In a sense this book is a garden-based autobiography of Britain's most famous birdwatcher. The main narrative covers Bill's personal relationship, not only with his present garden, which was described by the Daily Mail as "Probably the most bizarre back garden in Britain", but also with the gardens he has known throughout his life. The first was what he has called "a sink full of mud" in industrial Rochdale in the 1940s. Next came a larger garden on the edge of Birmingham which he used as a bird ringing station, sometimes helped or hindered by his granny, who often trimmed the lawn with a pair of scissors!In Tales of Ludicrous Bird Gardens there are plenty of eccentric stories about garden characters such as the 'feng shui fox', who constantly rearranged the ornaments, 'Limpy', the one-legged single-parent Great Tit, and one memorable nightmarish occasion when over 50 rats came to visit! This book is NOT an instructional guide on 'How to be a ludicrous gardener' although it may well prove inspirational to others to have a go, or to warn them on what to avoid. Bill abhors decking, large concrete patios, and above, all leaf-blowers. As well as neighbours who whinge about the parakeets! What is certain about Tales of Ludicrous Bird Gardens is that Bill's entertaining take on gardening for birds makes compelling reading.
The acclaimed author of Motoring with Mohammed brings us a compelling adventure into the remarkable world of the orchid and the impossibly bizarre array of international characters who dedicte their lives to it. The orchid is used for everything from medicine for elephants to an aphrodisiac ice cream. A Malaysian species can grow to weigh half a ton while a South American species fires miniature pollen darts at nectar-sucking bees. But the orchid is also the center of an illicit international business: one grower in Santa Barbara tends his plants while toting an Uzi, and a former collector has been in hiding for seven years after serving a jail sentence for smuggling thirty dollars worth of orchids into Britain. Deftly written and captivatingly researched, Orchid Fever is an endlessly enchanting and entertaining tour of an exotic world. "A wonderful book, I've been up all night reading it, laughing and crying out in horror and clucking at the vivid images of bureaucracy with the bit in its teeth." —Annie Proulx "An extraordinary, well-told tale of botany, obsession and plant politics. Hansen's vivid descriptions of the complex techniques some orchids use to pollinate themselves will raise your eyebrows at nature's sexual ingenuity." —USA Today
Bird-watchers are tense, competitive, selfish, shifty, dishonest, distrusting, boorish, pedantic, unsentimental, arrogant and - above all - envious'. So says Bill Oddie, and he should know! It's a tough environment out there on marsh and moorland, and this scurrilous little classic is a must for all devoted birders and twitchers (and as Bill relates, there is a mighty difference!). With years of hard-earned experience, Bill dares to say all the things that other b's and t's will recognize as true but which they have never dared to own up or admit to, even to themselves. Whether discussing the birds he's seen, the birds that got away, equipment, apparel, sightings, cock-ups, places to visit or people to avoid, Bill's enthusiasm is infectious, and his knowledge unsurpassed. This little black book is one item that no serious birdwatcher can afford to leave out of the rucksack, and it will prove an essential companion when trudging the estuaries and riverbanks, in torrential rain and gusty gale in search of that elusive rare beauty.
With the publication of The Third Policeman, Dalkey Archive Press now has all of O'Brien's fiction back in print.
DON’T MISS BRIDGE OF CLAY, MARKUS ZUSAK’S FIRST NOVEL SINCE THE BOOK THIEF. The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul. When Death has a story to tell, you listen. It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time. “The kind of book that can be life-changing.” —The New York Times “Deserves a place on the same shelf with The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.” —USA Today
Olivia—who manages both a mysterious, lush garden and a safe home for abused women—is investigated by a former childhood friend who is now a cop after neighbors lodge complaints. By the author of The Wishing Thread. Original. 25,000 first printing.
A Book of Natural History presents an unrivaled visual survey of Earth's natural history. Giving a clear overview of the classification of our natural world species-A Book of Natural Histo looks at every kingdom of life, from bacteria, minerals, and rocks to fossils to plants and animals. Featuring a remarkable array of illustrations, the book looks at many of specimens and species that take the reader on an incredible journey from the most fundamental building blocks of the world's landscapes, through the simplest of life forms, to plants, fungi, and animals. David Starr Jordan, Ph. D., LL. D. (1851-1931) was a leading ichthyologist, educator and peace activist. He was president of Indiana University and Stanford University. He was also an early leader in the American Eugenics movement. He was an extremely prolific writer, with 650 articles and books on ichthyology alone, and 1,400 other works.
A classic John Buchan story of daring-do and espionage during World War I. This classic works, originally published in 1933, is here being republished together with a new introductory biography of the author.
A humorous and very personal guide written by Bill Bailey about his favourite British birds, complete with drawings, notes and cartoons by the comedian himself. 'When herons are spooked they have a habit of vomiting as a defence. Half-digested pieces of eel and water vole skull on your head is not a good look. Just so you know.' Bill Bailey's wonderfully charming and informative book on the birds he loves is now available as a handy, easy-to-carry pocket paperback. Packed with the comedian's observations, illustrations and sketches, this edition is perfect for birdwatching expeditions, with new information for proper twitchers, including: · A 'British Birds' checklist · A list of the best birdwatching sites in the UK · Suggestions of bird spotting equipment · Information about joining a birdwatching club Bailey takes us on a journey around the British Isles, zooming in on those birds that enthuse him the most. Whether it's what they eat, where they fly to or how they communicate, these birds are always fascinating, and he introduces us to their weird and wonderful ways in a manner that is always entertaining. If you're a parent who'd like to appear a bit clever when your child asks you the name of a bird; if you want to find a new and healthy hobby that takes you outdoors; or whether, quite simply, you want to understand a bit more about our natural environment and have a laugh at the same time, this is the companion book to have. Funny and insightful, and positively crackling with energy, knowledge and wit, this beautiful paperback will delight Bailey's fans, birds as well as those who fancy a bit of armchair escapism. Alongside music and stand-up, one of Bailey's favourite pastimes is birdwatching, which he has been doing since he was a child in the West Country. His fondest memories are of family outings with parents, grandparents and cousins, ticking the birds off in his little Observer's Book of Birds. As he has said about those formative years, 'birdwatching gave a purpose to the day and a love of the natural world which has carried on into my adult life'.
