New and forthcoming
Another Kyoto is an insider's meditation on the hidden wonders of Japan's most enigmatic city. Drawing on decades living in Kyoto, and on lore gleaned from artists, Zen monks and Shinto priests, Alex Kerr illuminates the simplest things - a temple gate, a wall, a sliding door - in a new way.
'A rich book of intimate proportions ... In Kyoto, facts and meaning are often hidden in plain sight. Kerr's gift is to make us stop and cast our eyes upward to a temple plaque, or to squint into the gloom of an abbot's chamber' Japan Times
'Kerr and Sokol have performed a minor miracle by presenting that which is present in Kyoto as that which we have yet to see. I know that I will never pass a wall, or tread a floor, or sit on tatami the same way again' Kyoto Journal
'A book of heart-stopping bravery and endurance' -- Helen Macdonald
'A great read – incredible adventures and a dramatic new perspective' -- Chris Packham
'[A] delightful, endlessly fascinating book' -- Daily Mail BOOK OF THE WEEK
This is the story of a professional British tree climber, cameraman and adventurer, who has made a career out of travelling the world, filming wildlife for the BBC and climbing trees with people like David Attenborough, Chris Packham and Helen Macdonald.
James's climbs take him to breathtaking locations as he scales the most incredible and majestic trees on the planet. On the way he meets native tribes, gets attacked by African bees, climbs alongside gorillas, chased by elephants, and spends his nights in a hammock pitched high in the branches with only the stars above him.
This book blends incredible stories of scrapes and bruises in the branches with a new way of looking at life high above the daily grind, up into the canopy of the forest.
Travelling with friends and family is usually thought of as a privilege. In theory, anyway. In practice, it's more often about debating which sights to see, panicking over diminishing phone batteries and bickering over what to eat. Not much joy in that. But alone you can do as you please. You can wander markets, relish silence, go to a park. Go to Paris. Why not?
In Alone Time, New York Times travel columnist Stephanie Rosenbloom travels alone in four seasons to four remarkable cities - Paris, Istanbul, Florence and New York - exploring the sensory experience of solitude. Along the way she illuminates the psychological arguments for alone time, revealing that whether you recognize it or not, it's good to be alone now and then.
This is a book about the pleasures and benefits of savouring the moment, examining things closely, using all your senses to take in your surroundings, whether travelling to faraway places or walking the streets of your own city. Through on-the-ground observations and anecdotes, and drawing on the thinking of artists, writers and innovators who have cherished solitude, Alone Time lays bare the magic of going solo.
'A scathing, lively and timely look at the "European city", from one of our most provocative voices on culture and architecture today' Owen Jones
A searching, timely account of the condition of contemporary Europe, told through the landscapes of its cities
Over the past twenty years European cities have become the envy of the world: a Kraftwerk Utopia of historic centres, supermodernist concert halls, imaginative public spaces and futuristic egalitarian housing estates which, interconnected by high-speed trains traversing open borders, have a combination of order and pleasure which is exceptionally unusual elsewhere.
In Trans-Europe Express, Owen Hatherley sets out to explore the European city across the entire continent, to see what exactly makes it so different to the Anglo-Saxon norm - the unplanned, car-centred, developer-oriented spaces common to the US, Ireland, UK and Australia. Attempting to define the European city, Hatherley finds a continent divided both within the EU and outside it.
'The latest heir to Ruskin.' - Boyd Tonkin, Independent
'Hatherley is the most informed, opinionated and acerbic guide you could wish for.' - Hugh Pearman, Sunday Times
'Can one talk yet of vintage Hatherley? Yes, one can. Here are all the properties that have made him one of the most distinctive writers in England - not just 'architectural writers', but writers full stop: acuity, contrariness, observational rigour, frankness and beautifully wrought prose.' - Jonathan Meades
Summer is the fourth volume of the Seasons quartet, a collection of short prose and diaries written by a father for his youngest daughter, with stunning artwork by Anselm Kiefer.
Your voice woke me up around eight this morning, it sounded unusually close, since, as I discovered upon opening my eyes, you were lying in our bed. You smiled at me and began talking. I made coffee and had a smoke in the office before I ate breakfast with you, and when your mother got up, I came in here to write a new piece.
In Summer, Karl Ove Knausgaard writes about long days full of sunlight, eating ice cream with his children, lawn sprinklers and ladybirds. He experiments with the beginnings of a novel and keeps a diary in which the small events of his family’s life are recorded. Against a canvas of memories, longings, and experiences of art and literature, he searches for the meaning of moments as they pass us by.
*BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week*
'I needed to get to the stopping places, so I needed to get on the road. It was the road where I might at last find out where I belonged.'
Damian Le Bas grew up surrounded by Gypsy history. His great-grandmother would tell him stories of her childhood in the ancient Romani language; the places her family stopped and worked, the ways they lived, the superstitions and lores of their people. But his own experience of life on the road was limited to Ford Transit journeys from West Sussex to Hampshire to sell flowers.
In a bid to better understand his Gypsy heritage, the history of the Britain's Romanies and the rhythms of their life today, Damian sets out on a journey to discover the atchin tans, or stopping places – the old encampment sites known only to Travellers. Through winter frosts and summer dawns, from horse fairs to Gypsy churches, neon-lit lay-bys to fern-covered banks, Damian lives on the road, somewhere between the romanticised Gypsies of old, and their much-maligned descendants of today.
In this powerful and soulful debut, Damian le Bas brings the places, characters and stories of his to bold and vigorous life.
Why do road cyclists go to the mountains?
After all, cycling up a mountain is hard – so hard that, to many non-cyclists, it can seem absurd. But, for some, climbing a mountain gracefully (and beating your competitors up the slope) represents the pinnacle of cycling achievement. The mountains are where legends are forged and cycling’s greats make their names.
Many books tell you where the mountains are, or how long and how high. None of them ask ‘Why?’
Why are Europe’s mountain ranges professional cycling’s Wembley Stadium or its Colosseum? Why do amateurs also make a pilgrimage to these high, remote roads and what do we see and feel when we do?
Why are the roads there in the first place?
Higher Calling explores the central place of mountains in the folklore of road cycling. Blending adventure and travel writing with the rich narrative of pro racing, Max Leonard takes the reader from the battles that created the Alpine roads to the shepherds tending their flocks on the peaks, and to a Grand Tour climax on the ‘highest road in Europe’. And he tells stories of courage and sacrifice, war and love, obsession and elephants along the way.