Weird, wonderful, repellant, fascinating…

Two books that have tickled our fancy/frightened us silly, as the bookish treats for Christmas start to come in from the publishers, are:
The Guide to Troubled Birds by The Mincing Mockingbird is very clever. From irate hummingbirds to judgmental parrots, this handy and lavishly illustrated volume depicts the most disturbed birds of North America in gorgeous colour portraits, with accompanying testimonials and confessions of murder, mental illness and assorted mayhem. There are bird-attack statistics from the 1970s and study questions to make sure you’ve done your homework. A must-have for leading ornithologists, and perfect gift for angry avian enthusiasts everywhere; this guide is an uproarious and unforgettable look at what lies behind the beady eyes of these winged creatures – when you live in a country that used to have the 3-metre-wing-spanned Haast’s Eagle patrolling the skies, one takes this seriously. A fantastic and timely antidote to all the stationary and stuff with gorgeous and pretty birdies on it. Oddly, the paintings by the artist Matt Adrian are really bird-ish and very appealing – the snark is merely the feather in the icing on the cake, and sort of what you think the little feathered assassins are actually thinking…
Also causing great amusement, from the unpacking monkeys to the shelving lemurs to the isbn9781844038039-detaildesk bunnies (usually bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, we all have days when we look like crap taxidermy), has been the aptly named book-that-has-arisen-from-a-blog Crap Taxidermy. You won’t know whether to laugh or cry at these spectacularly bad attempts at taxidermy, including a squirrel riding a rattlesnake like a cowboy, and a slightly scary number of odd possums from New Zealand.
People are very odd. Bet you know someone these would be excellent presents for…


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