The Gathering Tide

Karen Lloyd

Karen Lloyd is an award-winning writer of non-fiction and poetry based in Kendal, Cumbria. Her most recent book, Abundance, was longlisted for the James Cropper Wainwright Prize for Conservation Writing in 2022. Both her debut, The Gathering Tide, which explores the edgelands of Morecambe Bay, and her second book, The Blackbird Diaries, won Lakeland Book Awards and were selected as books of the year, in the Observer and the Birdwatcher’s Handbook. She has contributed to the Guardian Country Diary, Royal Geographical Society magazine, BBC Wildlife and Countryfile, and she edited and produced Curlew Calling Anthology to raise awareness of curlew restoration. Karen gained her PhD from Lancaster University, where she now teaches part time on the Creative Writing MA and is writer in residence at the Future Places Centre.

The Gathering Tide

by Karen Lloyd

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  • Format: Paperback, Edition: Second
  • ISBN: 9781913393809
  • Ebook ISBN: 9781910192207

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“Evocative, muscular.” – Kathleen Jamie.

Karen Lloyd takes us on a deeply personal journey around the 60 miles of coastline that make up ‘nature’s amphitheatre’.

Embarking on a series of walks that take in beguiling landscapes and ever-changing seascapes, Karen tells the stories of the places, people, wildlife and history of Morecambe Bay. So we meet the King’s Guide to the Sands, discover forgotten caves and islands that don’t exist, and delight in the simple beauty of an oystercatcher winging its way across the ebbing tide.

As we walk with Karen, she explores her own memories of the bay, making an unwitting pilgrimage through her own past and present, as well as that of the bay. The result is a singular and moving account of one of Britain’s most alluring coastal areas.

Prizes and awards

Lakeland Book of the Year 2016, Striding Edge Prize, WINNER

Writing Landscape

Linda Cracknell

Linda Cracknell is a writer of narrative non-fiction on the natural world, as well as of fiction and radio scripts. Her first story collection was nominated for a Saltire Award (now Scotland’s National Book Awards) and the Robin Jenkins Award for environmental writing, and her essay collection Doubling Back: Ten Paths Trodden in Memory, about journeys she took on foot in Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, and Kenya, was serialised for BBC Radio as a Book of the Week. All of Linda’s writing is inspired first and foremost by place, and she teaches creative writing, especially nature and place writing.

Writing Landscape

by Linda Cracknell

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  • ISBN: 9781913393724
  • Publication date: April 6, 2023

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Inhabiting a landscape, walking a landscape, writing a place and time…

For Linda Cracknell, exposure to wind, rock, mist, and salt water is integral to her writing process. She follows Susan Sontag’s advice to “Love words, agonise over sentences, and pay attention to the world,” observing and writing her landscapes from the particulars of each moment.

In this varied essay collection, Linda backpacks on a small island that is connected to the mainland only at low tide. In winter snow, she hikes the wooded hillside close to her home, a place she is intimately familiar with in all seasons. And she retraces over three days the steps of a trek made by her parents seven decades earlier. She explores her inspirations, in nature and from other artists and their work, and she offers thoughtful writing prompts.

Reading this collection will take you to new places, open your eyes to the world, and suggest ways to take note and make notes as you go—to inspire your own attentive looking, journaling, and writing practice.

The Zen of Climbing

Francis Sanzaro

Francis Sanzaro PhD is a climber, academic, speaker, and the author of books on philosophy, climbing, athletic theory and comparative religion. His essays, poetry and fiction have appeared in The New York Times, Outside, Huffington Post, Climbing, Adventure Journal, The Baltimore Post Examiner, Continental Philosophy Review, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Rock and Ice, among a dozen others. His books include The Boulder: A Philosophy for Bouldering; and Society Elsewhere: Why the Gravest Threat to Humanity Will Come From Within. He appeared at TEDx Ascend in Colorado speaking on approaches to risk and our relationship with the natural world.

The Zen of Climbing

by Francis Sanzaro

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  • ISBN: 9781913393717
  • Publication date: April 13, 2023

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What do Zen masters, sixteenth-century Samurai, and the world’s elite climbers have in common?
  – They have acquired the art of awareness.

Climbing is a sport of perception, and our level of attainment is a matter of mind as much as body.

Written by philosopher, essayist, and lifelong climber Francis Sanzaro, The Zen of Climbing explores the fundamentals of successful climbing, delving into sports psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, and Taoism. Awareness, he argues, is the foundation of climbing, allowing us to merge mental and physical attributes in one embodied whole.

Written by the author of the classic The Boulder: A Philosophy of Bouldering, this book puts the climber’s mind at the forefront of practice.

