New and forthcoming
The countryside is filled with beauty and wonder in these imaginative, idiosyncratic writings, but also cruelty and hardship. They describe the texture of an owl's feather, the colours of autumn and the sound of rooks' wings sweeping across the sky. Yet here too is the grinding toil of reaping the harvest, and the discovery of a gamekeeper's bloody kill. Brimming with intense feeling, these pieces show an acute awareness of the land, and the people on it.
Generations of inhabitants have helped shape the English countryside - but it has profoundly shaped us too.It has provoked a huge variety of responses from artists, writers, musicians and people who live and work on the land - as well as those who are travelling through it.English Journeys celebrates this long tradition with a series of twenty books on all aspects of the countryside, from stargazey pie and country churches, to man's relationship with nature and songs celebrating the patterns of the countryside (as well as ghosts and love-struck soldiers).
Nat the Cat jumps out of bed with a smile spread halfway round her head.
She's packed a delicious picnic to share with her friends, Billy Goat and Hugo Hare.
But Billy and Hugo are both feeling down. They are just not in a picnicky mood.
Nat carries on alone, but she soon finds that her smile is gone. Luckily, she's passed on her smile to her friends and they soon come along to cheer her right back up again!
Another gorgeous rhyming treat from the glorious Jez Alborough
After a thirty-year career as a high profile vet, columnist, presenter and author Bruce Fogle - the UK's bestselling cat & dog writer - decided to leave urban Britain and take a journey with his dog Macy. Travelling in the footsteps of the great American novelist John Steinbeck, who published Travels with Charley - his standard poodle - in the '60s, Fogle set off in search of the North America of his childhood. Would he, after all this time, be able to work out whether home meant the UK or America? Would he find the welcoming, peaceful backwaters of his youth unchanged?
Together with Macy, Fogle retraced Steinbeck's steps through the length of North America, meeting people, cadging meals, and indulging in some of the world's best dog-walking territory. What Bruce found in a changing America surprised and delighted him. What Macy found (thousands of miles of unspoilt wilderness) made her very happy. And hungry. An entertaining and evocative journey in the company of a very, very happy dog.
'Thrilling' Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
'Authoritative and furious, urgent and persuasive' Sunday Times
'Compelling ... Roberts is that precious pearl: a practising scientist who not only knows his field inside out, but also understands how to write' Guardian
Oceans are the most mysterious places on earth. Their depths remain largely unexplored, yet ninety-five percent of the planet's habitable space lies within them. And now the life they support is in the balance.
Callum Roberts uses his lifetime's experience working with the oceans to take us on a panoramic tour beneath the seas, exploring the richness of life in the deep and how it has altered over the centuries. He shows the catastrophic impact of humanity on the oceans, but also how we can restore them to life.
'For anyone who loves the sea, Ocean of Life is a wake-up call, an urgent alert' Daily Mail
'At the heart of this book is a deep love of the ocean and a profound concern for its viability as a resource for us all' Nature
'An impressive history ... one of this book's strengths is the many solutions Roberts outlines' Financial Times
Born Wild is a story of passion, adventure and skulduggery on the frontline of African conservation. Following Tony Fitzjohn's journey from London bad boy to African wildlife warrior, the heart of the story is a series of love affairs with the world's most beautiful and endangered creatures - affairs that so often end in pain, for to succeed in re-introducing a lion or leopard to the wild is to be deprived of their companionship.
Tony tells of his twenty years in Kenya with George Adamson of Born Free fame - a time of discovery, isolation and frequent danger living far from civilisation. And when he was prevented from re-introducing any more animals into the wild and made unwelcome in the country he loved, Tony had to start anew in Tanzania.
As a girl, Sheila never let her gradual descent into blindness prevent her from trying to do everything a sighted person could do. Then at 17, unable to see to find her way around the house she grew up in, she found herself dreading her future in an 'ever darkening vacuum'.
But then the remarkable Emma enters her life, and Sheila begins a journey that brings her the independence, love and happiness she never dreamed possible.
Emma and I is the moving and inspirational story of the unique bond between Sheila and her dog, and shows that, sometimes, miracles do happen.
