Related to: 'Natural Histories'

John Murray

Wonderland

Brett Westwood, Stephen Moss
Authors:
Brett Westwood, Stephen Moss

'Vibrant, fascinating, poetic - a year in living things: all the things we love, all the things we wish we could, all the little things we step over and never know - the best of British wildlife from two superb naturalists and writers' CHRIS PACKHAMFrom blackbirds, beavers and beetles to tawny owls, natterjack toads and lemon slugs. Every day of the year, winter or summer, in every corner of the British Isles, there's plenty to see if you know where - and how - to look. From encounters with the curious black redstart, which winters on our rocky coasts, to the tiny green snowdrop shoots that are the first sign that spring might be round the corner. And from the blossom-time and dawn choruses of April and May into the abundant noisiness of summer, where days start with hawker dragonflies and drowsy bumblebees and end with glow-worms and ghost moths; to autumn when in the early morning mist of London's Richmond Park male red deer lock horns in competition for a mate.Nature is always full of surprises - whether it's the strange behaviour of clothes moths or the gruesome larder of the strike. Distilling two lifetimes' knowledge, expert insight and enthusiasm, award-winning authors and passionate naturalists Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss take us through the year, day by day, sharing the unexpected delights that we can experience in our skies, beaches, rivers, fields, forests and back gardens. There are all kinds of adventures waiting on your doorstep, any day of the year, all you need is Wonderland.

John Murray

Tweet of the Day

Brett Westwood, Stephen Moss
Authors:
Brett Westwood, Stephen Moss

Imagine a jazz musician, improvising on a theme. Then imagine that he is able to play half a dozen instruments - not one after another, but almost simultaneously, switching effortlessly between instruments and musical styles with hardly a pause for breath. If you can countenance that, you are halfway towards appreciating the extraordinary song of the nightingale . . .Wherever we are, there are birds. And wherever there are birds, there is birdsong. It's always a pleasure (and a relief) to hear sounds which prove the world's still spinning: whether it's the sighing of migrating redwings on a damp October night, the twitter of swallows fresh in from South Africa in April or the call of the cuckoo in May. Based on the scripts of BBC Radio 4's beloved year-long series, and distilling two lifetimes' knowledge, insight and enthusiasm into these pages, Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss take you month by month through the year, and the changing lives of our favourite birds. From peregrines swapping sea-cliffs for skyscrapers to swifts spending almost their entire lives on the wing; from charms of goldfinches to murmurations of starlings; from ptarmigans thriving in the Highland snow to the bright green parakeets thronging London's parks; this book is packed full of extraordinary insights and memorable facts. Tweet of the Day is a book for everyone who loves Britain's birds.(Illustrations © Carry Akroyd)

Alice Albinia

Alice Albinia read English literature at Cambridge and South Asian history at SOAS, then worked for two years in Delhi as a journalist, critic and editor. Written during an audacious journey through Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Tibet, Empires of the Indus is her first book, for which she won a Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for work in progress.

Andrew Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff was born in Preston in 1977. An aggressive fast bowler and hard-hitting batsman, he made his County Championship debut for Lancashire in 1995 and won the first of his 79 England Test caps in 1998. As an all-rounder, he played a vital part in England's celebrated Ashes victory in 2005.Widely considered to be the best all-rounder of his generation, Andrew was named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2004, and Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World the following year. Also in 2005, he was awarded the title of BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Andrew became captain of the national team in 2006, only to have the captaincy removed after England's disappointing performances in Australia in 2006-07 and in the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean. Having put those setbacks behind him, he overcame a series of injuries to help England, under Andrew Strauss, regain the Ashes in 2009. Shortly afterwards, he called an end to his playing career and embarked on a varied new one in television, as a presenter, documentary-maker and team captain on the BAFTA award-winning A League of Their Own. In 2012, Andrew Flintoff unexpectedly turned to sport again, this time as a boxer, winning his one bout as a professional. In the summer of 2014, after five years out of the game, he made a surprise return to cricket, playing for Lancashire in the NatWest T20 Blast and then for Brisbane Heat in Australia's T20 Big Bash. In 2015, he took part in Australia's version of I'm a Celebrity ... Let Me Out of Here!, and was crowned King of the Jungle.In May 2014 when it was announced that Andrew would play for Lancashire again. Following on from such a successful stint with Lancashire in October 2014 it was announced that Andrew would continue his professional cricket comeback in Brisbane in the Australian T20 Big Bash league. In March 2015 Freddie was crowned the King of the Jungle in the first series of the Australian version of 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here', and was bowled over by the support of the Australian public.After launching his very own podcast with friend and TV producer Clyde Holcroft in 2014, it was announced that Freddie and Clyde will celebrate the ten year anniversary of England's Ashes win with a live tour which will travel the length and breadth of the country including at the Edinburgh Festival.

