This is the perfect book to curl up with on a winter evening. Woodsman Vincent Thurkettle has a passion for wood fires, and his new handbook is an inspiring guide to everything you need to know: choosing the best woods, how to buy, season and store them, setting up a woodshed, how to lay the perfect fire, choosing wood for scent and cooking on an open fire.
The Wood Fire Handbook is illustrated with a combination of evocative photographs and line drawings (this one, above, shows you how to position kindling in a ‘U’ shape log wall, with cut surfaces facing inwards to help the fire catch quickly).
But as well as being packed with practical information, the book is a homage to the author’s fascination with wood fires, and how they enrich people’s lives. He ends with the words of JRR Tolkien’s Bilbo Baggins: ‘I sit beside the fire and think of people long ago, and people who will see a world that I shall never know’.
The Wood Fire Handbook by Vincent Thurkettle is published by Octopus Publishing, and costs £14.99
For suppliers of fireplaces, stoves, as well as traditional and contemporary fireside accessories, see The House Directory’s Heating category.