Category: Book Prizes (Page 1 of 4)

The 2022 Dylan Thomas Prize Longlist

Yesterday the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize longlist was announced. There is an impressive and diverse list of contenders from across the globe, reflecting the diversity of the UK. 

They are choosing to celebrate voices from around the world that reflect voices from the margins and not just from the mainstream. From Sri Lanka to Trinidad, Texas, and Ireland via the Middle East, this year’s longlist features a powerful, international collection of writers who are offering platforms for under-represented voices.

Through themes of identity, conflict and love, the 2022 longlist comprises eight novels, two poetry collections and two short story collections:

·       A Passage North – Anuk Arudpragasam (Granta)

Anuk Arudpragasam was born in Colombo and currently lives between Sri Lanka and India. His debut novel, The Story of a Brief Marriage, won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, and was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize as well as the Internationaler Literaturpreis. His second novel, A Passage North, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2021. He received a doctorate in philosophy from Columbia University in 2019. Follow him on Twitter @sirukavi

·       What Noise Against the Cane – Desiree Bailey (Yale University Press)

Desiree Bailey is the author of What Noise Against the Cane (Yale University Press, 2021), which won the 2020 Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize and was a finalist for the 2021 National Book Award for Poetry. She is also the author of the fiction chapbook In Dirt or Saltwater (O’clock Press, 2016) and has short stories and poems published in Best American Poetry, Best New Poets, American Short Fiction, Callaloo, the Academy of American Poets and elsewhere. Desiree is from Trinidad and Tobago, and Queens, New York. She currently lives in Providence, RI. Follow her on Twitter @DesireeCBailey

·       Keeping the House – Tice Cin (And Other Stories)

Tice Cin is an interdisciplinary artist from north London. A London Writers Award-winner, her work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Extra Teeth and Skin Deep, and has been commissioned by organisations such as the Battersea Arts Centre and St Paul’s Cathedral. An alumnus of the Barbican Young Poets programme, she now creates digital art as part of Design Yourself – a collective based at the Barbican Centre – exploring what it means to be human at a time of great technological change. A producer and DJ, she has released an EP, Keeping the House, to accompany her debut novel. Follow her on Twitter @ticecin

·       Auguries of a Minor God – Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe (Faber)

Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe is a poet, pacifist and fabulist. Born in India, she grew up across the Middle East, Europe and North America before calling Ireland home. Founder of the Play It Forward Fellowships, she serves as poetry editor at Skein Press and Fallow Media, contributing editor for the Stinging Fly and an advisory board member of Ledbury Poetry Critics Ireland. She is the recipient of a Next Generation Artist Award in Literature from the Arts Council of Ireland and the inaugural Ireland Chair of Poetry Student Award. Follow her on Twitter @AriaEipe

·       The Sweetness of Water – Nathan Harris (Tinder Press/Headline)

Nathan Harris is a Michener fellow at the University of Texas. He was awarded the Kidd prize, as judged by Anthony Doerr, and was also a finalist for the Tennessee Williams fiction prize. THE SWEETNESS OF WATER is his debut novel. He lives in Austin, Texas. Follow @TinderPress for more information.

·       No One is Talking About This – Patricia Lockwood (Bloomsbury Circus)

Patricia Lockwood is the author of four books, including the 2021 novel No One Is Talking About This, an international bestseller which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and translated into 20 languages. Her 2017 memoir Priestdaddy won the Thurber Prize for American Humor and was named one of the Guardian‘s 100 best books of the 21st century. She also has two poetry collections, Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals (2014) and Balloon Pop Outlaw Black (2012). Lockwood’s work has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, and the London Review of Books, where she is a contributing editor. She lives in Savannah, Georgia. Follow her on Twitter @TriciaLockwood

·       Milk Blood Heat – Dantiel W. Moniz (Atlantic Books)