Brett Westwood

Brett Westwood is an award-winning producer, presenter and naturalist. He presented the radio series of Natural Histories. His other acclaimed radio series range from Tweet of the Day (winner of Best Radio Series 2014) to Brett Westwood's Diaries. He is also a consultant for Springwatch and Autumnwatch.

Bryan Sykes

Bryan Sykes is a Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Wolfson College. He has been involved in a number of high-profile cases dealing with ancient DNA, including those of 'Otzi the Iceman', a well preserved natural mummy of a man who lived around 3,300 BC and 'Cheddar Man', the remains of a man found in Cheddar Gorge, from approximately 7150 BC, it is Britain's oldest complete human skeleton.Professor Sykes in best known outside the community of geneticists for his bestselling books on the investigation of human history and pre-history through studies of mitochondrial DNA.

Cesar Millan

Founder of the Dog Psychology Center in Los Angeles, CESAR MILLAN is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Cesar's Way, Be the Pack Leader, Member of the Family. How to Raise the Perfect Dog and Cesar's Rules. He is the star of The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, the Nat Geo Wild Channel's top-rated show. In addition to his educational seminars and work with unstable dogs, Cesar co-founded the Cesar and Ilusion Millan Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping shelters and rescue groups. 'Cesar you're a marvel, an absolute marvel' - Paul O'Grady, The Paul O'Grady Show.'[Cesar] arrives amid canine chaos and leaves behind peace.' - Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker.

Dreda Say Mitchell

Born and bred in the East End of London, Dreda Say Mitchell has seen it all from the inside. After a string of jobs as a waitress, chambermaid and catering assistant she realised her dream of becoming a teacher. During this time she saw a new generation of East Enders grappling with the same problems she had but in an even more violent and unforgiving world. Dreda's books are inspired by the gritty, tough and criminal world she grew up in. She still lives in London's East End. Her debut, RUNNING HOT, was published in 2004 and won the Crime Writers' Association's John Creasey Memorial Dagger Award for best first novel. She is the author of eight more novels and is currently writing the FLESH AND BLOOD series, set on 'The Devil's Estate' in Mile End. In 2016, she became a Reading Ambassador for the Reading Agency to promote literacy and libraries.Website: www.dredasaymitchell.com Facebook: /dredasaymitchell Twitter: @DredaMitchell

Gavin Pretor-Pinney

Gavin Pretor-Pinney is the founder of The Cloud Appreciation Society, a global organisation he set up to fight 'blue-sky thinking'. He is also the co-founder and creative director of The Idler magazine, winner of The Royal Society Winton Science Writing Prize and author of the bestselling THE CLOUDSPOTTER'S GUIDE. He lives in London and Somerset.

Griff Rhys Jones

Griff Rhys Jones was born in Cardiff in 1953. He is a comedian, actor and writer whose television credits include Not the Nine O'Clock News, Smith and Jones, Restoration, Mountain and Rivers. He is the author of To the Baltic With Bob, Mountain and the bestselling memoir Semi-Detached.

James Treadwell

James Treadwell was born, brought up and educated within a mile of the Thames, and has spent much of his life further reducing the distance between him and the river. He studied and taught for more than a decade near the crossing at Folly Bridge, Oxford, and now lives within sight of the Tideway in West London.

