The Place of Tides

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A story of friendship, history and redemption on a remote Norwegian island

We are all in need of lights to follow.

One afternoon many years ago, James Rebanks met an old woman on a remote Norwegian island. She lived and worked alone on a tiny rocky outcrop, caring for wild Eider ducks and gathering their down. Hers was a centuries-old trade that had once made men and women rich, but had long been in decline. Still, somehow, she seemed to be hanging on.

Back at home, Rebanks couldn’t stop thinking about the woman on the rocks. She was fierce and otherworldly – and yet strangely familiar. Years passed. Then, one day, he wrote her a letter, asking if he could return. Bring work clothes, she replied, and good boots, and come quickly- her health was failing. And so he travelled to the edge of the Arctic to witness her last season on the island.

This is the story of that season. It is the story of a unique and ancient landscape, and of the woman who brought it back to life. It traces the pattern of her work from the rough, isolated toil of bitter winter, building little wooden huts that will protect the ducks come spring; to the elation of the endless summer light, when the birds leave behind their precious down for the woman to gather, like feathered gold.

Slowly, Rebanks begins to understand that this woman and her world are not at all what he had previously thought. As the weeks pass, what began as a journey of escape becomes an extraordinary lesson in self-knowledge and forgiveness.

James Rebanks is a farmer based in the Lake District, where his family have lived and worked for over six hundred years. His No.1 bestselling debut, The Shepherd’s Life, won the Lake District Book of the Year, was shortlisted for the Wainwright and Ondaatje prizes, and has been translated into sixteen languages. His second book, English Pastoral, was also a Top Ten bestseller and was named the Sunday Times Nature Book of the Year. Heralded as a ‘masterpiece’ by the New Statesman, it was shortlisted for the Ondaatje prize, and longlisted for the Rathbones Folio prize and the Orwell Prize for Political Writing.

World Without End

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The French graphic novel that outsold Asterix, became a word-of-mouth sensation and transformed the way millions of readers think about climate change

THE #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

Is this the end of the world? Perhaps not.

In this eye-opening, hopeful and hugely entertaining bestseller, a climate expert takes a leading graphic novelist on a journey to understand the profound changes that our planet is undergoing. The scientist, Jean-Marc Jancovici, walks us through just about everything- from the innermost workings of our minds to toothbrushes, office jobs, and oil; ancient history and modern geopolitics; economics and ecology; the unfolding climate crisis and its consequences for us all. As he describes the world we live in – a world whose future is deeply uncertain – the artist, Christophe Blain, intently listens and draws.

Coming face to face with global warming, the unlikely duo – along with Mother Nature, Yoda and Jiminy Cricket, among others – create a picture of what the solution to our predicament actually looks like. Yes, we have a fossil-fuel problem, but simply switching to renewable energy won’t provide an easy fix. We can and must rethink everything- our energy supply, our economies and our whole world. They leave us with an inspiring vision of the future in which food, education, housing, transport and communities – in other words, all of us – work together and, with a few technological fixes, succeed in creating a world without end.

“Masterful and unforgettable… A testament to the power of the graphic novel” – Marjane Satrapi, author of Persepolis

“READ. THIS. BOOK.– Eliza Griswold, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

“Can a graphic novel save the planet? Perhaps.” – Elizabeth Kolbert.

Christophe Blain is an award-winning artist best known for the series Gus and Quai d’Orsay, for which he won the Best Album Award at Angoulame in 2013.

Jean-Marc Jancovici is an engineering consultant, energy and climate expert, professor, conference speaker, writer, and independent columnist. He is co-founder of the Carbone 4 consultancy firm, and the president of the think-tank The Shift Project.

Trash Talk

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In a world of mass consumption and busy schedules, taking the time to understand our own trash habits can be daunting. In Trash Talk, the ever-curious and talented Iris Gottlieb pulls back the curtain on the intricacies of the global trash production system and its contribution to climate change. From the history of the mafia’s rule of the New York sanitation system to orbital debris (space trash) to the myth of recycling, Gottlieb will help readers see trash in a whole new way.
Complete with beautiful illustrations and several landfills’ worth of research, Trash Talk shines a much-needed light on a system that has been broken for far too long, providing readers with surprising, disgusting, and insightful information to better understand how we affect garbage and how it affects us.

