Wednesday 9 June 2021


Book review: Tapestries of Life by Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson [blog tour]

The natural world is so fascinating but to the average person (myself included), a large part of its mysteries are hidden. The most magical yet tightly run ship happening just beyond my view, impacting everything that surrounds me – and allowing me to live the life I do. The most obscure animals, insects, fungi, and plants are all vital parts of the process, going unnoticed and unrecognised. Until now.

Author Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson is a professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and a scientific advisor for The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research. In the literary world she's well-known for her critically acclaimed book ‘Extraordinary Insects: The Fabulous, Indispensable Creatures Who Run Our World’, which delves into the world of insects. And she has followed this up with ‘Tapestries of Life: Uncovering the Lifesaving Secrets of the Natural World’, which builds upon this to cover a much bigger expanse of the (natural) world. From Borneo to Argentina and from navigating slime mould to frogs that 'projectile vomit' their offspring fully-formed, this book covers all that and then some.

I love nature writing. Serene descriptions of the English countryside, learning the habits of woodland animals and garden birds, and discovering new places through the eyes of someone who is an expert at observing their surroundings. That's what I expected when going into ‘Tapestries of Life’. What I was not prepared for, however, was a rollercoaster of facts about flora and fauna, told so accessible and engaging that this is the one book I cannot stop talking about.

Did you know that the woodpecker's brain kind of dangles in its skull from something resembling an elastic band? That way, when It's banging its head against a tree, it will not get a concussion. Or have you ever heard of flying rivers high above the ground in the Amazon? The trees in the rainforest are so tightly packed together that when the heavens open a river emerges, running over the canopies.

‘Tapestries of Life’ is an eye-opening read, running through amazing insights into the natural world at rapid speed. And yet it never feels like it's too much or the information is incomprehensible. Author Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson has a wonderful way with words, telling the amazing facts through the lens of personal anecdotes, well-known moments in history, and linking all the stories nearly together into clear and distinct segments such as ‘Nature’s Archive’, ‘Well-Stocked Pharmacy’, and ‘The World’s Biggest Buzz’.

This is the kind of book that will make you gasp in surprise and reread passages to make sure that, yes, you did read that astonishing anecdote correctly. It will expand your knowledge on the natural world – and will make you want to share all the amazing new facts you've learned with friends. And, most of all, it'll open your eyes to how incredible the many plants, animals, insects, and fungi that make up our flora and fauna truly are. The tapestries of life are magical, and we are so lucky to be a tiny part of it. 

'Tapestries of Life'
by Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson will be published by Mudlark (a part of HarperCollins Non Fiction) tomorrow, 10 June 2021, and you can order your copy now from your favourite book shop.

Blog tour stops for 'Tapestries of Life' Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson

This review for 'Tapestries of Life' is a part of the official blog tour for the launch of the book. Make sure you check out the other stops for some wonderful content!

Disclaimer: This book was gifted to me by the publisher, but this has not impacted this honest review.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the blog tour support x


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