Vesper Flights

Vesper Flights
Author: Helen Macdonald
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 288
Release: 2020-08-25
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9780735235519

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER SILVER MEDALIST for the National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature From the bestselling author of H is for Hawk, a brilliant and insightful work about our relationship to the natural world Our world is a fascinating place, teeming not only with natural wonders that defy description, but complex interactions that create layers of meaning. Helen Macdonald is gifted with a special lens that seems to peer right through it all, and she shares her insights--at times startling, nostalgic, weighty, or simply entertaining--in this masterful collection of essays. From reflections on science fiction to the true story of an Iranian refugee's flight to the UK, Macdonald has a truly omnivorous taste when it comes to observations of both the banal and sublime. Peppered throughout are reminisces of her own life, from her strange childhood in an estate owned by the Theosophical Society to watching total eclipses of the sun, visits to Uzbek solar power plants, eccentric English country shows, and desert hunting camps in the Gulf States. These essays move from personal experiences into wider meditations about love and loss and how we build the world around us. Whether more journalistic in tone, or literary--even formally experimental--each piece is generous, lyrical, and speaks to one another. Macdonald creates a strong thematic undertow that quietly takes the reader along piece to piece and sets them down, finally, at a place they've never been before.

Vesper Flights

Vesper Flights
Author: Helen Macdonald
Publsiher: Thorndike Press Large Print
Total Pages: 135
Release: 2021-01-27
Genre: Electronic Book
ISBN: 1432884867

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"Helen Macdonald brings together a collection of her best loved essays with new pieces on topics ranging from nostalgia for a vanishing countryside to the tribulations of farming ostriches to her own private vespers while trying to fall asleep. Meditating on notions of captivity and freedom, immigration and flight, Helen invites us into her most intimate experiences: observing songbirds from the Empire State Building as they migrate through the Tribute of Light, watching tens of thousands of cranes in Hungary, and seeking the last golden orioles in Suffolk's poplar forests"--

Vesper Flights

Vesper Flights
Author: Helen Macdonald
Publsiher: Random House
Total Pages: 272
Release: 2020-08-27
Genre: Nature
ISBN: 9781448130733

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**THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER** 'Thrilling dispatches from a vanishing world' Observer Animals don't exist to teach us things, but that is what they have always done, and most of what they teach us is what we think we know about ourselves. From the bestselling author of H is for Hawk comes Vesper Flights, a transcendent collection of essays about the human relationship to the natural world. Helen Macdonald brings together a collection of her best-loved writing along with new pieces covering a thrilling range of subjects. There are essays here on headaches, on catching swans, on hunting mushrooms, on twentieth-century spies, on numinous experiences and high-rise buildings; on nests and wild pigs and the tribulations of farming ostriches. Vesper Flights is a book about observation, fascination, time, memory, love and loss and how we make the world around us. Moving and frank, personal and political, it confirms Helen Macdonald as one of this century's greatest nature writers. 'Helen Macdonald is one of the best nature writers now working' The Telegraph

H is for Hawk

H is for Hawk
Author: Helen Macdonald
Publsiher: Penguin Canada
Total Pages: 288
Release: 2015-03-03
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9780143194682

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Destined to be a classic of nature writing, the story of how one woman trained a goshawk. As a child Helen Macdonald was determined to become a falconer. She learned the arcane terminology and read all the classic books, including T. H. White’s tortured masterpiece, The Goshawk, which describes White’s struggle to train a hawk as a spiritual contest. When her father dies and she is knocked sideways by grief, she becomes obsessed with the idea of training her own goshawk. She buys Mabel for £800 on a Scottish quayside and takes her home to Cambridge. Then she fills the freezer with hawk food and unplugs the phone, ready to embark on the long, strange business of trying to train this wildest of animals. H is for Hawk is a record of a spiritual journey—an unflinchingly honest account of Macdonald’s struggle with grief during the difficult process of the hawk’s taming and her own untaming. At the same time, it’s a kaleidoscopic biography of the brilliant and troubled novelist T. H. White, best known for The Once and Future King. It’s a book about memory, nature and nation, and how it might be possible to try to reconcile death with life and love. As John Vaillant’s The Tiger depicted the dangerous collision of people and nature, H is for Hawk evokes our deepest longings for something wild. With stunning language that that resonates long after the book’s conclusion, H is for Hawk is destined to be a classic of nature writing.

