Chris Packham
Fingers in the Sparkle Jar 
BBC Countryfile Magazine’s
Book of the Year 2017

Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham


Each year BBC Countryfile Magazine nominate contenders for their Countryfile Magazine Awards. From landmarks, holiday destinations, gardens and beaches to pubs, reader photos, books and outdoor brands the nominees represent the best of Britain and readers vote for their favourites. There are 12 categories and this year a total of 56,000 votes were cast.

We are proud to announce that naturalist and TV wildlife presenter Chris Packham has been awarded the Countryfile Book of the Year Award 2017 for his amazing book Fingers in the Sparkle Jar, published by Ebury Publishing, May 2016. Thank you to everybody who loved the book and voted for it.

BBC Countryfile Magazine’s editor Fergus Collins says: “Chris Packham’s moving and painfully honest account of a troubled 1970s childhood – alleviated in part by magical encounters with wildlife – has clearly connected with a wide audience and is a deserving winner of this award.”  

The book reveals an introverted, unusual young boy, isolated by his obsessions and a loner at school, only at ease in the fields and woods around his suburban home. But when he stole a young Kestrel from its nest, he was about to embark on a friendship that would teach him what it meant to love, and that would change him forever. In his rich, lyrical and emotionally exposing memoir, Chris brings to life his childhood in the 70s, from his bedroom bursting with fox skulls, birds’ eggs and sweaty jam jars, to his feral adventures. But pervading his story is the search for freedom, meaning and acceptance in a world that didn’t understand him.

“Fingers in the Sparkle Jar is like nothing else I know – a flickering vat of life itself. A brilliant and remarkable book.” Robert Macfarlane

“It’s bold and beautiful, both raw and lyrical, and a rather special book.” Matt Haig, The Independent

In second place was The Outrun, by Amy Liptrot, another personal memoir and a brilliant book describing the healing power of nature.

Visit the BBC Countryfile Magazine to find out more.

Contact David:
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