Books 2008

A list of the 20 books read by me during 2008.

The Great Naturalists
by Robert Huxley (ed.)
A whistle-stop tour of the history of natural history.

Granta 99: What Happened Next
by various authors
One to go till the big one!

The Eye
by Simon Ings
How animals see and how they perceive.

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, volume 7: 1858–1859
by Charles Darwin and his correspondents
Darwin's correspondence leading up to the publication of On the Origin of Species.

Your Inner Fish
by Neil Shubin
How our evolutionary history is written into our bodies.

The Last Cigarette
by Simon Gray
The third in playwright Simon Gray's series of diaries.

Beechcombings
by Richard Mabey
Non-sentimental nature writing at its best.

Gig
by Simon Armitage
A writer and poet's obsession with music.

The Book of Nightingales
by Richard Mabey
Short monograph on the role of nightingales in western culture.

The Cloudspotter' Guide
by Gavin Pretor-Pinney
Everything you didn't know you wanted to know about clouds.

Granta 100: One Hundred
by William Boyd (ed.)
Extra thick edition, celebrity guest editor, Hockney cover, big name authors: this must be the 100th edition!

The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments
by George Johnson
Ten classic science experiments and the stories behind them.

Granta 101: One Hundred and One
by Jason Cowley (ed.)
A return to form for the relaunched Granta.

Granta 102: The New Nature Writing
by Jason Cowley (ed.)
More environments than nature writing, really—but still great stuff.

Return to Akenfield
by Craig Taylor
Sequel to a classic 1969 study of an English village.

Darwin: Discovering the Tree of Live
by Niles Eldredge
A fascinating analysis of the development of Darwin's thinking.

Granta 103: The Rise of the British Jihad
by Jason Cowley (ed.)
Far better than I initially thought it was going to be.

Darwin's Garden
by Michael Boulter
The first book with the word Darwin on the spine that I ever gave up on.

HMS Beagle: The ship that changed the course of history
by Keith S Thomson
A biography of one of the most important ships in history.

Darwin Slept Here
by Eric Simons
Young travel writer follows in the footsteps of Darwin.

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