Lev Parikian - Into the Tangled Bank - November 2021
There's a moment at the start of our live conversation with Lev Parikian that wonderfully defines the Adventurous Ink community.
It's always a pleasure to discover that warm and engaging writers are equally as affable in real life. November's live conversation with Lev Parikian, author of Into the Tangled Bank, proved just that, and will live long in the sagas of the Adventurous Ink kinfolk.
Barely minutes into the conversation, Lev mentions childhood memories of the Readers Digest Book of British Birds, and suddenly subscriber Sian is waving her own charity shop find of the self-same book! And she wasn't the only one, Tracy chipped in via the chat that she too had a childhood copy still stashed away.
We chatted about frock coated naturalists of times gone-by, many of whose estates' Lev visits in the book, and his attempts to spotlight some unsung female voices of earlier eras.
Discussing how they reflected the values of their times, we soon got on to naturalists of the modern era, picking up Lev's question as to whether we are a nation of nature lovers, or nature documentary lovers?
This led us to contemplate the difference between the striking and visceral stories of nature we see on our screens, and the entirely different experience when we venture out ourselves in search of the wild things.
Lev reflects on this, reappropriating the very now notion of mindfullness as "birdfullness" a topic he expounds upon wonderfully in a short reading from the book on the topic.
He then completely gives himself away as a hopeless birder, by choosing eagles over otters when put on the spot by subscriber Alex and asked to choose between them.
Later, as we discussed why Lev prefers the remote island of Skokholm off the Pembrokeshire coast to the Isle of Skye, Tim's flu-fogged fuzzy brain had a moment of clarity connecting Lev's engaging prose to the warm manner of the researchers on the island and their embrace of everyone's contribution to their work, regardless of previous expertise.
What a joy to have our connection to the natural world embellished in such a pleasing manner.
Subscribe yourself, or purchase as a gift, during November and receive this as your first book - you couldn't hope for a better introduction.
Hear more from Into the Tangled Bank, when Lev visits Darwin's estate, in Tim's remote reading:
Photo credit: Skokholm by Flickr user Tigerweet used under Creative Commons licence