We discovered the revised 2nd edition of the Naked Guide to Cider by James Russell on sale at the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair earlier this year. Tangent Books were selling it on their stall. After a short conversation that involved singing the praises of Herefordshire cider over the Somerset varieties it became clear that Tangent Books is run by serious cider heads.
The book is a comprehensive guide to everything cider and perry related. With masses of information that can either educate the novice or entertain the seasoned cider connoisseur. With chapters on cider-producing regions, cider history, cider culture and a step-by-step guide on how to make cider, what more could you need.
The interviews with cider makers and assorted experts give the book a personal element which is always a bonus if you are new to a subject.
James Russell clearly has a passion for cider and a little digging revealed that he’s a respected authority on orchards and cider making. All this knowledge doesn’t seem to have dampened his sense of humour as the Naked Guide is often tongue in cheek. In fact, Tangent’s aim is for the Naked Guides to be “sharp, informative and witty guide books, packed with information”. We recon they’ve succeeded with this one.
The only negative is the guide book lay out which isn’t conducive to a cover to cover read. But as it’s not trying to be a novel that’s probably just my issue and I have to get over it. Although, as in the style of guide books, there are tonnes of great illustrations and photographs which make it a very enjoyable read.
We live in a county steeped in cider and perry related history, so whether you drink it, fancy making some or just live next to an orchard this book will satisfy your interest in all thing cider. 9/10
(You can buy a copy here)