The Most Perfect Thing
by Tim Birkhead
Hardback 220 pp £18.99
I started reading the book and was instantly taken back to my days producing hatching eggs. Though I’d worked part-time while I was at school, I’d only reared chicks and worked in a hatchery. When I started full time they found me a job on a breeding farm run by a manager who had started working with poultry in the 1930s and had been a lecturer at agricultural college.
While the book taught me about eggs I was drifting back in a parallel world where I was a teenager again, being taught the same things for the first time. I was surprised by how it all came back.
There was also a lot in the book that I didn’t know, which was interesting and wide-ranging, but also possibly one of the faults – in a few places I felt it did get a bit lecturing. It didn’t stop the flow of reading, or detract much from the enjoyment, but it did jar slightly.
Despite this it was easy reading, so I was educated, informed and entertained at the same time and could, if time had allowed, have read it all in one sitting.
I’m happy to recommend it to bird watchers and general readers, with just one proviso – it’s very good, but it doesn’t strike me as the sort of book I could love. There’s just something a little cold in the tone. But that could just be me – don’t let it put you off.