Fingers in the Sparkle Jar: A Memoir

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Fingers in the Sparkle Jar: A Memoir

Fingers in the Sparkle Jar: A Memoir

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I was told this by a friend, but I appreciated discovering this on my own as I read, so I am putting it in a spoiler here.

Led by the Universities of Leeds, St Andrews and Sussex, the project will take a deep look at the history of modern nature writing from 1789, when Gilbert White’s The Natural History of Selborne was first published, to the present day. It feels wrong to critique this, as you can tell it’s written with a deep love and affection for these animals, but although I admire his enthusiasm it did make this book a struggle to get through. Well, that's not true, there's some small substance there in the story of how the author (I think it was the author, I'm not certain) stole a baby kestrel from its nest and took it home to keep.

And so I suppose I’m asking, that you forgive any potential nonsense I may inadvertently type, on what I do appreciate to be a brilliant, serious and sensible blog. He sat back snug and satisfied knowing now that the whirling thoughts and unfamiliar feelings were securely pinned down in the glowing white aurora of his goodreads page and upfalling from his chair he silently crept back through to his waiting bedroom.

It flips between periods in his childhood, his teens when he had a pet kestrel and his meeting with a psychologist when he is in his forties. In terms of style the language reminds me of Robert MacFarlane and the author does admit that MacFarlane was given a draft of it and provided support. Instead the book is a series of beautifully written but often deeply disturbing snapshots of Packham as he grew up.Whilst I sort-of liked that the structure was nonlinear each section was so short it did become a little overwhelming constantly switching- I would have prefered longer sections within the structure. It felt like he was detached from the events going on, and to a certain extent he probably was, but overall it is a really good read. He is best known for the BAFTA-winning The Really Wild Show and fronting BBC's Springwatch and Autumnwatch.

I can appreciate his interest in the natural world as I too had a (somewhat smaller) collection of skulls, birds eggs and the like in my bedroom and saved my money for binoculars for bird watching, but not to the extent of his obsessions.I remember Chris Packham from his "Really wild show" days when I was a kid and had no idea he had Aspergers.

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