12 Birds to Save Your Life

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What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

Discover the healing power of nature through the stories of these characterful birds.

Can you recognise the cheerful chirrups of the house sparrow? A song thrush singing out at winter’s darkest hour? Or the beautiful, haunting call of the curlew?

At a time of great anxiety and uncertainty, while coping with the untimely death of his mother, Charlie Corbett realised his perspective on life was slipping. In a moment of despair, he found himself – somewhat damp – lying on the side of a lonely hill staring up at a leaden sky, a melancholy drizzle seeping into his bones.

Suddenly he hears the song of a single skylark – that soaring, tinkling, joyous sound – and he is transported away from the drizzle and dark thoughts. Grounded by the beauty of nature, perspective dawns. No longer the leading role in his own private melodrama, but merely a minor part in nature’s great epic.

Such is the power of these creatures to raise you from life’s periodic depths. Through twelve characterful birds, Charlie show us that there is joy to be found in the very smallest of events – if we know where to look, and how to listen. From solitary skylarks to squabbling sparrows, he explores the place of these birds in our history, culture and landscape, noting what they look like and where you’re most likely to meet them.

By reconnecting with the wildlife all around him, through learning to understand, love, and begin to move with the rhythms of the natural world outside his door, Charlie discovered nature’s powerful ability to heal.

These birds can help you too. Every day.

© Charlie Corbett 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Critics Review

  • A lyrical and life-affirming book that teaches us as much about birds as it does ourselves – a balm for the soul

    Raynor Winn, author of The Salt Path
  • Totally absorbing and completely engaging on so many levels… Charlie has opened my eyes to the constant joy of the sights and sounds of the birds that surround us. It is a book that really will save lives

    Dr Richard Shepherd, author of Unnatural Causes
  • An enchanting book. I knew at once this was something special

    Lady Glenconner
  • This is no ordinary ornithology, but one that portrays the very essence of each bird through a very human lens and shows us that both solace and joy can be ours by merely observing with an open eye and an open heart

    John Wright, author of The Forager's Calendar
  • A wonderful blend of the lyrical and practical. Charlie shows us that our relationship with birds and the natural world is not only healing, but an important part of our cultural heritage worth protecting

    Adam Henson
  • From dawn choruses to the first chiffchaff calls of spring, Charlie Corbett shows how the changing seasons can bring happy natural rhythms to times of hardship

    National Geographic Traveller

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