After modern science turns every human into a genetic time bomb with men dying at age twenty-five and women dying at age twenty, girls are kidnapped and married off in order to repopulate the world.
NAMED A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2017#1 New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller! A five-hundred-year-old legend. An ancient curse. A stunning medical mystery. And a pioneering journey into the unknown heart of the world's densest jungle. Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location. Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization. Venturing into this raw, treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful wilderness to confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn't until they returned that tragedy struck: Preston and others found they had contracted in the ruins a horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease. Suspenseful and shocking, filled with colorful history, hair-raising adventure, and dramatic twists of fortune, THE LOST CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD is the absolutely true, eyewitness account of one of the great discoveries of the twenty-first century.
Winner of the UK’s Richard & Judy Search for a Bestseller Competition, this page-turning debut novel follows an orphan whose late, beloved best friend bequeaths her a treasure hunt that leads her all over Victorian England and finally to the one secret her friend never shared. It is 1831 when eight-year-old Aurelia Vennaway finds a naked baby girl abandoned in the snow on the grounds of her aristocratic family’s magnificent mansion. Her parents are horrified that she has brought a bastard foundling into the house, but Aurelia convinces them to keep the baby, whom she names Amy Snow. Amy is brought up as a second-class citizen, despised by Vennaways, but she and Aurelia are as close as sisters. When Aurelia dies at the age of twenty-three, she leaves Amy ten pounds, and the Vennaways immediately banish Amy from their home. But Aurelia left her much more. Amy soon receives a packet that contains a rich inheritance and a letter from Aurelia revealing she had kept secrets from Amy, secrets that she wants Amy to know. From the grave she sends Amy on a treasure hunt from one end of England to the other: a treasure hunt that only Amy can follow. Ultimately, a life-changing discovery awaits...if only Amy can unlock the secret. In the end, Amy escapes the Vennaways, finds true love, and learns her dearest friend’s secret, a secret that she will protect for the rest of her life. An abandoned baby, a treasure hunt, a secret. As Amy sets forth on her quest, readers will be swept away by this engrossing gem of a novel—the wonderful debut by newcomer Tracy Rees.
What is it like to be a swift, flying at over one hundred kilometres an hour? Or a kiwi, plodding flightlessly among the humid undergrowth in the pitch dark of a New Zealand night? And what is going on inside the head of a nightingale as it sings, and how does its brain improvise? Bird Sense addresses questions like these and many more, by describing the senses of birds that enable them to interpret their environment and to interact with each other. Our affinity for birds is often said to be the result of shared senses--vision and hearing--but how exactly do their senses compare with our own? And what about a bird's sense of taste, or smell, or touch, or the ability to detect the earth's magnetic field? Or the extraordinary ability of desert birds to detect rain hundreds of kilometres away--how do they do it? Bird Sense is based on a conviction that we have consistently underestimated what goes on in a bird's head. Our understanding of bird behaviour is simultaneously informed and constrained by the way we watch and study them. By drawing attention to the way these frameworks both facilitate and inhibit discovery, Birkhead identifies ways we can escape from them to explore new horizons in bird behaviour. There has never been a popular book about the senses of birds. No one has previously looked at how birds interpret the world or the way the behaviour of birds is shaped by all their senses. A lifetime spent studying birds has provided Tim Birkhead with a wealth of observation and a unique understanding of birds and their behaviour that is firmly grounded in science.
A quirky, brilliant novel starring Chauncey Gardiner, an enigmatic man who rises from nowhere to become a media phenomenon—“a fabulous creature of our age” (Newsweek). One of the most beloved novels by the New York Times–bestselling and National Book Award–winning author of The Painted Bird and Pinball, Being There is the story of a mysterious man who finds himself at the center of Wall Street and Washington power—including his role as a policy adviser to the president—despite the fact that no one is quite sure where he comes from, or what he is actually talking about. Nevertheless, Chauncey “Chance” Gardiner is celebrated by the media, and hailed as a visionary, in this satirical masterpiece that became an award-winning film starring Peter Sellers. As wise and timely as ever, Being There is “a tantalizing knuckleball of a book delivered with perfectly timed satirical hops and metaphysical flutters” (Time).
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.
An unforgettable story of an extraordinary love and a town's prejudice during World War II. Sophie and the Rising Sun "suggests the small but heartwarming triumphs made possible by human dignity and courage." -Publisher's Weekly. In sleepy Salty Creek, Georgia, strangers are rare. When a quiet, unassuming stranger arrives--a Japanese man with a secret history of his own--he becomes the talk of the town and a new beginning for lonely Sophie, who lost her first love during World War I. Middle-aged Sophie had resigned herself to a passionless existence. That all begins to change as she finds herself drawn to the mysterious Mr. Oto. When the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, Mr. Oto's newfound life comes under siege; his safety, even in Salty Creek, is no longer certain. Sophie must decide how much she is willing to risk for a future with the man who has brought such joy into her life. Visit the author at: www.AugustaTrobaugh.com
Murasaki Shikibu, the real-life author of "The Tale of Genji," uses her imagination and storytelling abilities to escape from loneliness, and later to entertain the empress and express the political and sexual intrigue she has experienced.