Between Light and Storm

Between Light and Storm
Author: Esther Woolfson
Publsiher: Granta Books
Total Pages: 135
Release: 2020-09-03
Genre: Nature
ISBN: 9781783782819

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Beginning with the very origins of life on Earth, Woolfson considers pre-historic human-animal interaction and traces the millennia-long evolution of conceptions of the soul and conscience in relation to the animal kingdom, and the consequences of our belief in human superiority. She explores our representation of animals in art, our consumption of them for food, our experiments on them for science, and our willingness to slaughter them for sport and fashion, as well as examining concepts of love and ownership. Drawing on philosophy and theology, art and history, as well as her own experience of living with animals and coming to know, love and respect them as individuals, Woolfson examines some of the most complex ethical issues surrounding our treatment of animals and argues passionately and persuasively for a more humble, more humane, relationship with the creatures who share our world.

The House on Vesper Sands

The House on Vesper Sands
Author: Paraic O'Donnell
Publsiher: Tin House Books
Total Pages: 408
Release: 2021-01-12
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9781951142254

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Named an Indie Next Pick, Library Reads Pick, Apple Books' Best Book, Powells’s Pick, Amazon Fiction & Literature's “Best of the Month," and one of Oprah Daily's Best Historical Novels of 2021 "Funny, eerie, tender, haunting and unsettling, smokily atmospheric, and fantastically enjoyable." —Helen MacDonald, author of Vesper Flights London, 1893: high up in a house on a dark, snowy night, a lone seamstress stands by a window. So begins the swirling, serpentine world of Paraic O’Donnell’s Victorian-inspired mystery, the story of a city cloaked in shadow, but burning with questions: why does the seamstress jump from the window? Why is a cryptic message stitched into her skin? And how is she connected to a rash of missing girls, all of whom seem to have disappeared under similar circumstances? On the case is Inspector Cutter, a detective as sharp and committed to his work as he is wryly hilarious. Gideon Bliss, a Cambridge dropout in love with one of the missing girls, stumbles into a role as Cutter’s sidekick. And clever young journalist Octavia Hillingdon sees the case as a chance to tell a story that matters—despite her employer’s preference that she stick to a women’s society column. As Inspector Cutter peels back the mystery layer by layer, he leads them all, at last, to the secrets that lie hidden at the house on Vesper Sands. By turns smart, surprising, and impossible to put down, The House on Vesper Sands offers a glimpse into the strange undertow of late nineteenth-century London and the secrets we all hold inside us.

Believers

Believers
Author: Lisa Wells
Publsiher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Total Pages: 352
Release: 2021-07-20
Genre: Nature
ISBN: 9780374716585

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"An essential document of our time." —Charles D’Ambrosio, author of Loitering In search of answers and action, the award-winning poet and essayist Lisa Wells brings us Believers, introducing trailblazers and outliers from across the globe who have found radically new ways to live and reconnect to the Earth in the face of climate change We find ourselves at the end of the world. How, then, shall we live? Like most of us, Lisa Wells has spent years overwhelmed by increasingly urgent news of climate change on an apocalyptic scale. She did not need to be convinced of the stakes, but she could not find practical answers. She embarked on a pilgrimage, seeking wisdom and paths to action from outliers and visionaries, pragmatists and iconoclasts. Believers tracks through the lives of these people who are dedicated to repairing the earth and seemingly undaunted by the task ahead. Wells meets an itinerant gardener and misanthrope leading a group of nomadic activists in rewilding the American desert. She finds a group of environmentalist Christians practicing “watershed discipleship” in New Mexico and another group in Philadelphia turning the tools of violence into tools of farming—guns into ploughshares. She watches the world’s greatest tracker teach others how to read a trail, and visits botanists who are restoring land overrun by invasive species and destructive humans. She talks with survivors of catastrophic wildfires in California as they try to rebuild in ways that acknowledge the fires will come again. Through empathic, critical portraits, Wells shows that these trailblazers are not so far beyond the rest of us. They have had the same realization, have accepted that we are living through a global catastrophe, but are trying to answer the next question: How do you make a life at the end of the world? Through this miraculous commingling of acceptance and activism, this focus on seeing clearly and moving forward, Wells is able to take the devastating news facing us all, every day, and inject a possibility of real hope. Believers demands transformation. It will change how you think about your own actions, about how you can still make an impact, and about how we might yet reckon with our inheritance.

