Bookshop Reviews

Norwegian Wood: Chopping, Stacking and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way

By Lars Mytting

Recommended by: Dulwich Books Ltd + 1 others

Bookshop name Dulwich Books Ltd
 
Website www.dulwichbooks.co.uk
 
Their  
recommendation Norwegian Wood is the surprise best-seller from Norwegian Lars Mytting about chopping, stacking and drying wood. Well, that’s what it says in the title but there is so much more to this superb book than that. From the land of long, cold winters, where a supply of good firewood can make the difference between life and death, comes this wonderfully engaging book covering all the things you never realised you wanted to know about how wood gets from a tree in the forest to ash in your grate. Along the way Lars Mytting not only lets us into the world of working with “captured sunlight” but effortlessly manages to awaken our primal association with nature. For many of us heating appears simply by turning a dial on the wall but here we re-discover forests, wood and trees. The crackling fire. Warmth on a winter day. Wood smoke. Hard, physical labour and the rewards from it. The visible comfort and security of a stockpile of fuel. While being far from an instruction manual it is nevertheless stuffed full of fascinating information ranging from the latest scientific data to fun facts that tickle the curious mind. Who knew that burning rowan wood used to be taboo because it was valued as a protection against witches? The book is liberally sprinkled with personal stories of firewood enthusiasts revealing their methods and proudly displaying their amazing woodpiles or favourite cutting tools. Lars Mytting has produced an excellently-written book which taps into the collective psyche concerning our place in the natural world, while also providing an evocative insight into the life of a woodsman. It’s just as easy to dip into as to read all the way through and by the end you’ll be yearning to swing an axe to feed a wood burning stove or even that archetypal roaring log fire. Nik Lawrence
Bookshop name mostly books
 
Website www.mostly-books.co.uk
 
Their  
recommendation Until you see it, feel the heft in your hands, and fall in love with it, it's tricky to understand just why a book about chopping and stacking wood should be such a pan-European bestseller, but - like Robert Penn's book above - our connection with wood runs deep and profoundly. One of the biggest Scandinavian publishing successes ever. For a time when we are most conscious of our energy security, a practical-lyrical, beautifully illustrated guide to its most ancient source. Lars Mytting shares a Scandinavian passion for wood harvesting, stacking, storing and burning, combining cultural history and folklore with modern science. 'Norwegian Wood' is both entertaining and instructive, and in delivering a wealth of advice and technical know-how for the armchair reader and for those outdoors. This book really tells you everything you wanted to know about wood but were too afraid to ask...