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Nest

We tend to take birds for granted, in the landscape or in our neighbourhoods. The presence of birds communicates the health of a place. When they’re gone, it’s as though there’s a hole in the sky, in the air, an absence of beauty and grace, and vivid chatter or haunting cries are replaced with eerie silence.

As an amateur naturalist and nature lover, Janine Burke, art historian and author, has spent many years observing birds. Nest is the story of her passion, a personal, wide-ranging and intimate book – part natural history, part folklore, part exploration of art and aesthetics, part memoir – that will appeal to all those who love nature, literature and art.

What are nests if not art created by nature? If a nest is not art, how can we account for those exquisite, painstakingly constructed creations that are decorated, or woven through with feathers, or studded with objects of a particular colour or sheen? Nest reveals both the art and mystery found in nature and celebrates them with lyricism, insight and great affection.

In the tradition of Longitude, Cod or The Cello Suites, Nest is a short education that encompasses celebration and theory, investigation and memoir, the familiar and the revelatory – as surprising and enticing as any beautiful, intricately constructed nest.

The Seasons

Shortlisted for the Katharine Briggs Folklore Award and runner-up for Countryfile Book of the Year.

For millennia, the passing seasons and their rhythms have marked our progress through the year. But what do they mean to us now that we lead increasingly atomised and urban lives and our weather becomes ever more unpredictable or extreme?

In this splendidly rich and lyrical celebration of the English seasons, Nick Groom investigates the trove of strange folklore and often stranger fact they have accumulated over the centuries and shows how tradition and our links with nature still have a vital role to play in all our lives.

Great Australian Horse Stories

Great Australian Horse Stories brings to life the exploits–funny, poignant and sometimes dramatic–of horses from all over the nation. Outback legends, loyal carthorses, spectacular high jumpers and trusty stock horses. Among them animals that have defied the odds to win–or simply to live.

Just as special are the people who make horses their lives: drovers and dressage riders, bush brumby runners, the famous horse handlers on film sets and rags-to-riches metropolitan trainers. Riders who have persevered through accident and adversity to stay in the saddle.

From the traditions of old-timers to new methods that challenge the way we think about horses, these stories capture the essence of that special bond between humans and horses. They will resonate with horse-lovers and anyone who enjoys a great Australian yarn.

Spiders

Spiders are everywhere. No matter how clean, how stark, how sterile your home, the spiders will come. Spiderlings will balloon in and wait for the insects that will appear. Adult spiders will walk in. As you destroy one, another will take its place. Spiders are like that.

Lynne Kelly introduces us to the hairy, but not so scary, creatures that share our homes and gardens. Answering questions like: how do spiders build webs? is the daddy long-legs the most venomous spider in the world? is arachnid romance really so cutthroat? Lynne guides us through the myth and mystery that surrounds spiders, finally looking at the dreaded bite itself.

By observing and studying spiders in the world around her, and learning from experts and biologists, Lynne came to love these misunderstood members of the animal kingdom. As well as being an authoritative book on spiders this is a personal account of conquering arachnophobia and how any arachnophobe can do the same.