Reading Group Choices

Reading Group Choices
Author: Reading Group Choices
Publsiher: Unknown
Total Pages: 176
Release: 2008
Genre: Book clubs (Bookselling)
ISBN: 0975974475

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Lost Found

Lost   Found
Author: Kathryn Schulz
Publsiher: Bond Street Books
Total Pages: 240
Release: 2022-01-11
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9780385693875

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A Pulitzer Prize-winning New Yorker writer tells the story of losing her father and finding the love of her life in this profound meditation on grief and joy. Eighteen months before her beloved father died, Kathryn met Casey, the woman who would become her wife. Lost & Found weaves together their love story with Kathryn's story of losing her father in a brilliant exploration of the way families are lost and found and the ways life dispenses wretchedness and suffering, beauty and grandeur all at once. So much has been written about loss--and Schulz writes with painful clarity about the vicissitudes of grieving her father--but here she writes about the vital phenomenon of finding. The book is organized into three parts: "Lost," which explores the sometimes comic, sometimes frustrating, sometimes heartbreaking experience of losing things, grounded in Kathryn's account of her father's death; "Found," which examines the experience of discovery, from new ideas to new planets, grounded in her story of falling in love; and finally, "And," which contends with the way these events happen in conjunction and imply the inevitable: life keeps going on, not only around us but beyond us and after us. Kathryn Schulz has the ability to measure the depth and breadth of human experience with unusual exactness--she articulates the things all of us feel but have been unable to put into language. Lost & Found is a work of philosophical interrogation as well as a story about life, death and the discovery of one great love just as another is being lost.

Falcon

Falcon
Author: Helen Macdonald
Publsiher: Reaktion Books
Total Pages: 240
Release: 2016-11-15
Genre: Nature
ISBN: 9781780236896

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Before best-selling author Helen Macdonald told the story of the goshawk in H Is for Hawk, she told the story of the falcon, in a cultural history of the masterful creature that can “cut the sky in two” with the “perfectly aerodynamic profile of a raindrop,” as she so incisively puts it. In talon-sharp prose she explores the spell the falcon has had over her and, by extension, all of us, whether we’ve seen them “through binoculars, framed on gallery walls, versified by poets, flown as hunting birds, through Manhattan windows, sewn on flags, stamped on badges, or winnowing through the clouds over abandoned arctic radar stations.” Macdonald dives through centuries and careens around the globe to tell the story of the falcon as it has flown in the wild skies of the natural world and those of our imagination. Mixing history, myth, and legend, she explores the long history of the sport of falconry in many human cultures—from Japan to Abu Dhabi to Oxford; she analyzes the falcon’s talismanic power as a symbol in art, politics, and business; and she addresses the ways we have both endangered and protected it. Along the way we discover how falcons were mobilized in secret military projects; their links with espionage, the Third Reich, the Holy Roman Empire, and space programs; and how they have figured in countless stories of heroism and, of course, the erotic. Best of all, Macdonald has given us something fresh: a new introduction that draws on all her experience to even further invigorate her cherished subject. The result is a deeply informed book written with the same astonishing lyrical grace that has captivated readers and had everyone talking about this writer-cum-falconer.