An Exquisite Sense of What is Beautiful

J. David Simons

J. David Simons is a Scottish author, media journalist and literary editor. His first novel, The Credit Draper, was shortlisted for the McKitterick Prize, and his subsequent novels include The Liberation of Celia Kahn (2011), The Land Agent (2014), A Woman of Integrity (2017), The Responsibility of Love (2021), as well as An Exquisite Sense of What is Beautiful (new edition published in 2023). He has been awarded several bursaries from Creative Scotland and the Society of Authors and in 2012 was the recipient of a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship.

Simons is also a former lawyer, charity administrator, cotton farmer and university lecturer. His nomadic lifestyle has allowed him to spend considerable time in Israel, Australia, Japan and the United States, and he currently lives in Javea, Spain.

An Exquisite Sense of What is Beautiful

by J. David Simons

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  • Format: Paperback, Edition: 2
  • ISBN: 9781913393700
  • Publication date: March 16, 2023

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The personal collides with the political in this literary tour-de-force. In the 1950s, an eminent British writer pens a novel questioning the ethics of the nuclear destruction at Hiroshima and Nagasaki—but soon he’s trying to outrun his own past.

Hakone, Japan, 2003. An eminent British writer in his seventies, Sir Edward Strathairn, returns to a resort in the Japanese mountains where, in his youth, he spent a beautiful, snowed-in winter.

It was there he wrote his best-selling novel, The Waterwheel, accusing America of being in denial about the horrific aftermath of the Tokyo firebombings and the nuclear destruction at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

London, England, 1952. A young Edward falls in love with an avant-garde American artist, Macy. After their tumultuous relationship and breakup, he heads for Japan, where he meets someone else and becomes smitten again as he writes the novel that makes him famous.

This is as much a thrilling romance as it is a sensitive exploration of blame, power and guilt in post-war America, Japan and Britain. With a narrator whose behaviour strikes the national conscience as much as his own, An Exquisite Sense of What is Beautiful will stay with readers long after the final page is turned.

REVIEWS OF An Exquisite Sense of What is Beautiful

"An accomplished and compelling novel by a storyteller at the top of his game, An Exquisite Sense Of What Is Beautiful lives up to its ambitious title, delivering a story that is both delicate in its detail and politically robust." Chris Dolan, author of the award-winning Ascension Day, Redlegs and Aliyyah

"Highly accomplished and moving novel. It says much for Simons' skill that he can show us a [protagonist] Strathairn who for all his flaws and occasional selfishness can engage our sympathies when he finally realises the cost of his own denial." Sunday Herald

"If you're going to call your novel An Exquisite Sense of What is Beautiful then you have to be prepared to back it up. Luckily David Simons does this with style and substance. Simons pulls off one of the hardest tricks for a novelist, reflecting world events through the lives of individuals while avoiding the reader feeling like they are being given a history lesson or being preached to." Scots Whay Hae

"An Exquisite Sense of What is Beautiful moved me a great deal. But perhaps an even greater delight is the sheer beauty of Simons' descriptions: despite the engaging plot pulling me onwards, I often stopped to re-read and savour these. Really a wonderful, pleasurable, thoughtful novel." Sophie Cooke, author of The Glass House and Under the Mountain

The Last Lancer

Catherine Czerkawska

Catherine Czerkawska

Catherine Czerkawska is a critically acclaimed writer of long and short fiction, non-fiction and plays. Her novels include The Curiosity CabinetThe Physic Garden, The Posy Ring, Bird of Passage and The Jewel, about the life of Robert Burns’s wife, Jean Armour. 

In 2019 Contraband published A Proper Person to be Detainedan intriguing exploration of family history that takes us from 19th-century Ireland to the industrial heartlands of England and Scotland. Following on from this, The Last Lancer is a personal account of loss and survival in Poland and Ukraine, a book with a tragic resonance, given the current situation in that country. 

Catherine’s stage plays include Wormwood, about the Chernobyl disaster, and Quartz, both commissioned by Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre. She has also written more than 100 hours of drama for BBC Radio 4. 

She spent four years as Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the University of the West of Scotland and when not writing, collects and deals in the antique textiles that occasionally find their way into her fiction.

The Last Lancer

by Catherine Czerkawska

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  • ISBN: 9781913393670
  • Ebook ISBN: 9781913393793
  • Publication date: February 23, 2023

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An intimate story of a Polish family torn apart by war: of heartbreak, loss, and survival against the odds.

Julian Czerkawski was born in 1926 near Lwow, in Polish Galicia, on a farm with fertile grain fields and orchards. He was the son of a Polish lancer—one of the famous cavalrymen who carried forward the legacy of the hussar knights.

