#BookReview HOW TO CATCH A MOLE by MARC HAMER #20booksofsummer #nonfiction


‘It is rare to encounter such respect and understanding of nature for herself.’ Rosamund Young, author of The Secret Life of Cows

A life-affirming book about the British countryside, the cycle of nature, solitude and contentment, through the prism of a brilliant new nature writer’s experience working as a traditional mole-catcher, and why he gave it up.

I have been catching moles in gardens and farms for years and I have decided that I am not going to do it any more. Molecatching is a traditional skill that has given me a good life but I am old now and tired of hunting and it has taught me what I needed to learn.

Although common, moles are mysterious: their habits are inscrutable, they are anatomically bizarre, and they live completely alone. Marc Hamer has come closer to them than most, both through his long working life out in the Welsh countryside, and his experiences of rural homelessness as a boy, sleeping in hedgerows.

Over the years, Marc has learned a great deal about these small, velvet creatures who live in the dark beneath us, and the myths that surround them, and his work has also led him to a wise and uplifting acceptance of the inevitable changes that we all face. In this beautiful and meditative book, Marc tells his story and explores what moles, and a life in nature, can tell us about our own humanity and our search for contentment.

How to Catch a Mole is a gem of nature writing, beautifully illustrated by Joe McLaren, which celebrates living peacefully and finding wonder in the world around us. 



Book 2 of my #20BooksOfSummer.

This was such an easy and quick book to read. The author has a really lovely writing style, and his appreciation of nature is clear for all to see. It’s a book about his life, what he has overcome to reach this point in his life and the role that nature and his job as a mole catcher has allowed him to maybe take his time to appreciate more than many.

The information about moles was fascinating and informative, especially about their habits and habitats, and it worked really well alongside the poetry and his own recollections of the tough life he had spent being homeless and moving around, trying to stay out of the way of humans….. you can understand why he sympathises with moles so much!

This is a book that is a reflection of a man conflicted by the world around him, and the nature he encounters and how times have changed people and their attitude towards wildlife.