Every minute was magical, every single thing it did was fascinating and everything it didn't do was equally wondrous, and to be sat there, with a Kestrel, a real live Kestrel, my own real live Kestrel on my wrist! I felt like I'd climbed through a hole in heaven's fence. An introverted, unusual young boy, isolated by his obsessions and a loner at school, Chris Packham only felt at ease in the fields and woods around his suburban home. But when he stole a young Kestrel from its nest, he was about to embark on a friendship that would teach him what it meant to love, and that would change him forever. In his rich, lyrical and emotionally exposing memoir, Chris brings to life his childhood in the 70s, from his bedroom bursting with fox skulls, birds' eggs and sweaty jam jars, to his feral adventures. But pervading his story is the search for freedom, meaning and acceptance in a world that didn’t understand him. Beautifully wrought, this coming-of-age memoir will be unlike any you've ever read.
A beautifully told, deeply personal growing-up memoir from the BBC presenter about life, death, love and nature. Every minute was magical, every single thing it did was fascinating and everything it didn't do was equally wondrous, and to be sat there, with a Kestrel, a real live Kestrel, my own real live Kestrel on my wrist! I felt like I'd climbed through a hole in heaven's fence. An introverted, unusual young boy, isolated by his obsessions and a loner at school, Chris Packham only felt happy in the fields and woods around his suburban home. But when he stole a young Kestrel from its nest, he was about to embark on a friendship that would teach him what it meant to love, and that would change him forever. In his rich, lyrical and emotionally exposing memoir, Chris brings to life his childhood in the 70s, from his bedroom bursting with fox skulls, birds' eggs and sweaty jam jars, to his feral adventures. But pervading his story is the search for freedom, meaning and acceptance in a world that didn't understand him. Beautifully wrought, this coming-of-age memoir will be unlike any you've ever read.
Author: Rob Cowen
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
All too often, we think of nature as something distinct from ourselves, something to go and see, a place that’s separate from the ordinary modern world in which we live and work. But if we take the time to look, we soon find that’s not how nature works. Even in our parceled-out, paved-over urban environs, nature is all around us; it is in us. It is us. That’s what Rob Cowen discovered after moving to a new home in northern England. After ten years in London he was suddenly adrift, searching for a sense of connection. He found himself drawn to a square-mile patch of waste ground at the edge of town. Scrappy, weed-filled, this heart-shaped tangle of land was the very definition of overlooked—a thoroughly in-between place that capitalism no longer had any use for, leaving nature to take its course. Wandering its meadows, woods, hedges, and fields, Cowen found it was also a magical, mysterious place, haunted and haunting, abandoned but wildly alive—and he fell in fascinated love. Common Ground is a true account of that place and Cowen’s transformative journey through its layers and lives, but it’s much more too. As the land’s stories intertwine with events in his own life—and he learns he is to become a father for the first time—the divisions between human and nature begin to blur and shift. The place turns out to be a mirror, revealing what we are, what we’re not and how those two things are ultimately inseparable. This is a book about discovering a new world, a forgotten world on the fringes of our daily lives, and the richness that comes from uncovering the stories and lives—animal and human—contained within. It is an unforgettable piece of nature writing, part of a brilliant tradition that stretches from Gilbert White to Robert Macfarlane and Helen Macdonald. “I am dreaming of the edge-land again,” Cowen writes. Read Common Ground, and you, too, will be dreaming of the spaces in between, and what—including us—thrives there.
Travel around the world to meet amazing baby animals in this beautiful book by BBC wildlife expert Chris Packham and award-winning illustrator Jason Cockcroft. Every day, billions of creatures are born--and this fascinating, fact-filled book introduces kids to some of the most incredible baby animals as they begin their journey through life. From Darwin's froglets and baby earthworms to tiger cubs and meerkat pups, each one has a special story to tell.
Author: Prof. David Sanders
Publisher: Random House
The first entirely evidence-based guide revealing the truth about gluten. Gluten is regularly lambasted in the press, demonised by wellbeing experts and banned from more diets every day. But do we know why? Where does the hype end and science begin? And will bread forever be off the menu? Cutting through the sensationalism, myths and confusion surrounding all things gluten, Professor David Sanders is here to bring us the very latest evidence and groundbreaking research findings from his very personal journey into the heartland of Gluten. Including: · Specific advice tailored to suit individual needs, from coeliac to wheat-sensitive and FODMAP · A comprehensive look at how exactly gluten affects the body · Delicious gluten-free recipes This book will help to advise you and empower you, both in terms of understanding the evidence and providing guidance about how best to look after yourself – whether gluten is for you or not.