But there would be no idyllic childhood for young Julian. Soviet annexation and then, in 1941, the German occupation of Lwow changed everything. At the age of eighteen, he was sent to a labour camp. Fortunate to escape after the war with his life, eventually he made his way to the UK. Here, he married and started a family, but an ache remained for the people and places of his childhood memories, even if he spoke of them only rarely.

In 2022, Putin’s war in Ukraine and the sight of refugees passing through Lviv—the former Polish city of Lwow—added urgency to his writer daughter Catherine’s project of a lifetime, to try to uncover for herself everything that had been lost a generation before.

The Last Lancer pieces together glimpses of how the Czerkawski family lived and died in a region with a proud but turbulent history. It sheds light on their trauma, at the same time offering a deep and very personal understanding of a troubled place.

Singing Like Larks

Andrew Millham

Andrew Millham is a nature and folk history writer, with features and columns published in a wide range of national publications including BBC Wildlife, Coast and The Countryman. He graduated with a first class honours degree in environmental science, has received a Field Studies Council ‘Young Darwin Scholarship’ and – after completing his training with Essex Wildlife Trust – is now a Forest School leader, teaching outdoor skills to primary school children.

Singing Like Larks

by Andrew Millham

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  • ISBN: 9781913393663
  • Publication date: March 9, 2023

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Singing Like Larks opens a rare window onto the ancient song traditions of the British Islesinterweaving mesmerising lyrics, folklore and colourful nature writing to uncover the remarkable relationship between birds and traditional folk music.

Birds are beloved for their song and have featured in our own music for centuries. This charming volume takes us on a journey of discovery to explore why birds appear in so many folk songs.

Today, folk songs featuring our feathered friends are themselves something of a threatened species: their melodies are fading with the passage of time, and their lyrics are often tucked away in archives. It is more important than ever that we promote awareness of these precious songs and continue to pass them down the generations. Lifetimes of wisdom are etched into the words and music, preserving the natural rhythms of nature and our connection to times past.

An important repository and treasury of bird-related folk songs, Singing Like Larks is also an account of one young nature writer’s journey into the world of folk music, and a joyous celebration of song, the seasons, and our love of birds.

The Unreliable Death of Lady Grange

Sue Lawrence

Sue Lawrence is the author of absorbing, popular historical thrillers that cast fascinating light on the perils and injustice that characterised women’s lives in Scotland through centuries past – whether born into penniless or powerful families: The Green Lady, The Unreliable Death of Lady Grange, Down to the Sea, The Night He Left and Fields of Blue Flax. She is also one of the UK’s leading cookery writers and broadcasters. Having trained as a journalist, she won BBC’s MasterChef in 1991 and became a food writer, Cookery Editor of the Sunday Times and a regular contributor to Scotland on Sunday and many leading magazines, and she appears frequently on BBC Radio 4’s Kitchen Cabinet. Born in Dundee, she was raised in Edinburgh, where she now lives. She has won two Guild of Food Writers Awards and a Glenfiddich Food and Drink Award and is the author of more than 20 books.

The Unreliable Death of Lady Grange

by Sue Lawrence

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  • ISBN: 9781913393694
  • Publication date: June 23, 2023

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Edinburgh, January 1732. It’s the funeral of Rachel, wife of Lord Grange. Her death is a shock. Still young, she’d shown no signs of ill health. Rachel is, however, still alive. She has been brutally kidnapped by the man who has falsified her death: her husband. Her punishment, perhaps, for railing against his infidelity – or simply for being too feisty for a lady and never submissive enough as a wife. Whether to conceal his Jacobite leanings or to replace his wife with a long-time mistress, Lord Grange banishes Rachel to a remote island exile, to an isolated life of hardship on St Kilda, where she can never be found. This is the gripping story of a woman who has until now been remembered mostly by her husband’s unflattering account. It’s a remarkable tale of how the real Lady Grange may have coped with such a dramatic fate, with courage and grace.

For the UK edition, click here.

The Nature Chronicles

Kathryn Aalto

Kathryn Aalto is a New York Times best-selling writer of creative nonfiction focused on the natural world. An American living in the UK, her creative practice fuses nature and culture: teaching the literature of nature and place; designing beautiful and sustainable gardens; and writing about the natural world. She is the author of Writing Wild: Women Poets, Ramblers, and Mavericks Who Shape How We See the Natural World (2020), The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh: A Walk Through the Forest that Inspired the Hundred Acre Wood (2015), and Nature and Human Intervention (2011). A personal essayist and book reviewer, her work appears in Smithsonian Magazine, Outside, Sierra, Buzzfeed, Resurgence and the Ecologist.

