! that has just reminded me, mobile library day! I had better get my skates on, I have a huge pile of books to return.

  4. i've just finished The Salt Path. Actually ordered it as a real book .. hardback as i thought it was the sort of book id read again .
    i found it quite inspiring

  5. I have some other Macfarlane books so I am interested in that one and I'll have to see if "The Salt Path" is available here as it sounds very interesting. In fact all of these books sound much more readable than many of the "List" books these days - they always sound so dreary. It's a recurring theme here in Canada - a friend and I were talking about this just the other day - one of our "Must read" lists always comes out around February just as people are completely fed up with Winter and always - as my friend says - it's list of books designed to send us all over the edge! Where do they find them? It's as though anything fun or uplifting is somehow Not Worthy.

  6. The Salt Path sounds wonderful, in fact after I finish this comment I might 'accidentally' sign in to my Amazon account and order it, I have no patience 😉

    I've read Alys Fowlers book and loved it, and also Deep Country ... but I didn't realise Neil Ansell had written another. I might have to peruse the pages in Waterstones before deciding on that one.

    I borrowed the Jackie Morris book from the library, her illustrations are wonderful. I bought a couple of her cat books after meeting her when we stayed next door to her lovely cottage when we holidayed at Treleddyd Fawr. She's a really nice lady.

    It's a good list 😊

  7. I absolutely loved The Salt Path, Sue, this is a winner whether it receives an award or not.
    Margaret P

  8. I will also look for The Salt Path. I'm discovering that many of the books you've recommended in past posts haven't made it across the Atlantic yet. I hope I can find this one.

  9. I am always rather suspicious of the usual book lists for prizes - they are normally books I wouldn't pick up in a month of Sundays. I did try with Wolf Hall, because of the subject matter, but couldn't get on with Hilary Mantel's writing style. Perhaps I should try again in the bleakness of winter (when I've hidden every other book I own!)

    Looking forward to hearing about your enjoyment (or otherwise) of the books on this list.

  10. I saw the couple in the Salt Path being interviewed on tv. and it did sound good. I don't usually like prize winning books either.

  11. Every time you show books, whether they be ones you get from the library, or these prize winning books, I look through them to see if I've read any of them. Usually not! I suppose, being an ex-librarian you have come across these authors, but they are all unknown to me, even though I have read a lot of different books in the past.

  12. Thank you everyone above for comments. I wish I'd heard of The Salt Path before, then I would be nearer the top of the library waiting list rather than 31st!
    I'll be writing about the other books in the list as and when.
    Marcia - sorry the books haven't crossed the Atlantic yet!
    Joan - I was never a librarian just a humble library assistant way back in the 1970s so anything newer I wouldn't have heard about. But I am a book fan and read so much and read other blogs about books. I think I only read a narrow band of books - crime and a few others, I'm not "well read" at all!

  13. The sound like some interesting reading. I think The Salt Path sounds like an interesting read. That is such a beautiful part of the country to walk in.

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