Bearded Tit is Rory McGrath's story of life among birds. From a Cornish boyhood wandering gorse-tipped cliffs listening to the song of the yellowhammer with his imaginary girlfriend, or drawing gravity-defying jackdaws in class when he should have been applying himself to physics, to quoting the Latin names of birds to give himself a fighting chance of a future with JJ - the most beautiful girl he had ever seen.
As an adult, or what passes for one, Rory recounts becoming a card-carrying birdwatcher, observing his first skylark - peerless king of the summer sky - while stoned; his repeatedly failed attempts to get up at the crack of dawn like the real twitchers; and his flawed bid to educate his utterly unreconstructed drinking mate Danny in the ways of birding.
Rory's tale is a thoroughly educational, occasionally lyrical and highly amusing romp through the hidden byways of birdwatching and, more importantly, a love story you'll never forget.
What started as an ode to Quindlen's aging black Labrador in her Newsweek column has become a life-affirming short book about happiness, in the tradition of A SHORT GUIDE TO A HAPPY LIFE and BEING PERFECT.
In this wise little book, Anna Quindlen writes: "The life of a good dog is like the life of a good person, only shorter, more compressed." Quindlen continues, with her trademark wonderful writing, sound wisdom and humor, to explain how her life has unfolded in tandem with Beau, and how she's learned how to enjoy life, in the simplest of ways, by watching him.
She writes, "When I was a mixed-breed puppy, I could never have imagined how simple and basic contentment could be. And that's what I've learned from watching Beau: to roll with the punches, to take things as they come, to measure myself not in terms of the past or the future but of the present, to raise my nose in the air from time to time and, at least metaphorically, holler, "I smell bacon!"
To the beginner, the star-filled night sky can seem mysterious and unfathomable. But with this book as a guide the awesome nature of the Cosmos is brought down to Earth.
Over the course of twelve chapters Mark Thompson, one of the presenters on BBC One’s Stargazing Live and the resident astronomer on ITV’s The Alan Titchmarsh Show, will take you on a journey through space, tackling the key concepts of astronomy and unlocking the secrets of the sky. From the origins of our Universe to the ever evolving techniques used to explore deep space, A Down to Earth Guide to the Cosmos traces the journey of galactic discovery that has obsessed mankind for thousands of years.
Accompanying the narrative, a series of monthly sky guides focus on the astronomical highlights visible at each given time of year, with handy charts to show you exactly what to look for and how to navigate around the sky at night.
As fascinating as it is accessible, A Down to Earth Guide to the Cosmos is a must for anyone who gazes up and wishes they knew more about the final frontier...
The young naturalist W. N. P. Barbellion described this remarkably candid record of living with multiple sclerosis as 'a study in the nude'. It begins as an ambitious teenager's notes on the natural world, and then, following his diagnosis at the age of twenty-six, transforms into a deeply moving account of battling the disease. His prose is full of humour and fierce intelligence, and combines a passion for life with clear-sighted reflections on the nature of death.
Barbellion selected and edited this manuscript himself in 1917, adding a fictional editor's note announcing his own demise. This Penguin Classics edition includes 'The Last Diary', which covers the period between submission of the manuscript and Barbellion's actual death in 1919.
Selected as a Book of the Year 2017 in The Times
'There is no doubt that Moss’s book, with its charming cover and quaint illustrations, will make it into many a stocking this year' The Times
No other bird is quite so ever-present and familiar, so embedded in our culture, as the robin. With more than six million breeding pairs, the robin is second only to the wren as Britain’s most common bird. It seems to live its life alongside us, in every month and season of the year. But how much do we really know about this bird?
In The Robin Stephen Moss records a year of observing the robin both close to home and in the field to shed light on the hidden life of this apparently familiar bird. We follow its lifecycle from the time it enters the world as an egg, through its time as a nestling and juvenile, to the adult bird; via courtship, song, breeding, feeding, migration – and ultimately, death. At the same time we trace the robin's relationship with us: how did this particular bird – one of more than 300 species in its huge and diverse family – find its way so deeply and permanently into our nation’s heart and its social and cultural history? It’s a story that tells us as much about ourselves as it does about the robin itself.