Books to delight in for years to come

February 23rd, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

 Two books that go together, and our first hardback editions, have recently received glowing reviews.

The Ecology of Everyday Things by Mark Everard is reviewed by Jimi Irwin for the Institute of Environmental Sciences:

… everyday things covered include t-shirts, a bowl of rice, fresh air and a hot bath, before the book moves on to cover more obviously natural objects: trees, ‘unappealing creatures’ such as wasps and woodlice and, not surprisingly given the author’s interests, fish!

The thinking which underpins this book is nicely encapsulated in a short description of how the author’s home village has changed over the centuries – even the name from Somerford Magna to Great Somerford. While the importance of ecosystems was once readily apparent to villagers, today it may seem far removed from day to day life. But it is still there, supplying and regenerating the materials necessary for life. The book ends with a discussion of the ecology of space travel, along with some further reflections on Living on a Planet and the associated sustainability challenges.

With numerous references for the reader who wishes to explore further, this is an entertaining journey. The author makes it clear that this book is not intended to be didactic (although it may occasionally stray a little in that direction); rather it aims to celebrate the complex natural linkages which underpin our everyday activities. And it does so wonderfully well.

This slender volume is well worth a place on your bookshelf – read it (with or without a cup of tea), enjoy it, think about it – and encourage your friends to do likewise.

Go to the book’s page: The Ecology of Everyday Things by Mark Everard, to order for £13 plus p&p. Order two or more books direct from Cultured Llama and postage and packing is free.

Les Animots: A Human Bestiarypoems by Gordon Meade, illustrations by Douglas Robertson is given a thorough appreciation by Fiona Sinclair in a review on London Grip:

This is a collection to return to. The poems have layered meanings that often are only grasped on second or third readings. The reader comes away with a sense of a common bond between man and animals. Such a bond can lead to us considering not only social issues but also deeper philosophical concepts such as the relevance of our lives, our origins and our desire for some kind of spirituality. Meade’s words, coupled with Robertson’s exquisite images, make this a book to delight in and savour for years to come.

Go to the book’s page: Les Animots: A Human Bestiary to order for £13 plus p&p. Order two or more books direct from Cultured Llama and postage and packing is free.

The Ecology of Everyday Things – great fun and informative

February 1st, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Shaun Leonard of the Wild Trout Trust finds The Ecology of Everyday Things by Mark Everard ‘great fun and informative’, in a review for the Institute of Fisheries Management quarterly magazine. This is the first Cultured Llama book to be reviewed in such a publication, and this is due to Mark’s ‘growing library of fishy books on dace, roach, Britain’s game fish, Britain’s freshwater fish, our little fishes and coarse fish habitats.’

Everard Front CoverThere are some similarities in that Mark’s fish books carry conservation messages at their heart and in Everyday Things, he emphasizes that “Central to this book is an appreciation of how nature is integral to the everyday objects in our lives” and he manages to sneak in a chapter on special things about fishes, but the journey that this latest offering takes us on is very different and hugely enjoyable.

Chapter 3, My trendy tee-shirts, (there’s a joke in itself for anyone that knows Mark) demonstrates the point. The chapter starts with Mark rolling out of bed and donning a tee shirt, then he’s off about the history of cotton, its significance in a global economic and political context (including Gandhi’s use of the cotton supply chain for his own political movement), the environmental impact of cotton growing including its intensive water needs and what those needs have done disastrously in places like the Aral Sea.

Markie mugshot #05 (processed) 3cmMark’s books are invariably light hearted and resonate with his personality; Everyday Things is no different. Take chapter 9: Unappealing creatures, in which Mark addresses those burning questions like “what’s the point of slugs?” and “what’s the point of wasps?”. But, the book also includes some really, really important messages: “…it is nature that supports our wellbeing throughout evolution, now and into the future”.

You can order The Ecology of Everyday Things for £12 plus p&p. Find out more about Mark Everard on his author page.

 

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