Dantiel W. Moniz is the recipient of the Alice Hoffman Prize for Fiction, the Cecelia Joyce Johnson Emerging Writer Award by the Key West Literary Seminars, and a Tin House Scholarship. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in the Paris Review, Tin House, Ploughshares, American Short Fiction, Yale Review, One Story, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and elsewhere. Milk Blood Heat is her first book. She lives in Northeast Florida. Follow her on Twitter @dantielwmoniz

·       Hot Stew – Fiona Mozley (John Murray Press)

Fiona Mozley grew up in York and lives in Edinburgh. Her first novel, Elmet, won a Somerset Maugham Award and the Polari Prize. It was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, and longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Dublin Literary Award and the International Dylan Thomas Prize. In 2018 Fiona Mozley was shortlisted for the Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer of the Year Award. Follow her @fjmoz

·       Open Water – Caleb Azumah Nelson (Viking, Penguin General)

Caleb Azumah Nelson is a 27-year-old British-Ghanaian writer and photographer living in South East London. His photography has been shortlisted for the Palm Photo Prize and won the People’s Choice prize. His short story, PRAY, was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award 2020. His first novel, OPEN WATER, won the Costa First Novel Award and the Bad Form Book of the Year Award, was shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year, and longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Gordon Burn Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize. He was selected as a National Book Foundation ‘5 under 35’ honoree by Brit Bennett in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @CalebANelson

·       Acts of Desperation – Megan Nolan (Jonathan Cape)

Megan Nolan lives in London and was born in 1990 in Waterford, Ireland. Her essays, fiction and reviews have been published in The New York TimesThe White ReviewThe Sunday TimesThe Village VoiceThe Guardian and in the literary anthology, Winter Papers. She writes a fortnightly column for the New Statesman. This is her first novel.

·       Peaces – Helen Oyeyemi (Faber)

Helen Oyeyemi is the author of The Icarus GirlThe Opposite HouseWhite is for Witching (which won the Somerset Maugham Award), Mr FoxBoy, Snow, BirdGingerbread and the short story collection What is Not Yours is Not Yours. In 2013, Helen was included in Granta‘s Best of Young British Novelists.

·       Filthy Animals – Brandon Taylor (Daunt Books Publishing)

Brandon Taylor is the author of the acclaimed novel Real Life, shortlisted for the Booker Prize, longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and the Foyles Fiction Book of the Year. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was an Iowa Arts Fellow in fiction. Follow him on Twitter @blgtylr

Key Dates for the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize 2022

–          Longlist Announcement – 3rd February

–          Shortlist Announcement – 31st March

–          British Library Event with shortlisted authors, London – 11th May

–          Winner Announcement and award ceremony, Swansea – 12th May

Launched in 2006, the annual Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize is one of the most prestigious awards for young writers, aimed at encouraging raw creative talent worldwide. It celebrates and nurtures international literary excellence. Worth £20,000, it is one of the UK’s most prestigious literary prizes as well as one of the world’s largest literary prizes for young writers. Awarded for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under, the Prize celebrates the international world of fiction in all its forms including poetry, novels, short stories and drama. The prize is named after the Swansea-born writer, Dylan Thomas, and celebrates his 39 years of creativity and productivity. One of the most influential, internationally-renowned writers of the mid-twentieth century, the prize invokes his memory to support the writers of today and nurture the talents of tomorrow.

  

ABOUT THE JUDGES

Namita Gokhale is a writer and festival director. She is the author of twenty works of fiction and non-fiction. Her acclaimed debut novel, Paro: Dreams of Passion, was published in 1984. Her latest novel The Blind Matriarch examines the Indian joint family against the backdrop of the pandemic. Jaipur Journals, published in January 2020, is set in the vibrant Jaipur Literature Festival, of which Gokhale is one of the co-founder-directors.