An eye-opening, illustrated look at something we often take for granted-our trash, and the systems in place that make it disappear (or not)

In a world of mass consumption and busy schedules, taking the time to understand our own trash habits can be daunting. In Trash Talk, the ever-curious and talented Iris Gottlieb pulls back the curtain on the intricacies of the global trash production system and its contribution to climate change. From the history of the mafia’s rule of the New York sanitation system to orbital debris (space trash) to the myth of recycling, Gottlieb will help readers see trash in a whole new way.
Complete with beautiful illustrations and several landfills’ worth of research, Trash Talk shines a much-needed light on a system that has been broken for far too long, providing readers with surprising, disgusting, and insightful information to better understand how we affect garbage and how it affects us.

Iris Gottlieb is an illustrator and author who works to make information more accessible through her content. They have illustrated for the New York Times, Smithsonian magazine, NPR, and Good Company, among others, and they have collaborated with museums around the country. Their previous books include Seeing Science, Seeing Gender, Natural Attraction, and Everything Is Temporary.

The Struggle for Taiwan

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A gripping account of the past and future of Taiwan

In the overwhelming chaos across Asia at the end of the Second World War, one relatively minor issue was the future of the Japanese colony of Taiwan, a large island some one hundred miles off the coast of Fujian. Handed to the Kuomintang-ruled Republic of China, in 1949 it suddenly became the focus of global attention as a random cross-section of defeated Nationalists, including President Chiang Kai-shek, fled there from Mao’s triumphant Communist forces.

The Struggle for Taiwan is a balanced and convincing account of the sequence of events that has left Taiwan for generations as a political anomaly, with issues around its status and future continuing to threaten war. With deepening democratization, Taiwan further goads Beijing, remaining functionally independent from China even as Xi Jinping clamours for unification.

This invaluable book allows readers to understand the complex story of this unique place and its role in international relations. With its striking economic dynamism and commitment to democracy, can Taiwan continue – as Hong Kong once did – to thrive, or will China conquer it? And will the world be able to maintain peace across the Taiwan Strait or will it stumble into war?

Sulmaan Wasif Khan is Associate Professor of International History and Chinese Foreign Relations and Denison Chair of History and Diplomacy at the Fletcher School at Tufts University. He is the author of Muslim, Trader, Nomad, Spy- China’s Cold War and the People of the Tibetan Borderlands.

Dispersals

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A poetic and intimate essay collection on the lives of plants and their entanglement with our human worlds

A seed slips beyond a garden wall. A seaweed drifts through an ocean. A tree is planted on a shifting border. A shrub is uprooted from its culture and its land. What happens when these plants leave their original homes and put down roots elsewhere?

Born in Canada to a Taiwanese mother and a Welsh father, steeped in both literary and scientific traditions, Jessica J. Lee is a perfectly placed observer of our world in motion.

In this vibrant book of linked essays she explores the entanglements of the plant and human worlds, and the echoes and counterpoints she detects in the migration of plants and people – and the language we use to describe them.

Each of the plants considered in this collection are somehow perceived as being “out of place”- whether weeds, samples collected through imperial science, or crops introduced and transformed by our hand.

Combining memoir, history, and scientific research in precise and poetic prose, Jessica J. Lee meditates on the question of how both plants and people come to belong – or not – as they border cross, and reveals how all our futures are more entwined than we might imagine.

Jessica J. Lee is a British-Canadian-Taiwanese author and environmental historian. She is the author of two books of nature writing, Turning and Two Trees Make a Forest, and has been awarded the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction, the Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature, and the RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writer Award. Jessica is the founding editor of The Willowherb Review and is a researcher at the University of Cambridge.