• Kate

REVIEW: Things That Are: Encounters with Plants, Stars and Animals

“The bear in the sky is sometimes mistaken for a ladle or a prawn, or the government, while the bear on the ground rarely is.”


I’m ashamed to say how much this book taught me about nature! I keep confidently exerting my new favourite fact about Panda’s and their bamboo addiction. Once you’ve come to terms with the style of writing that Leach uses, you can embrace this book, but it still had its downsides.

Leach goes through nature picking and choosing random features to discuss in this book. What I loved about her style was the use of personification. This stopped the subjects becoming dry and made the book feel much more magical. There’s no doubting her skills at creative nonfiction.

Although considering the topics, I would have liked to see some beautiful complimentary illustrations. Chapters focusing on certain flowers/plants could have been vastly improved by this – I do not like to feel the need to google something. But I also feel it would have added a nice whimsical aspect just to pull everything together.

Like I said, if you can embrace her style, it’s fairly enjoyable even if slightly bizarre. I’m not sure I would actively seek to read more of Leach’s work – it felt like too much effort to plow through her writing.

See full book details on Goodreads ➡️


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