John Naish

John Naish writes on lifestyle issues for The Times and has been practising what he preaches in ENOUGH for years. He lives in Brighton with his wife but no mobile phone.

Leo Critchley

Leo was born and raised in London but always pined for the fresh sea air and wide-open spaces of the south west where he was taken on yearly holidays. Graduating from Christ`s College, Cambridge having switched subjects from Natural Sciences to English Literature due to a lamentable lack of poetry in the former, he went on to start a company teaching kung fu, before a spell as a management consultant and web designer. He now writes and lives in West London. For more information visit www.robandleo.com. You can also follow Rob and Leo on Facebook and Twitter https://www.facebook.com/getbackuk and @robandleo

Martin Clunes

Martin Clunes is one of Britain's favourite actors, the star of Doc Martin and the voice of Kipper the Dog. He lives in the West Country with his family and his dogs.

Melvyn Bragg

Melvyn Bragg is a writer and broadcaster. His novels include The Hired Man, for which he won the Time/Life Silver Pen Award, Without a City Wall, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, The Soldier's Return, winner of the WHSmith Literary Award, A Son of War and Crossing the Lines, both of which were longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, A Place in England, which was longlisted for the Lost Man Booker Prize, and most recently Grace and Mary. He has also written several works of non-fiction, the most recent being The Book of Books about the King James Bible. He lives in London and Cumbria.

Michael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy has won a string of awards for his writing on the environment and the natural world, first as Environment Correspondent of The Times, and later as Environment Editor of the Independent. These have included Specialist Writer of the Year in the British Press Awards, the Medal of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for 'outstanding services to conservation', the Dilys Breeze Medal of the British Trust for Ornithology, and the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London. In 2008 McCarthy wrote Say Goodbye To The Cuckoo, a study of Britain's declining summer migrant birds, which was widely praised.

New International Version

The New International Version is the world's most popular modern English Bible translation. Developed by Biblica, formerly the International Bible Society, the New International Version is the result of years of work by the Committee on Bible Translation, overseeing the efforts of many contributing scholars. The translators are drawn from a wide range of denominations and from various countries and they continually review new research in order to ensure the NIV remains at the forefront of accessibility, relevance and authority.www.hodderbibles.co.uk www.facebook.com/NIVBibles

Qiu Xiaolong

Qiu Xiaolong (pronounced 'Joe Shau-long') was born in Shanghai. The Cultural Revolution began in his last year of elementary school, and out of school, out of job, he studied English by himself in a local park. In 1977, he began his studies at East China Normal University in Shanghai, and then the Chinese Academy of Social Science in Beijing. After graduation, he worked at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences as an associate research professor, published poems, translations and criticism, and became a member of the Chinese Writers' Association. In 1988, he came to Washington University in St. Louis, U.S. as a Ford foundation fellow to do a project on Eliot, but after the Tiananmen tragedy of 1989, he decided to stay on. He then obtained a Ph.D. in comparative literature at Washington University and taught there. Having won several awards for his poetry in English, he moved on to write a novel about contemporary Chinese society in transition, which developed into the critically acclaimed, award-winning Inspector Chen series. The series has been translated into sixteen languages. In addition, Qiu Xiaolong has published a poetry collection, several poetry translations, and a collection of linked stories (also serialized in Le Monde). He lives in St. Louis with his wife and daughter.

Ray Mears

Born in 1964, Ray Mears has travelled the world studying and teaching the art of survival. He has appeared extensively in TV programmes such as Bushcraft Survival , The Real Heroes of Telemark , Wild Food , and Ray Mears Goes Walkabout. As well as his TV and writing work, Ray founded Woodlore, School of Wilderness Bushcraft, in 1983, and has been teaching his unique bushcraft skills there for the past 25 years. In 2003 the Royal Geographical Society honoured him with the Ness Award for the popularisation of geography.

Richard Heygate

Sir Richard Heygate runs a successful software company, and has a special interest in alternative worlds. He is co-author of ENDANGERED SPECIES, which was published by John Murray in 2007, as well as THE BOOK OF ENGLISH MAGIC.