The Liar s Dictionary

The Liar s Dictionary
Author: Eley Williams
Publsiher: Knopf Canada
Total Pages: 288
Release: 2021-01-05
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9780735281509

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“You wouldn’t expect a comic novel about a dictionary to be a thriller too, but this one is. In fact, [it] is also a mystery, love story (two of them) and cliffhanging melodrama.” —The New York Times Book Review An exhilarating, clever, funny debut novel from a prize-winning talent, chronicling the misadventures of a lovelorn Victorian lexicographer and the young woman who decodes his trail of made-up words a century later. Will enthrall readers of CS Richardson, Helen Simonson's Major Pettigrew and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. Mountweazel (n.), the phenomenon of false entries within dictionaries and works of reference. Often used as a safeguard against copyright infringement. In the final year of the nineteenth century, Peter Winceworth is toiling away at the letter S for Swansby’s multivolume Encyclopaedic Dictionary. Increasingly uneasy that his colleagues are attempting to corral language and regiment facts, Winceworth feels compelled to assert some sense of individual purpose and artistic freedom, and begins inserting unauthorized, fictitious entries into the dictionary. In the present day, Mallory, a young intern employed by the publisher, must uncover these mountweazels before the work is digitized for modern readers. Through the words and their definitions, she begins to sense their creator’s motivations, hopes and desires. More pressingly, she also has to contend with threatening phone calls from an anonymous caller. Is the change in the definition of marriage (n.) really that controversial? And does the caller truly intend for the Swansby’s staff to “burn in hell”? As these two narratives combine, Winceworth and Mallory, separated by one hundred years, must discover how to negotiate the complexities of the often untrustworthy, hoax-strewn and undefinable path we call life. An exhilarating and laugh-out-loud debut, The Liar’s Dictionary celebrates the rigidity, fragility, absurdity and joy of language while peering into questions of identity and finding one’s place in the world.

Subpar Parks

Subpar Parks
Author: Amber Share
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 224
Release: 2021-07-13
Genre: Humor
ISBN: 9780593185544

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**A New York Times Bestseller!** Based on the wildly popular Instagram account, Subpar Parks features both the greatest hits and brand-new content, all celebrating the incredible beauty and variety of America’s national parks juxtaposed with the clueless and hilarious one-star reviews posted by visitors. Subpar Parks, both on the popular Instagram page and in this humorous, informative, and collectible book, combines two things that seem like they might not work together yet somehow harmonize perfectly: beautiful illustrations and informative, amusing text celebrating each national park paired with the one-star reviews disappointed tourists have left online. Millions of visitors each year enjoy Glacier National Park, but for one visitor, it was simply "Too cold for me!" Another saw the mind-boggling vistas of Bryce Canyon as "Too spiky!" Never mind the person who visited the thermal pools at Yellowstone National Park and left thinking, “Save yourself some money, boil some water at home.” Featuring more than 50 percent new material, the book will include more depth and insight into the most popular parks, such as Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and Acadia National Parks; anecdotes and tips from rangers; and much more about author Amber Share's personal love and connection to the outdoors. Equal parts humor and love for the national parks and the great outdoors, it's the perfect gift for anyone who loves to spend time outside as well as have a good read (and laugh) once they come indoors.

Tunnel 29

Tunnel 29
Author: Helena Merriman
Publsiher: PublicAffairs
Total Pages: 352
Release: 2021-08-24
Genre: History
ISBN: 9781541788824

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He escaped from one of the world’s most brutal regimes.Then, he decided to tunnel back in. In the summer of 1962, a young student named Joachim Rudolph dug a tunnel under the Berlin Wall. Waiting on the other side in East Berlin were dozens of men, women, and children—all willing to risk everything to escape. From the award-winning creator of the acclaimed BBC Radio 4 podcast, Tunnel 29 is the true story of this most remarkable Cold War rescue mission. Drawing on interviews with the survivors and Stasi files, Helena Merriman brilliantly reveals the stranger-than-fiction story of the ingenious group of student-diggers, the glamorous red-haired messenger, the Stasi spy who threatened the whole enterprise, and the love story that became its surprising epilogue. Tunnel 29 was also the first made-for-TV event of its kind; it was funded by NBC, who wanted to film an escape in real time. Their documentary—which was nearly blocked from airing by the Kennedy administration, which wanted to control the media during the Cold War—revolutionized TV journalism. Ultimately, Tunnel 29 is a success story about freedom: the valiant citizens risking everything to win it back, and the larger world rooting for them to triumph.

