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First Edition

Supplied by Linda Taylor-Gonçalves of the Griffin Bookshop

Good news for the many Algarve residents who are interested in the native flora and fauna: there is a new book just out, the first of four volumes on the plants of the Algarve.

The general heading is Wild Flowers of the Algarve, and this first book concentrates on Shrubs and Trees. It is beautifully illustrated with actual-sized water colours by the author Silvester J. Pistoor, and each plant is comprehensively described, with the Latin and English names also given.

Just one interesting example – he includes the Moth Vine, which apparently is also known as the Cruel Plant, because moths, bees and butterflies are often trapped and die within the flowers.

Silvester Pistoor has spent a lifetime working in the field of biology, and after his early retirement, he and his wife moved to the Algarve, where his love of plants was reawakened by the wealth of variety he found here.

He started an inventory of the wild vegetation of his nearest environment, and then extended this to places farther away. He found that the flora of his new homeland is in many ways very different from the one he knew in Holland.

Very soon he started making drawings from living plants, which were taken home to study and for the purpose of identification. After a while, because there were so many drawings, he started thinking about bringing them together in a book, which is now available at a cost of €29.50.

One hundred shrubs and trees that grow wild in the Algarve are included and a second volume with more than 260 drawings of herbaceous plants will be published in 2012 (also read Algarve Resident, December 9 issue).

AUTHOR SIGNING: Silvester J. Pistoor will be at the Griffin on Tuesday, December 13 to talk about his book and sign copies between 11am and 1pm – please join us for a festive glass and the opportunity to talk to Silvester.

David Almond also has a new book out in paperback, called My Name is Mina.  

There’s an empty notebook lying on the table in the moonlight. It’s been there for an age. I keep on saying that I’ll write a journal. So I’ll start right here, right now. I open the book and write the very first words: My Name is Mina and I love the night. Anything seems possible at night when the rest of the world has gone to sleep. Then what shall I write? I’ll let my journal grow just like the mind does, just like a tree or a beast does, just like life does.

And so Mina writes and writes in her notebook, and here is her journal, Mina’s life in her own words: her stories and dreams, experiences and thoughts, her scribblings and nonsense, poems and songs. Her vivid account of her vivid life.

In this stunning book for teens, which requires no prior knowledge of Skellig, perhaps his most famous title, David Almond revisits Mina before she has met Michael, before she has met Skellig. €9.50.

If you are still looking for a Christmas gift for a book-lover, then Anthony Horowitz has a new book out. These days, he is perhaps better known for his children’s series and his TV scriptwriting, but he also writes books for adults and the House of Silk is his contribution to the Sherlock Holmes canon.

Written with the approval of the Conan Doyle estate, this promises a first-rate mystery which also remains true to the spirit of the original. In hardback at €24.70

We wish all our friends and clients a very happy Christmas and New Year, and a big thank you for all your support during the year