This week, the Giles household has acquired a wood-burning stove. We're now ready for whatever the winter can throw at us. Thankfully, we probably have a couple of months to stock up on wood and to work out how to use it, and in that regard we are well equipped. A month ago I worked on The Log Book: Will Rolls' guide to getting the best from your wood-burning stove.
I should say, in the interests of complete disclosure, that Will and I were friends at university. You might consider that a bias. But it's not often that I buy a book after I've worked on it. Why would I need to, when I've already read it and have a Word file to keep for posterity? For what I think is the first time ever, I bought two: one for us and one as a birthday present for my dad. I think that counts as an endorsement.
The book covers the basics: why wood as fuel is environmentally friendly, why treated or unseasoned wood are not good for stoves, and how to track down a good wood supplier. It also includes just enough science to convince you that he knows what he's talking about, without scaring those of us who are, um, less talented in the maths department.
Will has a degree in forestry, is a chartered forester and has worked in the research department of the Forestry Commission, specialising in wood-as-fuel. But he manages to write in a non-academic, engaging tone, with even a few jokes thrown in. The pitch is very well judged and makes it the kind of book you could read through in an evening or dip in and out of when getting the hang of a new stove or troubleshooting strange stove behaviour.
I've already recommended it widely to Facebook friends, and an Amazon link will appear here as soon as they've got their hands on it. Meanwhile, if you'd like to buy it direct from the publisher, you can buy a hard copy here or an e-copy direct from Will through his website. I'm off to investigate stove-compatible waffle irons. Nom.