Born OTD in 1914, English poet, novelist and screenwriter, Laurie Lee. A moving, never-before-published portrait of the landscape that shaped the life of Laurie Lee, the beloved author of Cider With Rosie’. Before I left the valley I thought everywhere was like this. Then I went away for 40 years and when I came back I realized that nowhere was like this. ‘Laurie Lee walked out of his childhood village one summer morning to travel the world, but he was always drawn back to his beloved Slad Valley, eventually returning to make it his home.

In this portrait of his Cotswold home, Laurie Lee guides us through its landscapes, and shares memories of his village … More

An unnamed narrator, recently bereaved, travels to Olevano, a small village south-east of Rome. It is winter, & from her temporary residence on a hill between village & cemetery, she embarks on walks & outings, exploring the banal & the sublime with equal dedication & intensity. Seeing, describing, naming the world around her is her way of redefining her place within it. Written in a rich & poetic style, Grove is an exquisite novel of grief, love & landscapes.

‘The language and atmosphere is again redolent of Kinsky‚Äôs compatriot WG Sebald, the much-missed psychogeographer. With Grove, she has reached … More

Solnit became an Irish citizen in 1986 thanks to some “fancy detective work” by an uncle who tracked down her mother’s Irish roots. “I’ve been in hybrid California, world capital of amnesia, nearly all my life,” she says. The new passport gives her an opportunity to explore notions of identity, memory and travel as a stranger in a strange land. Although ostensibly a travelogue, Solnit’s wonderfully discursive text ranges far and wide, through the geography and history of Ireland, tourism, migration and travel. Descriptions of places and people segue into brilliant meditations on metaphor, exile and nomadism.

Her meeting with Ireland’s Travellers (“hated, isolated and sometimes admired”) is a painful reminder of the US civil rights issues … More

When Bob Gilbert moved to London’s East End, he began to record the natural world of his new inner city patch. Especially the trees: their history, their stories, the trees’ relationship with people. Bob takes a personal journey of exploration through the generations of trees that have helped shape the London district of Poplar, from the original wildwood through to the street trees of today.

Drawing from history and natural history, poetry and painting, myth and magic, he reveals the hidden influences that lost landscapes … More

Inland from the Wash, on England’s eastern cost, crisscrossed by substantial rivers & punctuated by soaring church spires, are the low-lying, marshy & mysterious Fens. Formed by marine & freshwater flooding, & historically wealthy owing to the fertility of their soils, the Fens of Lincolnshire & Cambridgeshire are one of the most distinctive, neglected & extraordinary regions of England. Francis Pryor has the most intimate of connections with this landscape. For some 40 years he has dug its soils as a working archaeologist – making ground-breaking discoveries about the nature of prehistoric settlement in the area – & raising sheep in the flower-growing country between Spalding & Wisbech.

In The Fens, he counterpoints the history of the Fenland landscape and its transformation – from Bronze age field systems … More

Mod Ghosts focuses on the second, longest & most well observed of Mod’s three extended summers, which began in 1979. This is not a Mod book – it is a book about Mod. It is also about history, belonging, identity & the never-ending task of growing up. Above all, Mod Ghosts is about the relationship all of these things have with place. Juxtaposing photographs from the period with shots of the same location in the present day.

Shots of Hastings’ Mods from local modernist John Gale; as well as others from Epping, Ipswich, Stoke, Guernsey and of … More

Naturalist Stephen Moss digs beneath the surface of some of our most popular Christmas carols in an ornithological celebration of the Festive Season. Using the structure of the carol as a jumping off point, he explores the place of twelve fascinating British birds in our history, culture and landscape. Some of the birds are obvious, there’s the swan and of course the partridge.

Other chapters are loose interpretations of a verse: for drummers drumming he delves into the woodpecker’s distinctive drumming tap. Woodpeckers, … More

Before I left the valley I thought everywhere was like this. Then I went away for 40 years and when I came back I realized that nowhere was like this. ‘Laurie Lee walked out of his childhood village one summer morning to travel the world, but he was always drawn back to his beloved Slad Valley, eventually returning to make it his home. In this portrait of his Cotswold home, Laurie Lee guides us through its landscapes, and shares memories of his village youth – from his favourite pub, The Woolpack, to winter skating on the pond, the church through the seasons, local legends, learning the violin and playing jazz records in the privy on a wind-up gramophone.

A moving, never-before-published portrait of the landscape that shaped the life of Laurie Lee, the beloved author of Cider With … More

Somewhere on a salt-and-shingle island, inside a ruined concrete structure known as The Green Chapel, a figure called The Armourer is leading a ritual with terrible intent. But something is coming to stop him. Five more-than-human forms are traversing land, sea and time towards The Green Chapel, moving to the point where they will converge and become Ness. Ness has lichen skin and willow-bones. Ness is made of tidal drift, green moss & deep time. Ness has hagstones for eyes and speaks only in birds. And Ness has come to take this island back. What happens when land comes to life? What would it take for land to need to come to life? Using word and image, Robert Macfarlane & Stanley Donwood have together made a minor modern myth.

Part-novella, part-prose-poem, part-mystery play, in Ness their skills combine to dazzling, troubling effect. Robert Macfarlane is the author of The … More

Following on from The Stone Tide, Gareth Rees’ ‘Car Park Life’, is out now. Car parks: commonplace urban landscapes, little-explored & rarely featured in art and music, yet they shape the aesthetics of our towns & cities. Hotspots for crime, rage & sexual deviancy; a blind spot in which activities go unnoticed. Skateboarding, car stunts, drug dealing, dogging, murder. Gareth Rees believes that the retail car park has as much mystery, magic & terror as any mountain, meadow or wood. He’s out to prove it by walking the car parks of Britain, journeying across the country from Plymouth to Edinburgh, much to the horror of his family, friends – and, most of all – himself.

He finds Sir Francis Drake outside B&Q, standing stones in a retail park, and a dead body beside Sainsbury’s. In … More