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Book reviews: March 2022

3 min read

Pick of the month

Turtles of the World
Jeffery E. Lovich and Whit Gibbons
Princton University Pres
Reviewed by Esha Chanda

A lavishly illustrated guide to the world’s turtles, the book reveals the extraordinary diversity seen among these reptiles. They’ve changed little over the 200-plus million years, and while the interest in turtles is growing rapidly, this rise in curiosity is paralleled by a dramatic decline in turtle populations and extinctions of species around the world.

More than half of the species require some form of conservation action to protect them, and while they survived the extinction of dinosaurs, whether they survive humans remains to be seen.

The book, while providing in-depth information on the 350 plus species known today, also generates awareness of their plight in the modern world. A great introduction to the diversity of turtles found on Earth.

More good reads

My Life in Dire Straits
John Illsley
Penguin Random House
Reviewed by Steve Atkinson

The rumour is true, bass players are boring. Ok, so I’m generalising here and kind of hoping my bass player son-in-law doesn’t see this but reading about thudding the strings and life in general from Dire Straits bass player John Illsley’s perspective wasn’t that enlightening. They were the biggest rock band in the world at their peak (apparently) and sold millions of albums, but in my opinion, there’s no real buzz and encouragement to make you want to throw a TV out of a hotel window (the book maybe)—or heaven forbid, learn to play the bass.

Don’t get me wrong, everything is delivered well, like the foundation of a good song. John says he’s not a funky bass player and that lack of funk extends to his writing. Hardcore fans will love it though.

Diddly Squat
Jeremy Clarkson
Penguin Random House
Reviewed by Steve Atkinson

Love him or hate him, you can’t help but admit, he’s entertaining. In his latest venture, the ex-Top Gear star (no, not Joey from Friends) decides to take over the running of his 1000-acre farm. How hard can it be? Well, we get an armchair-view of his 12-month stint, which incidentally was filmed and shown on Amazon Prime.

I hear there’s a second series in the making, so it must have gained some audience buy-in. If you haven’t read anything by Jeremy, then his writing is quite entertaining, while acknowledging that the life of a farmer these days is damn challenging and only for the bloody-minded.

Dead Men Don’t Tell Tales
Guy Martin
Penguin Random House
Reviewed by Steve Atkinson

I’m a big Guy Martin fan, which means everything he does is alright by me. Well, what other celebrity do you know who is a truck mechanic in their day job?

This latest book updates us on what he’s been up to in the last couple of years. And while you may have seen what he has been doing on television or online, Guy gives us a behind-the-scenes tour on what happened on certain projects, and it’s all told like he’s sitting there talking to you, a best mate.

He also tells us about a massive 750-mile bike ride in the US, which wasn’t filmed, but something he wanted to do—just because he’s Guy.

Read the book and keep your phone handy, so you can jump online and reference what he’s talking about. 


This month, we’re giving away a copy of Turtles of the World by Jeffery E. Lovich and Whit Gibbons.

Enter here

Deadline: 6 April 2022

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