Her work spans various genres, including novels, short stories, Himalayan studies, mythology, several anthologies, books for young readers, and a recent play. Gokhale is the recipient of various prizes and awards, including the prestigious Sahitya Akademi (National Academy of Literature) Award 2021 for her novel Things to Leave Behind.
Follow her on Twitter @NamitaGokhale_

Rachel Trezise is a novelist and playwright from the Rhondda Valley. Her debut novel In and Out of the Goldfish Bowl won a place on the Orange Futures List in 2002. In 2006 her first short fiction collection Fresh Apples won the Dylan Thomas Prize. Her second short fiction collection Cosmic Latte won the Edge Hill Prize Readers Award in 2014. Her most recent play ‘Cotton Fingers’ toured Ireland and Wales and won the Summerhall Lustrum Award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019. Her most recent novel Easy Meat came out in 2021.

Alan Bilton is the author of three novels, The End of The Yellow House (Watermark 2020), The Known and Unknown Sea (Cillian, 2014), and The Sleepwalkers’ Ball (Alcemi, 2009), described by one critic as ‘Franz Kafka meets Mary Poppins’. He is also the author of a collection of surrealist short stories, Anywhere Out of the World. (Cillian, 2016) as well as books on silent film comedy, contemporary fiction, and the 1920s. He was a Hay Festival Writer at Work in 2016 and 2017 and teaches creative writing, literature and film at Swansea University.@ABiltonAuthor

Irenosen Okojie is a Nigerian British author whose bold, experimental works create vivid narratives that play with form and language. Her debut novel Butterfly Fish and short story collections Speak Gigantular and Nudibranch have won and been shortlisted for multiple awards. Her work has been optioned for the screen. A fellow and Vice Chair of the Royal Society of Literature, Irenosen is the winner of the 2020 AKO Caine Prize for her story, Grace Jones. She was awarded an MBE For Services to Literature in 2021.

Luke Kennard is a poet and novelist whose sixth collection of poetry, Notes on the Sonnets, won the Forward Prize for Best Collection 2021. His fifth, Cain, was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize in 2017. His novels, The Transition and The Answer To Everything are available from 4th Estate. He lectures at the University of Birmingham.

Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards 2022

Yesterday one of my favourite books prizes announced their shortlists for their various prizes and her they all are:

Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year

Fifty Sounds by Polly Barton

Minarets in the Mountains by Tharik Hussain

Small Bodies of Water by Nina Mingya Powles

The Amur River by Colin Thubron

Wars of the Interior by Joseph Zarate

 

Food and Drink Travel Book of the Year

Eating to Extinction: The World’s Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save Them by Dan Saladino

From Gujarat with Love: 100 Authentic Indian Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes by Vina Patel

How Wild Things Are: Cooking, Fishing and Hunting at the Bottom of the World by Analiese Gregory

Ripe Figs: Recipes and Stories from the Eastern Mediterranean by Yasmin Khan

Sumac: Recipes and Stories from Syria by Anas Atassi

 

Photographic Travel Book of the Year

Epic Train Journeys by Monisha Rajesh

Let’s Get Lost by Finn Beales

Only Us by Stuart Dunn

Southern Light by Dave Brosha

The Travel Photographer’s Way by Nori Jemil

 

Illustrated Travel Book of the Year

The Atlas of Unusual Languages by Zoran Niikolic

Antarctic Atlas by Peter Fretwell

Atlas of Imagined Places by Matt Brown

Black Girls Take World by Georgina Lawton

India: The Passenger

Wild Waters by Susanne Masters

 

Fiction with a Sense of Place

Barcelona Dreaming by Rupert Thomson

Elena Knows by Claudia Piñeiro

The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

The Country of Others by Leïla Slimani

The High House by Jessie Greengrass

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

 

Children’s Travel Book of the Year

Bandoola by William Grill

Journey to the Last River by Teddy Keen

Lionheart Girl by Yada Badoe

Spin to Survive Frozen Mountain by Emily Hawkins

Wild Child by Dara McAnulty

The Shark Caller by Zillah Bethell

 

Bradt Travel Guides New Travel Writer of the Year

“Waiting for Wilma” by Jane Adams

“Ghar Ghosts” by Ruth Cox

“The Quiet of Switzerland” by Neasa Murphy

 

I have some of them already, but my TBR has now got much much longer!

