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Manchester Museum Book Club – Coral, Extinked birds and Aye Ayes

January 16, 2014

Manchester Museum’s book club meets monthly on Tuesdays at 5.30pm in the Museum café. We discuss books discuss books inspired by the Museum Nature’s Library gallery and brought to life by Museum objects.

Tues 28 Jan, 5.30-6.30pm This month’s book is Rebecca Stott’s The Coral Thief, linked with the Coral: Something Rich and Strange exhibition.

Rebecca is a creative non-fiction writer, novelist, academic and historian of science. Her second novel, The Coral Thief, a historical novel and a coming of age story in which a young man falls amongst a group of infidel thieves and philosophers in Paris in 1815, just after the fall of Napoleon at Waterloo


Tues 25 Feb, 5.30-6.30pm. This month’s book Hope Is A Thing With feathers by Christopher Cokinos.

Christopher Cokinos is a poet and nature writer weaves together natural history, biology, sociology, and personal narrative to tell the story of the lives, habitats, and deaths of six extinct bird species.

Tues 25 Mar, 5.30-6.30pm. This month’s book is The Aye Aye: A rescue mission in Madagascar by Gerald Durrell.

‘In the gloom it came along the branches towards me, its round, hypnotic eyes blazing, its spoon-like ears turning to and fro independently like radar dishes . . . it was Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky come to life . . . one of the most incredible creatures I had ever been privileged to meet.’

The fourth largest island in the world, Madagascar is home to woodlice the size of golf balls, moths the size of Regency fans and the Aye-Aye, a type of lemur held by local superstion to be an omen of death. But when Gerald Durrell visited the island, the destruction of the forests meant that the Aye-Aye and many other unique creatures were in danger of extinction.

In his unique travel log, Gerald Durrell recalls hopping over rickety bridges, tasting exotic foods and close encounters with the world’s deadliest animals – all of which he takes in his stride. Collecting a few scrapes along the way, Durrell’s quest proves worthwhile as he finally glimpses the elusive primate and brings it back to his breeding sanctuary in Jersey.


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