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Bill's Nature Shows

Bill Oddie's new book to be released 30 June 2017
23/06/2017 16:22 GMT

Posted by lisa

In an article in The Express to promote the release of his new book on June 30th, Bill Oddie discusses his "six best books"

Bill Oddie: My six best books - Billy Bunter of Greyfriars School and more

BILL ODDIE, 75, is known for the long-running comedy series The Goodies and was one of the original hosts of Springwatch. He has also presented Birding With Bill Oddie and other nature programmes. His latest book Tales Of A Ludicrous Bird Gardener (New Holland, £16.99) is out on June 30.

BILLY BUNTER OF GREYFRIARS SCHOOL by Frank Richards Out of print This is the sort of book you couldnít do now because itís so non-PC: people are cajoled for being fat, lazy and foreign. But it had a wonderful energy. I got to play Bunter on radio and I canít help slipping into the voice, to most peopleís annoyance.

A FIELD GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF BRITAIN AND EUROPE by Roger Tory Peterson Out of print I was six or seven when I started bird watching and this book was almost life-changing. Until the 50s, there werenít any good bird books, then Peterson developed a style of immaculate drawings with lines pointing to the features that were key to identifying the bird. That led to a whole genre.

JOURNAL OF 1826 by John James Audubon University of Nebraska, £25.99 Audubon trekked across America collecting information about birds, which was dangerous at the time. I love the fact that thereíll be an entry in his journals that says he was attacked by a Comanche war party followed by one where he got a splendid drawing of a plover.

BENEATH THE UNDERDOG by Charles Mingus Canongate, £9.99 Iím a slow reader but I buy a lot of music biographies. This is full of self-pity and raging anger which is quite shocking. He had a famously bad temper yet a lot of his music is very moving and passionate.

THE A-Z GUIDE TO GOOD MENTAL HEALTH: YOU DONíT HAVE TO BE FAMOUS TO HAVE MANIC DEPRESSION by Jeremy Thomas Penguin, £12.99 I was diagnosed as having manic depression when my wife and daughter noticed my up and down behaviour.

This is the book that helped me because it included an account of someone who was just like me: he got overconfident about what he was doing and impatient with people around him.

UNNATURAL SELECTIONS by Gary Larson Out of print An American cartoonist with my kind of humour.

Itís a bit distasteful at times but, if youíre feeling sad and youíve just come away from the shrink, this will cheer you up.

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