Wainwright Shortlisted Books

It is that time of the year again when the shortlist for one of my favourite prizes is announced. Yesterday the two shortlists for The Wainwright Prize were announced. Normally by now, I would have read all of the books on the longlist and have some strong opinions as to what should be populating the shortlist, but due to many other factors and commitments this year I haven’t got to all of them. There is a pile of books glaring at me from a bookcase to be read soon. But without further ado, here is the shortlist:

Diary of a Young Naturalist – Dara McAnulty (Little Toller Books)

Diary of a Young Naturalist chronicles the turning of 15-year-old Dara McAnulty’s world. From spring and through a year in his home patch in Northern Ireland, Dara spent the seasons writing. These vivid, evocative and moving diary entries about his connection to wildlife and the way he sees the world are raw in their telling. “I was diagnosed with Asperger’s/autism aged five … By age seven I knew I was very different, I had got used to the isolation, my inability to break through into the world of talking about football or Minecraft was not tolerated. Then came the bullying. Nature became so much more than an escape; it became a life-support system.” Diary of a Young Naturalist portrays Dara’s intense connection to the natural world, and his perspective as a teenager juggling exams and friendships alongside a life of campaigning. “In writing this book,” Dara explains, “I have experienced challenges but also felt incredible joy, wonder, curiosity and excitement. In sharing this journey my hope is that people of all generations will not only understand autism a little more but also appreciate a child’s eye view on our delicate and changing biosphere.”

 

 

 

The Frayed Atlantic Edge – David Gange (William Collins)

An original snapshot of the beauty of the British Isles, as captured by a brand new voice in nature and travel writing.

After two decades exploring the Western coast and mountains of the British Isles, the historian and nature writer David Gange set out to travel the seaboard in the course of a year. This coastline spans just eight-hundred miles as the crow flies, but the complex folds of its firths and headlands stretch more than ten-thousand. Even those who circumnavigate Britain by kayak tend to follow the shortest route; the purpose of this journey was to discover these coastlines by seeking out the longest.

Travelling by kayak, on foot and at the end of a rope, Gange encounters wildcats, basking sharks and vast colonies of seabirds, as well as rich and diverse coastal communities. Spending nights in sight of the sea, outdoors and without a tent, the journey crosses hundreds of peaks and millions of waves. With an eye attuned both to nature and the traces of the past, Gange evokes living worlds and lost worlds on the tattered edges of Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England.

Written with literary finesse in an immersive style, and informed by history, this new talent in nature writing takes us on a whirlwind trip over the course of twelve months, each chapter serving as a love letter to a different region of the British coastline.

On the Red Hill – Mike Parker (Cornerstone)

In early 2006, Mike Parker and his partner Peredur were witnesses at the first civil partnership ceremony in the small Welsh town of Machynlleth. The celebrants were their friends Reg and George, who had moved to deepest rural Wales in 1972, not long after the decriminalisation of homosexuality. When Reg and George died within a few weeks of each other in 2011, Mike and Peredur discovered that they had been left their home: a whitewashed ‘house from the children’s stories’, buried deep within the hills. They had also been left a lifetime’s collection of diaries, photographs, letters and books, all revealing an extraordinary history.

On the Red Hill is the story of Rhiw Goch, ‘the Red Hill’, and its inhabitants, but also the story of a remarkable rural community and a legacy that extends far beyond bricks and mortar. On The Red Hill celebrates the turn of the year’s wheel, of ever-changing landscapes, and of the family to be found in the unlikeliest of places. Taking the four seasons, the four elements and these four lives as his structure, Mike Parker creates a lyrical but clear-eyed exploration of the natural world, the challenges of accepting one’s place in it, and what it can mean to find home.

