Nothing beats the companionable crackle of an open fire. Fires invite us to sit and share stories or watch in contemplative silence. We feel drawn to the flickering flames, the gentle curls of aromatic smoke and reassuring radiant heat. Snuggled under a blanket, toasting crumpets and listening to the pleasing pops of burning wood – what better way to spend a winter's evening? Or, come the summer, few pleasures are richer than cooking food, perched around a campfire, waiting for the stars to come out.
But for all this talk, how many of us know how to build a fire? Would we know which kinds of trees burn best? Could we make our own firelighters or build the perfect fire stack? The Little Book of Building Fires is a richly illustrated pocket guide to sourcing, seasoning and storing firewood, choosing kindling and tinder, and how to build and light the perfect fire. From campfires to woodburners, bonfires to open hearths, this book blends practicality with personal experience and will get you back in touch with your ancient firemaking instincts.
Sally Coulthard is a bestselling author of books about natural history and rural life including The Barn, A Short History of the World According to Sheep, The Book of the Earthworm, The Hedgehog Handbook and over twenty more titles. She lives on a Yorkshire smallholding which she shares with her husband, three girls and an assortment of unruly animals.
"A brilliantly informative guide with stylish illustrations [...] Promises to put you back in touch with your ancient fire-making instincts"
– Yorkshire Post
"Coulthard [celebrates] the heart-warming properties of the hearth in this engaging little book"
– Simple Things
"Follow these tips and your inner caveman will be proud"
– Sunday Times
"A cracking book"
– Sainsbury's Magazine
"A resourceful and informative joy to read"
– The Lifestyle Editor
"A nice gift for someone with a practical mind"
– The Bookseller