The Old Ways - Robert Macfarlane

Welcome to the world of shielings, orthliths, and zawns. In the third chronicle of his travels, the mountaineer and prodigious walker Robert Macfarlane introduces The Old Ways (Viking, $27.95) of Britain, its coastal islands, and the water routes in between. Traversing a variety of drove roads, pilgrim paths, and green lanes, some so old and half-forgotten that they’re more legend than passage, Macfarlane meditates on a past that kept our species in motion around fields and shores; he calls this work “biogeography” and traces the reciprocal shaping of landscape and human practices. But if his rigorous hikes and sea voyages in a tiny, century-old craft give him a taste of previous eras, they also root him firmly in the here-and-now. As he describes the sounds, smells, and sheer spectacle of being awakened by skylarks before dawn or watching the sunset shatter in a set of bog pools, he offers some of the crispest, most immediate nature writing around.

The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot (Landscapes #3) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780147509796
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Books - September 24th, 2013

A World in One Cubic Foot - David Liittschwager

How much can live on twelve inches of the Earth? Plenty. In fact, look closely and you’ll find A World in One Cubic Foot (Univ. of Chicago, $45). National Geographic photographer and one-time assistant to Richard Avedon, David Liittschwager traveled the world and focused on one cubic foot of six distinct habitats. Ranging from Central Park to a Central American cloud forest, from Tennessee’s Duck River to a Polynesian coral reef, Liittschwager’s subjects yield not the lush panoramas of classic nature imagery but the finest details of the tiniest creatures. A cubic foot of water under the Golden Gate Bridge harbors some 9,000 living organisms; a drop of this water reveals their diverse shapes, textures, and delicate colors. And who dreamed that the Temae Reef’s squat lobster (.49” across) boasted such dazzling orange spots? Whether you’re looking the minuscule (.39” long) shell-less marine snail in its black speck of an eye or admiring the velvety green moss on a river cooter’s back, these elegant, amazing pictures are simply beautiful. Oh, and—the photos are complemented by essays from distinguished writers—poets, journalists, scientists—who also live in these places.

A World in One Cubic Foot: Portraits of Biodiversity Cover Image
By David Liittschwager, E. O. Wilson (Foreword by), W. S. DiPiero (Text by), Alan Huffman (Text by), August Kleinzahler (Text by), Elizabeth Kolbert (Text by), Nalini M. Nadkarni (Text by), Jasper Slingsby (Text by), Peter Slingsby (Text by)
ISBN: 9780226481234
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: University of Chicago Press - November 21st, 2012

The Kitchen Diaries - Nigel Slater

The Kitchen Diaries (Studio, $40) invite us to spend a year in the kitchen of the beloved chef Nigel Slater. Known throughout the UK for his cooking shows and literature, Slater is widely considered to be the best food writer today. For me the reason for this is simple: Slater loves food. He loves it in a way that makes it precious and dear, and his writing makes the reader feel the same way. Reading his words about a particular dish, a favorite meal, or a time when he gathered with friends over beer and snacks will make you regret that you could not be there—regretful that you missed both the food and the pleasure of his friendship. The words are beautiful. The recipes are tried and true. The Kitchen Diaries is a must read for any foodie.