 

 

Dark, Salt, Clear – Lamorna Ash (Bloomsbury)

A captivating, lyrical and deeply discerning portrait of life in the Cornish town of Newlyn, the largest working fishing port in Britain, from a brilliant debut writer
There is the Cornwall Lamorna Ash knew as a child – the idyllic, folklore-rich place where she spent her summer holidays. Then there is the Cornwall she discovers when, feeling increasingly dislocated in London, she moves to Newlyn, a fishing town near Land’s End. This Cornwall is messier and harder; it doesn’t seem like a place that would welcome strangers.
Before long, however, Lamorna finds herself on a week-long trawler trip with a crew of local fishermen, afforded a rare glimpse into their world, their warmth and their humour. Out on the water, miles from the coast, she learns how fishing requires you to confront who you are and what it is that tethers you to the land. But she also realises that this proud and compassionate community, sustained and defined by the sea for centuries, is under threat, living in the lengthening shadow cast by globalisation.
An evocative journey of personal discovery replete with the poetry and deep history of our fishing communities, Dark, Salt, Clear confirms Lamorna Ash as a strikingly original new voice.

 

Native: Life in a Vanishing Landscape – Patrick Laurie (Birlinn)

Desperate to connect with his native Galloway, Patrick Laurie plunges into work on his family farm in the hills of southwest Scotland. Investing in the oldest and most traditional breeds of Galloway cattle, the Riggit Galloway, he begins to discover how cows once shaped people, places and nature in this remote and half-hidden place. This traditional breed requires different methods of care from modern farming on an industrial, totally unnatural scale.

As the cattle begin to dictate the pattern of his life, Patrick stumbles upon the passing of an ancient rural heritage. Always one of the most isolated and insular parts of the country, as the twentieth century progressed, the people of Galloway deserted the land and the moors have been transformed into commercial forest in the last thirty years. The people and the cattle have gone, and this withdrawal has shattered many centuries of tradition and custom. Much has been lost, and the new forests have driven the catastrophic decline of the much-loved curlew, a bird which features strongly in Galloway’s consciousness. The links between people, cattle and wild birds become a central theme as Patrick begins to face the reality of life in a vanishing landscape.

 

 

Dancing with Bees – Brigit Strawbridge Howard & John Walters, illustrator (Chelsea Green Publishing)

A naturalist’s passionate dive into the world of bees of all stripes–what she has learned about them, and what we can learn from them.

Brigit Strawbridge Howard was shocked the day she realised she knew more about the French Revolution than she did about her native trees. And birds. And wildflowers. And bees. The thought stopped her quite literally in her tracks. But that day was also the start of a journey, one filled with silver birches and hairy-footed flower bees, skylarks, and rosebay willow herb, and the joy that comes with deepening one’s relationship with place. Dancing with Bees is Strawbridge Howard’s charming and eloquent account of a return to noticing, to rediscovering a perspective on the world that had somehow been lost to her for decades and to reconnecting with the natural world. With special care and attention to the plight of pollinators, including honeybees, bumblebees, and solitary bees, and what we can do to help them, Strawbridge Howard shares fascinating details of the lives of flora and fauna that have filled her days with ever-increasing wonder and delight.

 

 

Wanderland – Jini Reddy (Bloomsbury)

Alone on a remote mountaintop one dark night, a woman hears a mysterious voice.

Propelled by the memory and after years of dreaming about it, Jini Reddy dares to delve into the ‘wanderlands’ of Britain, heading off in search of the magical in the landscape.

A London journalist with multicultural roots and a perennial outsider, she determinedly sets off on this unorthodox path. Serendipity and her inner compass guide her around the country in pursuit of the Other and a connection to Britain’s captivating natural world. Where might this lead? And if you know what it is to be Othered yourself, how might this colour your experiences? And what if, in invoking the spirit of the land, ‘it’ decides to make its presence felt?