Cheer Up Love
Author: Susan Calman
Publisher: Two Roads
SUSAN CALMAN AKA WONDER WOMAN & QUEEN OF DRAGONS AS SEEN ON STRICTLY COME DANCING 2017 'DEEPLY HONEST, SURPRISINGLY HILARIOUS AND UPLIFTING' The Pool 'HEART-WARMING: UNMISSABLE' Damian Barr, Metro Susan Calman is a well-known comedian and writer who has appeared on countless radio and television programmes from The News Quiz and Just a Minute on BBC Radio 4, presented Armchair Detectives and Secret Scotland, hosts the podcast Mrs Brightside and stole the nation's hearts in STRICTLY COME DANCING 2017. Her solo stand up show, Susan Calman is Convicted, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and dealt with subjects like the death penalty, appearance and depression. It was the overwhelming and positive reaction to the show she wrote about mental health that made Susan want to write a more detailed account of surviving depression when you're the world's most negative and anxious person. The Crab of Hate is the personification of Calman's depression and her version of the notorious Black Dog. A constant companion all her life, the Crab has provided her with the best, and very worst of times. This is a very personal and affecting memoir of how, after many years and with a lot of help and talking, Susan has embraced her dark side and realised that she can be the most joyous sad person you'll ever meet. CHEER UP LOVE IS FUNNY, POIGNANT AND (HOPEFULLY) INFORMATIVE. IT'S ALWAYS GOOD TO TALK AND TO REALISE YOU ARE NOT ALONE. *Susan Calman's new book, Sunny Side Up, publishes September 2018*
No Way But Gentlenesse
Author: Richard Hines
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
"There is no way but gentlenesse to redeeme a Hawke†? Edmund Bert, 1619 Born and raised in the South Yorkshire mining village of Hoyland Common, Richard Hines remembers sliding down heaps of coal dust, listening out for the colliery siren at the end of shifts, and praying for his father's safe return. It seemed all too likely that he would follow in his father's footsteps and end up working in the pits, especially when to his mother's horror and his own he failed the 11+, so that unlike his older brother Barry, who had passed the exam to grammar school and who seemed to be heading for great things, Richard was left without hope of academic achievement. Crushed by this, and persecuted by the cruelty of his teachers, Richard spent his time in the fields and meadows just beyond the colliery slag heap. One morning, walking in the grounds of a ruined medieval manor, he came across a nest of kestrels. Instantly captivated, he sought out ancient falconry texts from the local library, and pored over the strange and beautiful language there. With just these books, some ingenuity, and his profound respect for the hawk's indomitable wildness, Richard learned to "man†?, or train, his kestrel, Kes, and in the process grow into the man he would become. Richard and his experiences with kestrels inspired Barry's classic novel A Kestrel for a Knave. When production began on what would become Ken Loach's iconic film Kes, Richard found himself training the kestrels that would soar on screen and into cinematic history. No Way But Gentlenesse is a superb, moving memoir of one remarkable boy's love for a forgotten culture, and his attempt to find salvation in the natural world.
This book is designed to bring a few green shoots into what are quite dull, gray times. The natural world is on your doorstep whether you live in the heart of a concrete jungle, by the sea, on top of a mountain, or in a cottage in the woods. The Practical Naturalist is about giving you the wherewithal to explore that natural world. It will be inspirational, informative, and educational-it aims to inspire you to get out there and experience the wonders of the world around you, inform you by showing you what you can discover in each habitat and also give you tips on how to conserve it. Each section (habitat) will have three strands: 1 Informative section will tell you all you need to know about that particular habitat, bringing it to life in an evocative way. These spreads will also have boxes on the science and ecology of the habitat, and key practical aspects (such as how to read tide tables). The accompanying artwork style will retain that personal feel-not cold and clinical, but as if newly sketched (while still showing and telling you what you need to know). 2 Catalog section will show you what you'll see in that habitat-snapshots of groups of species belonging to a particular place to help you identify what you might see. For example, this section might show a collection of objects you'd find on a beach in New England. However, while it's specific, it's also generic, since you'd find similar things on any beach from Reykyavik to Rio. 3 The practical part: These are the elements that show you what to do in each habitat-a selection of projects that allow you to engage with the environment, without intruding. This section is specially photographed for the book, and might show a pond or sea water sample, a mask that allows you to view the underwater world, or a simple birdhouse for your backyard.
Award-winning photographer Chris Packham has traveled the world in his quest for the ultimate image. Here, readers are offered a rare glimpse into the imagination of an exceptional photographer at the moment he captures each picture. Chris has chosen these iconic images from over 25 years of traveling. Alongside each image is an accompanying explanation as to why he took it. Chris believes that taking great pictures requires the mind, not just the knowledge of science or of which lens does what. "It is about engaging that part of the brain which feels for the picture, that learns how to see it coming and then, in that critical instant, makes all the decisions from the heart. No book of technique will help you at the crucial moment. That type of advice has to be far behind you when you are poised finger on button. This is just you, alone, at the only moment in all time when, if you feel it, the picture may be there. It's not spiritual. Equally it's not scientific or empirical. It is artistic. That fusion of all disciplines which some of our species can manifest as a great gift."
