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Letters to a Beekeeper

Alys Fowler (Author) , Steve Benbow (Author)

This the story of how, over the course of a year, Alys, the Guardian gardening writer, learns how to keep bees; and Steve, the urban beekeeper, learns how to plant a pollinator-friendly garden.

Part beautifully designed coffee-table book, part manifesto, this collection of engaging letters, emails, texts, recipes, notes and glorious photos creates a record of the trials, tribulations, rewards and joys of working with, rather than against, nature. And along the way, you will pick up a wealth of advice, tips and ideas for growing food and keeping pollinators well fed.

Letters to a Beekeeper is for lazy gardeners, novice beekeepers and everyone in between. It is the best rule-breaking, wildlife-friendly, guerilla, urban gardening, insect-identifying, honey-tasting, wax-dripping, epistolary how-to book you could ever hope to own.

Bitcoin

Dominic Frisby (Author)

Following the economic crisis of 2008, the website ‘bitcoin.org’ was registered by a mysterious computer programmer called Satoshi Nakamoto. A new form of money was born: electronic cash. Does Bitcoin have the potential to change how the world transacts financially? Or is it just a passing fad, even a major scam?

In Bitcoin: The Future of Money?, MoneyWeek’s Dominic Frisby's explains this controversial new currency and how it came about, interviewing some of the key players in its development while casting light on its strange and murky origins, in particular the much-disputed identity of Nakamoto himself.

Economic theory meets whodunnit mystery in this indispensable guide to one of the most divisive innovations of our time.

Ladders to Heaven

Mike Shanahan (Author)

They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers … rainforest royalty … more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Ladders to Heaven tells their amazing story.

Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles in the dawn of civilisation. They feature in every major religion, starring alongside Adam and Eve, Krishna and Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad. This is no coincidence – fig trees are special. They evolved when giant dinosaurs still roamed and have been shaping our world ever since.

These trees intrigued Aristotle and amazed Alexander the Great. They were instrumental in Kenya’s struggle for independence and helped restore life after Krakatoa’s catastrophic eruption. Egypt’s Pharaohs hoped to meet fig trees in the afterlife and Queen Elizabeth II was asleep in one when she ascended the throne.
And all because 80 million years ago these trees cut a curious deal with some tiny wasps. Thanks to this deal, figs sustain more species of birds and mammals than any other trees, making them vital to rainforests. In a time of falling trees and rising temperatures, their story offers hope.

Ultimately, it’s a story about humanity’s relationship with nature. The story of the fig trees stretches back tens of millions of years, but it is as relevant to our future as it is to our past.

Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear? 200 birds, 12 months, 1 lapsed birdwatcher

Lev Parikian (Author)

At twelve years old, Lev Parikian was an avid birdwatcher. He was also a fraud, a liar and a cheat. Those lists of birds seen and ticked off? Lies. One hundred and thirty species? More like sixty.
Then, when he turned fifty, he decided to right his childhood wrongs. He would go birdwatching again. He would not lie. He would aim to see two hundred species of British bird in a year.

Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear? is the story of that year, a story about birds, family, music, nostalgia, the nature of obsession and obsession with nature. It’s about finding adventure in life when you twig it’s shorter than you thought, and about losing and regaining contact with the sights, sounds and smells of the natural world.

It’s a book for anyone who has ever seen a small brown bird and wondered what it was, or tried to make sense of a world in which we can ask, ‘What’s that bird?’ and ‘What’s for lunch?’ and get the same answer.

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