Whether following a ‘cult’ map to a hidden well that refuses to reveal itself, attempting to persuade a labyrinth to spill its secrets, embarking on a coast-to-coast pilgrimage or searching for a mystical land temple, Jini depicts a whimsical, natural Britain. Along the way, she tracks down ephemeral wild art, encounters women who worship The Goddess, falls deeper in love with her birth land and struggles – but mostly fails – to get to grips with its lore. Throughout, she rejoices in the wildness we cannot see and celebrates the natural beauty we can, while offering glimpses of her Canadian childhood and her Indian parents’ struggles in apartheid-era South Africa.

Wanderland is a book in which the heart leads, all things are possible and the Other, both wild and human, comes in from the cold. It is a paean to the joy of roaming, both figuratively and imaginatively, and to the joy of finding your place in the world.

 

Some thoughts on this shortlist:

So far I have read four of the shortlist and they have all been good in very different ways. Dara’s book shows the promise that he has as a writer and his passion for the natural world in all its forms is evident. The Frayed Atlantic Edge is an evocative travel book about our coastline that faces the mighty Atlantic Ocean and the time he spent bobbing around in a kayak on it. Mike Parker book is a story of the place they live as much as it about the four people in it. Wanderland is a very different book about seeking that something extra from the landscape to fill the spiritual yearning that some people need. I have got the other three on the shortlist and will crack on with reading the final three next month prior to the prize announcement on the 9th of September. I was a little disappointed to not see Surfacing and Bird Therapy on the list, but the difficult choice would be what to leave off to fit those in. It is good to have a couple of travel books on here too. I know which would be my winner from this list of the books that I have read so far, but I don’t envy the judges choice in picking this one!

 

And then there is the Writing for Global Conservation Prize which is a new and necessary addition. These are the books that have been shortlisted:

 

Irreplaceable – Julian Hoffman (Hamish Hamilton)

All across the world, irreplaceable habitats are under threat. Unique ecosystems of plants and animals are being destroyed by human intervention. From the tiny to the vast, from marshland to meadow, and from Kent to Glasgow to India to America, they are disappearing.

Irreplaceable is not only a love letter to the haunting beauty of these landscapes and the wild species that call them home, including nightingales, lynxes, hornbills, redwoods, and elephant seals, it is also a timely reminder of the vital connections between humans and nature, and all that we stand to lose in terms of wonder and well-being. This is a book about the power of resistance in an age of loss, a testament to the transformative possibilities that emerge when people unite to defend our most special places and wildlife from extinction.

Exploring treasured coral reefs and remote mountains, tropical jungle and ancient woodland, urban allotments and tallgrass prairie, Julian Hoffman traces the stories of threatened places around the globe through the voices of local communities and grassroots campaigners as well as professional ecologists and academics. And in the process, he asks what a deep emotional relationship with place offers us–culturally, socially and psychologically. In this rigorous, intimate, and impassioned account, he presents a powerful call to arms in the face of unconscionable natural destruction.

 

Life Changing – Helen Pilcher (Bloomsbury)

We are now living through the post-natural phase, where the fate of all living things is irrevocably intertwined with our own. We domesticated animals to suit our needs, and altered their DNA–wolves became dogs to help us hunt, junglefowl became chickens to provide us with eggs, wildebeest were transformed through breeding into golden gnus so rifle-clad tourists had something to shoot. And this was only the beginning. As our knowledge grew we found new ways to tailor the DNA of animals more precisely; we’ve now cloned police dogs and created a little glow-in-the-dark fish–the world’s first genetically modified pet. The breakthroughs continue.

Through climate change, humans have now affected even the most remote environments and their inhabitants, and studies suggest that through our actions we are forcing some animals to evolve at breakneck speed to survive. Whilst some are thriving, others are on the brink of extinction, and for others the only option is life in captivity. Today, it’s not just the fittest that survive; sometimes it’s the ones we decide to let live.

