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The Raven's Nest

‘Fascinating’ Robert Macfarlane, author of The Old Ways

‘Truly a thing of wonder’ – Kerri ní Dochartaigh, author of Thin Places

‘Lyrical [and] thoughtful’ – Cal Flyn, author of
Islands of Abandonment

Visiting Iceland as an anthropologist and film-maker in 2008, Sarah Thomas is spellbound by its otherworldly landscape. An immediate love for this country and for Bjarni, a man she meets there, turns a week-long stay into a transformative half-decade, one which radically alters Sarah’s understanding of herself and of the living world.

She embarks on a relationship not only with Bjarni, but with the light, the language, and the old wooden house they make their home. She finds a place where the light of the midwinter full moon reflected by snow can be brighter than daylight, where the earth can tremor at any time, and where the word for echo – bergmál – translates as ‘the language of the mountain’. In the midst of crisis both personal and planetary, as her marriage falls apart, Sarah finds inspiration in the artistry of a raven’s nest: a home which persists through breaking and reweaving – over and over.

Written in beautifully vivid prose The Raven’s Nest is a profoundly moving meditation on place, identity and how we might live in an era of environmental disruption.

Sloths

How old is the sloth?
How do sloths have sex?
How did a sloth save Dublin?

The answers to these questions, and more, are found in this wonderfully entertaining celebration of the sloth. Walking readers through the sloth’s evolutionary history – from the prehistoric ground sloth to modern pygmy – William Hartston reveals the sloth’s fascinating journey from maligned mammal to cause célèbre. Playfully peppered with science and filled with factoids, Sloths is a love-letter to the most anachronistic, and just a little bit ridiculous, of animals.

‘Riveting… Sloths is as comprehensive a look at the instincts, lifestyle and capacities of this curious creature as you are ever likely to need.’ Daily Express

Sloths!

A wonderfully entertaining celebration of that most unique of creatures: the sloth.

In public estimation, sloths have undergone an astonishing transformation in the course of the past few years. Thanks largely to YouTube clips posted by the sloth orphanage in Costa Rica, sloths have attracted a vast audience of admirers. Instead of seeing them as ridiculous anachronisms of which we know little, they have turned into creatures considered by many to be the most endearing on earth.

Over much the same period, scientific investigations have also changed our view of sloths. No longer are they seen as total misfits in the modern world but, in the words of one specialist sloth investigator, they are ‘masters of an alternative lifestyle’.

In this wonderfully entertaining celebration of this most unique of creatures, William Hartston reveals the fascinating history of the sloth, from the prehistoric ground sloth to modern pygmy sloths in Panama, explores the current state of the science of sloths and reveals the truth behind sloth behaviour.