The Cake and the Rain
Author: Jimmy Webb
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
"Novelistic, perfectly plotted and quite possibly the best pop-star autobiography yet written." - The Wall Street Journal Jimmy Webb’s words have been sung to his music by a rich and deep roster of pop artists, including Glen Campbell, Art Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, Donna Summer and Linda Ronstadt. He’s the only artist ever to win Grammy Awards for music, lyrics, and orchestration, and his chart-topping career has, so far, lasted fifty years, most recently with a Kanye West rap hit and a new classical nocturne. Now, in his first memoir, Webb delivers a snapshot of his life from 1955 to 1970, from simple and sere Oklahoma to fast and fantastical Los Angeles, from the crucible of his family to the top of his longed-for profession. Webb was a preacher’s son whose father climbed off a tractor to receive his epiphany, and Jimmy, barely out of his teen age years, sank down into the driver’s seat of a Cobra to speed to Las Vegas to meet with Elvis. Classics such as “Up, Up and Away”, “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, “Wichita Lineman”, “Galveston”, “The Worst that Could Happen”, “All I Know”, and “MacArthur Park” were all recorded by some of the most important voices in pop before Webb’s twenty-fifth birthday: he thought it was easy. The sixties were a supernova, and Webb was at their center, whipsawed from the proverbial humble beginnings into a moneyed and manic international world of beautiful women, drugs, cars and planes. That stew almost took him down—but Webb survived, his passion for music and work among his lifelines. The Cake and The Rain is a surprising and unusual book: Webb’s talent as a writer and storyteller is here on every page. His book is rich with a sense of time and place, and with the voices of characters, vanished and living, famous and not, but all intimately involved with him in his youth, when life seemed nothing more than a party and Webb the eternal guest of honor.
A Sky Full of Birds
Author: Matt Merritt
Publisher: Random House
'Prose from a poet and a personal take on the spectacles' Chris Packham, author of Fingers in the Sparkle Jar Britain is a nation of bird-lovers. However, few of us fully appreciate the sheer scale, variety and drama of our avian life. From city-centre hunters to vast flocks straight out of the Arctic wilderness, much-loved dawn songsters to the exotic invaders of supermarket car parks, a host of remarkable wildlife spectacles are waiting to be discovered right outside our front doors. In A Sky Full of Birds, poet and nature writer Matt Merritt shares his passion for birdwatching by taking us to some of the great avian gatherings that occur around the British isles – from ravens in Anglesey and raptors on the Wirral, to Kent nightingales and Scottish capercallies. By turns lyrical, informative and entertaining, he shows how natural miracles can be found all around us, if only we know where to look for them.
Each year, billions of animals migrate from one part of planet earth to another. In this fact-filled picture book, you can discover each of their stories (from whales and wildabeest to butterflies and bats) and pore over a map to see their migration routes.
The Naked Shore
Author: Tom Blass
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Saturnine and quick-tempered, the formidable North Sea is often overlooked – even by those living within a stone's throw of its steel-grey waters. But as playground, theatre of war and cultural crossing-point, it has shaped the world in myriad ways, forged villains and heroes, and determined the fates of nations. It's not all grim, though: the seaside holiday was born on North Sea beaches, and artists, poets and writers have been as equally inspired by glinting sun on the wave-tops as they have the drama of a winter storm. With a wry eye and a warm coat, Tom Blass travels the edges of the North Sea meeting fishermen, artists, bomb disposal experts, burgermeisters – and those who have found themselves flung to the sea's perimeters quite by chance. In doing so he attempts to piece together its manifold histories and to reveal truths, half-truths and fictions otherwise submerged...
Many of Britain's plants and animals have come to rely upon gardens as an essential lifeline as their natural habitats come under increasing pressure from human activity and global warming. This comprehensive book explains the best ways to attract wildlife to gardens and encourage it to stay there. Written in a light-hearted yet passionate and authoritative style, the guide challenges popular notions of 'weeds' and 'pests' and invites gardeners to think again about the choices they make. Chris Packham's informative and lively text is complemented by attractive photographs and illustrations that will encourage an interest in the natural world on your doorstep, whether your 'garden' is a rural idyll or an urban window box. Chris argues that we have become so spellbound by 'nature's celebrities' – tigers, pandas and their ilk – that we are in danger of overlooking the most exciting species of all: those that we can touch, smell and observe in our own backyard.
The Glass Castle
Author: Jeannette Walls
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
The child of an alcoholic father and an eccentric artist mother discusses her family's nomadic upbringing, during which she and her siblings fended for themselves while their parents outmaneuvered bill collectors and the authorities.