According to the Bible, Noah built the original ark to save the world’s creatures from imminent floods. Now the world is warming, the ice caps are melting and sea levels are rising. With nowhere “wild” left to go, Helen Pilcher proposes a New Ark. In this entertaining and thought-provoking book, she considers the many ways that we’ve shaped the DNA of the animal kingdom and in so doing, altered the fate of life on earth. In her post-natural history guide, she invites us to meet key species that have been sculpted by humanity, as well as the researchers and conservationists who create, manage and tend to these post-natural creations.

 

Rebirding – Benedict Macdonald (Pelagic)

Rebirding takes the long view of Britain’s wildlife decline, from the early taming of our landscape and its long-lost elephants and rhinos, to fenland drainage, the removal of cornerstone species such as wild cattle, horses, beavers and boar – and forward in time to the intensification of our modern landscapes and the collapse of invertebrate populations.

It looks at key reasons why species are vanishing, as our landscapes become ever more tamed and less diverse, with wildlife trapped in tiny pockets of habitat. It explores how Britain has, uniquely, relied on modifying farmland, rather than restoring ecosystems, in a failing attempt to halt wildlife decline. The irony is that 94% of Britain is not built upon at all. And with more nature-loving voices than any European country, we should in fact have the best, not the most impoverished, wildlife on our continent. Especially when the rural economics of our game estates, and upland farms, are among the worst in Europe.

Britain is blessed with all the space it needs for an epic wildlife recovery. The deer estates of the Scottish Highlands are twice the size of Yellowstone National Park. Snowdonia is larger than the Maasai Mara. The problem in Britain is not a lack of space. It is that our precious space is uniquely wasted – not only for wildlife, but for people’s jobs and rural futures too.

Rebirding maps out how we might finally turn things around: rewilding our national parks, restoring natural ecosystems and allowing our wildlife a far richer future. In doing so, an entirely new sector of rural jobs would be created; finally bringing Britain’s dying rural landscapes and failing economies back to life.

 

Sitopia – Carolyn Steel (Chatto & Windus)

We live in a world shaped by food, a Sitopia (sitos – food; topos – place). Food, and how we search for and consume it, has defined our human journey.

From our foraging hunter-gatherer ancestors to the enormous appetites of modern cities, food has shaped our bodies and homes, our politics and trade, and our climate. Whether it’s the daily decision of what to eat, or the monopoly of industrial food production, food touches every part of our world. But by forgetting its value, we have drifted into a way of life that threatens our planet and ourselves. Yet food remains central to addressing the predicaments and opportunities of our urban, digital age. Drawing on insights from philosophy, history, architecture, literature, politics and science, as well as stories of the farmers, designers and economists who are remaking our relationship with food, Sitopia is a provocative and exhilarating vision for change, and how to thrive on our crowded, overheating planet. In her inspiring and deeply thoughtful new book Carolyn Steel, points the way to a better future.

 

 

 

What We Need to Do Now – Chris Goodall (Profile Books)

What We Need To Do Now sets out a comprehensive programme of action to counter the threats to our environment. It is a manifesto for groups around the world that are seeking urgent action on climate breakdown and other threats.

Emphasising the importance and relative simplicity of decarbonising our energy supply, the book also stresses that this is a small part of the switch to a sustainable planet. Among many other urgent transitions, we also need to focus on changing the agricultural system and reducing our hugely wasteful use of resources. As importantly, we need to make sure that the transition to a zero-carbon world benefits the less well-off and reinvigorates the smaller cities and towns around the world that have been left behind.

This is a practical, original and inspiring book: a new green deal for an inhabitable earth.