The Nature Chronicles

by Kathryn Aalto

  • Editor: Kathryn Aalto
  • RRP: £10 (print)
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  • ISBN: 9781913393687

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The best of contemporary nature writing from the winners of the inaugural international Nature Chronicles Prize.

The Nature Chronicles Prize is a new biennial, international, English-language literary award founded to celebrate engaging, unique, essay-length non-fiction that “responds to the time we are in and the world as it is”. Conceived in 2020 to mark the global pandemic, the prize is also a memorial to Prudence Scott, a lifelong nature diarist who died in 2019. The prize was announced at the Kendal Mountain Festival on November 17, 2022.

Contained within this volume are the outstanding winning entries for the inaugural prize, by Jenny Chamarette, Laura Coleman, Ben Crane, Joanna Pocock and Neha Sinha, alongside the inaugural overall winner: Nicola Pitchford, for her essay ‘A Parable of Arable Land’. These winning works express diverse responses to our planet and its life, and together embody the best of contemporary nature writing, whether by emerging or established authors. 

The anthology is introduced by bestselling nature writer Kathryn Aalto, who was one of the judges for this inaugural prize.

His Bloody Project: Limited Edition Hardback

Graeme Macrae Burnet

Born in Kilmarnock, Graeme Macrae Burnet is among the UK’s leading contemporary novelists, having achieved both critical acclaim and best-selling status around the world. He lives in Glasgow, where he studied film and English literature. After teaching English overseas and working as a researcher in the television industry, he won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2013 and now writes full-time. He is best known for his dazzling Booker-shortlisted second novel, His Bloody Project. Graeme is also the author of two French-set detective novels:The Disappearance of Adele Bedeau(2014) and The Accident on the A35 (2017). Case Study is his fourth novel and was longlisted for the 2022 Booker Prize.

His Bloody Project: Limited Edition Hardback

by Graeme Macrae Burnet

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  • ISBN: 9781910192665

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From the twice Booker-listed author of Case Study, a unique opportunity to buy a new, hardback edition of the Booker-shortlisted His Bloody Project. 

The year is 1869. A brutal triple murder in a remote community in the Scottish Highlands leads to the arrest of a young man by the name of Roderick Macrae.

A memoir written by the accused makes it clear that he is guilty, but it falls to the country’s finest legal and psychiatric minds to uncover what drove him to commit such merciless acts of violence. Was he mad? Only the persuasive powers of his advocate stand between Macrae and the gallows.

Graeme Macrae Burnet tells an irresistible and original story about the provisional nature of truth, even when the facts seem clear. His Bloody Project is a mesmerising literary thriller set in an unforgiving landscape where the exercise of power is arbitrary.

North Country

Karen Lloyd

Karen Lloyd is an award-winning writer of non-fiction and poetry based in Kendal, Cumbria. Her most recent book, Abundance, was longlisted for the James Cropper Wainwright Prize for Conservation Writing in 2022. Both her debut, The Gathering Tide, which explores the edgelands of Morecambe Bay, and her second book, The Blackbird Diaries, won Lakeland Book Awards and were selected as books of the year, in the Observer and the Birdwatcher’s Handbook. She has contributed to the Guardian Country Diary, Royal Geographical Society magazine, BBC Wildlife and Countryfile, and she edited and produced Curlew Calling Anthology to raise awareness of curlew restoration. Karen gained her PhD from Lancaster University, where she now teaches part time on the Creative Writing MA and is writer in residence at the Future Places Centre.

North Country

An anthology of landscape and nature

by Karen Lloyd

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  • ISBN: 9781913393403

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The North of England abounds with beauty, from unspoiled Northumbrian beaches and green Yorkshire Dales to the dramatic Lakeland Fells, for so long celebrated by writers and artists. Wide estuaries, winding rivers, sheer cliffs, rushing waterfalls, ancient woodland, limestone pavements, and miles of hedgerows and drystone walls sustainably built and rebuilt over centuries – all form part of its rich heritage.

But these are, too, contested and depleted landscapes. Today the curlew’s call is isolated, habitat is pressured and diminishing, and many species are in decline. Industry, urban sprawl and climate chaos threaten our environment on a previously unimagined scale. And while stereotypes persist – of dark satanic mills or “bleak” moorland – the imperative of conservation is all too often overlooked for short-term economic interests.

This essential volume reminds us how and why Northern people have risen to the challenge of defending their open spaces, demanding action on pollution and habitat loss. Contemporary writers including Sarah Hall, Lee Schofield, Benjamin Myers and Lemn Sissay take their place alongside those who wrote in previous centuries. Together, the voices in this one-of-a-kind anthology testify that North Country is a place apart.