I doubt whether many of you would choose to read this book. You would think “this is a guide book about birds”. Sometimes the most enjoyable reads are buried under titles and remain undiscovered and unread.
A friend from my church who happens to be an avid bird watcher lent this to me. I had just loaned a pile of books to her as she recovered from a nasty bout of pneumonia. On returning some of my books, she included this one and assured me I would love it. “Don’t be put off by its title” she said.
Thank goodness I heeded her advice. Nicholas Drayton is a naturalist and a storyteller and this is a delightful story that had me giggling each night. A few times I had to hold my laughter inside while Keith lay sleeping beside me. A Guide to the Birds of East Africa is about birds and a group of ornithologists living in Nairobi in Kenya. And yes it is about a race between two men Mr Malik and Harry Kahn to spot the most birds over a week so they can invite the woman of their dreams Rose Mbikwa to the annual hunt ball. However, it is more than this – we get to know Mr Malik – he is reserved, elderly, round and balding but what a man – he is honourable, kind and there is a hidden side that the reader discovers. Harry Khan in comparison is a complete sleaze bag. If you are looking for a humorous and gentle read, this is a delightful companion.
A couple of my blogging friends have written posts detailing books they have read recently and enjoyed and I have added them to my list to read. Bloom has written beautifully about the legacy of her father – one of which is a passion for books and reading. She has recently read “The language of flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. The Picket Fence has written about a children’s book she is reading to her oldest son. The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright sounds delightful. We belong to the same public library, so I will have to borrow it when she has finished reading it. There are times in life when a light enjoyable book is a wonderful companion.