RaveThe Times (UK)... a sincere and searing tale of loss, addictive despair, the redemptive power of love, the natural world and a shit-dropping, feather-moulting talking magpie ... This will undoubtedly be held up alongside H Is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald’s memoir that saw her tame her grief and a bird of prey in her living room. But Featherland is an equal, if not better, work of magpie investigation that ranks among the best modern coming-of-age memoirs.
PositiveThe Sunday Times (UK)Putting one foot in front of the other, [O\' Mara] says, is one of the fundamental human traits (along with, say, talking and cooking) that makes us not just stand up, but stand out in the animal kingdom. And, as he companionably takes us through the latest scientific research on the subject, he argues that this bipedalism of ours, in which we reliably, regularly and rhythmically put one foot in front of the other, may also be vital for human health and happiness ... In Praise of Walking is peppered with insights about everything from 19th-century poets and flâneurs to modern-day experiments with subjects playing video games in fMRI scanners ... uch are the benefits derived from the simple act of walking that O’Mara wants to see it addressed seriously by policymakers. Walking, he says, should be prescribed on the NHS. Urban areas should have their own walking charters, and walking should be designed into our towns and cities as a priority and not as an afterthought.
RaveThe Sunday Times (UK)...[a] deeply felt memoir ... beautifully, if unsettlingly, Harvey captures the roiling exhaustion, the fuggy disbelief and irrational anger of this newly uncertain state when \'the world becomes profoundly unsafe\' and the boundaries between the inner and outer self start to blur ... If you are looking for tips on improving your sleep hygiene this is not the book for you — though swimming helped for a bit. This is a creative account of a life with little sleep: it remains unclear how Harvey conquered her night-time demons. Readers looking for their own cure will instead find an erudite companion to help them through the dark times.
PositiveThe Times (UK)... lighter on the personal memoir side and heavier on the ecological arguments than it might be. Indeed the statistics form wild thickets of their own. Nevertheless, this is an excellent primer, and anyone who is interested in how we share the planet — what it looks like, what we eat, and what nature can teach us — should read this book.