New Guinea Nature And Culture Of Earths Grandest Island A Book Review

The male Red Bird of Paradise who would not want to see this superb bird?

Everything about this book is impressive, though possibly our postman was not impressed by the weight of it? He was probably very glad that he didn’t have to carry it up the four flights of stairs to our front door. This is a book to take time over, to savour, too re-visit and see if what you thought you had seen and read was true. So amazing are the wonders contained in the lavishly illustrated pages you will be blown away by New Guinea and of course a great part of that mind-boggling is down to the islands most famous residents the birds of paradise.

But this island has so more to amaze the reader and the author and photographer take us on wonderful overview of the natural history and culture of this special place. This is a very readable account of a bizarre and so different corner of the world that is it hard to believe so amazing is it. The stories that unfold are brought to life by 200 glorious colour photographs and these alone make the book well worthy of a place on any bookshelf. I had sort of “parked” New Guinea as a destination that I would never likely visit but having seen this beautiful book it is now back on the radar very much so. This book sets the pulse racing about a world that really must be seen if at all possible. I knew about birds of paradise but this book has rekindled a passion for this so wonderful and bonkers family of birds, just take a look at the photographs here! Could you imagine lifting your binoculars in the forest and focusing on one of these gems? Beyond belief these birds!

The bonkers Blue Bird of Paradise what a crazy wonderful bird!

Yes it is a real bird honestly - the King Bird of Paradise.

The book has an impressive eighteen chapters so lots to read and be amazed about in 375 wonderful pages. Sometimes a book can be let down by the quality of the printing and production but not here, the photographs are vibrant and exciting and the whole book oozes quality it is a joy to read.

Of course like all areas of the world New Guinea faces many threats and challenges in the future and the spector of forest loss in huge and happening now. If the island is to keep its unique wildlife huge decisions need to made quickly to draw a line in the sand and stop the loss of habitat. Will this happen in time sadly I doubt it very much. Everywhere greed is driving people’s behaviour and I see no end to this. Maybe just maybe the Corona Virus might make the world pause and see what is really important, not monetary wealth, but our natural world, essential for all of us to live healthy lives.

I highly recommend this book and know you will love it and be amazed by it in equal measure!

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