Owls of the Eastern Ice

Owls of the Eastern Ice
Author: Jonathan C. Slaght
Publsiher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Total Pages: 368
Release: 2020-08-04
Genre: Nature
ISBN: 9780374718091

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A New York Times Notable Book of 2020 Longlisted for the National Book Award Winner of the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award and the Minnesota Book Award for General Nonfiction A Finalist for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year Award Winner of the Peace Corps Worldwide Special Book Award A Best Book of the Year: NPR, The Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, The Globe and Mail, The BirdBooker Report, Geographical, Open Letter Review Best Nature Book of the Year: The Times (London) "A terrifically exciting account of [Slaght's] time in the Russian Far East studying Blakiston’s fish owls, huge, shaggy-feathered, yellow-eyed, and elusive birds that hunt fish by wading in icy water . . . Even on the hottest summer days this book will transport you.” —Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk, in Kirkus I saw my first Blakiston’s fish owl in the Russian province of Primorye, a coastal talon of land hooking south into the belly of Northeast Asia . . . No scientist had seen a Blakiston’s fish owl so far south in a hundred years . . . When he was just a fledgling birdwatcher, Jonathan C. Slaght had a chance encounter with one of the most mysterious birds on Earth. Bigger than any owl he knew, it looked like a small bear with decorative feathers. He snapped a quick photo and shared it with experts. Soon he was on a five-year journey, searching for this enormous, enigmatic creature in the lush, remote forests of eastern Russia. That first sighting set his calling as a scientist. Despite a wingspan of six feet and a height of over two feet, the Blakiston’s fish owl is highly elusive. They are easiest to find in winter, when their tracks mark the snowy banks of the rivers where they feed. They are also endangered. And so, as Slaght and his devoted team set out to locate the owls, they aim to craft a conservation plan that helps ensure the species’ survival. This quest sends them on all-night monitoring missions in freezing tents, mad dashes across thawing rivers, and free-climbs up rotting trees to check nests for precious eggs. They use cutting-edge tracking technology and improvise ingenious traps. And all along, they must keep watch against a run-in with a bear or an Amur tiger. At the heart of Slaght’s story are the fish owls themselves: cunning hunters, devoted parents, singers of eerie duets, and survivors in a harsh and shrinking habitat. Through this rare glimpse into the everyday life of a field scientist and conservationist, Owls of the Eastern Ice testifies to the determination and creativity essential to scientific advancement and serves as a powerful reminder of the beauty, strength, and vulnerability of the natural world.

Silent Snow

Silent Snow
Author: Marla Cone
Publsiher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
Total Pages: 256
Release: 2007-12-01
Genre: Nature
ISBN: 9781555847692

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“A slender but punch-packing overview of the environmental destruction of the Far North” from the award-winning environmental reporter (Kirkus Reviews). Traditionally thought of as the last great unspoiled territory on Earth, the Arctic is in reality home to some of the most severe contamination on the planet. Awarded a major grant by the Pew Charitable Trusts to study the Arctic’s deteriorating environment, Los Angeles Times environmental reporter Marla Cone traveled across the Far North, from Greenland to the Aleutian Islands, to find out why the Arctic has become so toxic. Silent Snow is not only a scientific journey, but a personal one with experiences that range from tracking endangered polar bears in Norway to hunting giant bowhead whales with native Alaskans struggling to protect their livelihood. Through it all, Cone reports with heartbreaking immediacy on the dangers of pollution to native peoples and ecosystems, how Arctic cultures are adapting to this pollution, and what solutions will prevent the crisis from getting worse.