 

 

Working with Nature – Jeremy Purseglove (Profile Books)

From cocoa farming in Ghana to the orchards of Kent and the desert badlands of Pakistan, taking a practical approach to sustaining the landscape can mean the difference between prosperity and ruin. Working with Nature is the story of a lifetime of work, often in extreme environments, to harvest nature and protect it – in effect, gardening on a global scale. It is also a memoir of encounters with larger-than-life characters such as William Bunting, the gun-toting saviour of Yorkshire’s peatlands and the aristocratic gardener Vita Sackville-West, examining their idiosyncratic approaches to conservation.

Jeremy Purseglove explains clearly and convincingly why it’s not a good idea to extract as many resources as possible, whether it’s the demand for palm oil currently denuding the forests of Borneo, cottonfield irrigation draining the Aral Sea, or monocrops spreading across Britain. The pioneer of engineering projects to preserve nature and landscape, first in Britain and then around the world, he offers fresh insights and solutions at each step.

 

 

 

Some thoughts on this shortlist:

I have read two from the longlist so far, both of which were excellent, but only one of those made it to the shortlist, Irreplaceable. this is an urgent plea to take action to save those things that once they have gone, will be gon forever. Again I want to read all of them from here as these are books about urgent subjects that have not gone away in the COVID pandemic. Again I don’t envy them picking one from that pile. As soon as the library reservations are back up and running again I will be reserving the ones that I haven’t read.

 

Have you read any? Do you now want to read any of them? Let me know in the comments below

For links to my reviews, where there are any, please click on the title of the books.

Not The Wellcome Prize Shortlist

And we have a shortlist:

Exhalation by Ted Chiang

This much-anticipated second collection of stories is signature Ted Chiang, full of revelatory ideas and deeply sympathetic characters. In ” The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate ,” a portal through time forces a fabric seller in ancient Baghdad to grapple with past mistakes and the temptation of second chances. In the epistolary ” Exhalation ,” an alien scientist makes a shocking discovery with ramifications not just for his own people, but for all of reality. And in ” The Lifecycle of Software Objects ,” a woman cares for an artificial intelligence over twenty years, elevating a faddish digital pet into what might be a true living being. Also included are two brand-new stories: ” Omphalos ” and ” Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom .”

In this fantastical and elegant collection, Ted Chiang wrestles with the oldest questions on earth—What is the nature of the universe? What does it mean to be human?—and ones that no one else has even imagined. And, each in its own way, the stories prove that complex and thoughtful science fiction can rise to new heights of beauty, meaning, and compassion.

 

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado-Pérez

Imagine a world where your phone is too big for your hand, where your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body, where in a car accident you are 47% more likely to be seriously injured, where every week the countless hours of work you do are not recognised or valued. If any of this sounds familiar, chances are that you’re a woman.

Invisible Women shows us how, in a world largely built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half the population. It exposes the gender data gap – a gap in our knowledge that is at the root of perpetual, systemic discrimination against women, and that has created a pervasive but invisible bias with a profound effect on women’s lives.

Award-winning campaigner and writer Caroline Criado Perez brings together for the first time an impressive range of case studies, stories and new research from across the world that illustrate the hidden ways in which women are forgotten, and the impact this has on their health and well-being. From government policy and medical research, to technology, workplaces, urban planning and the media, Invisible Women reveals the biased data that excludes women. In making the case for change, this powerful and provocative book will make you see the world anew.

 

Constellations by Sinéad Gleeson

I have come to think of all the metal in my body as artificial stars, glistening beneath the skin, a constellation of old and new metal. A map, a tracing of connections and a guide to looking at things from different angles.

How do you tell the story of life that is no one thing? How do you tell the story of a life in a body, as it goes through sickness, health, motherhood? And how do you tell that story when you are not just a woman but a woman in Ireland? In these powerful and daring essays, Sinead Gleeson does that very thing. In doing so she delves into a range of subjects: art, illness, ghosts, grief, and our very ways of seeing. In writing that is in tradition of some of our finest writers such as Olivia Laing, Maggie O’Farrell, and Maggie Nelson, and yet still in her own spirited, warm voice, Gleeson takes us on a journey that is both personal and yet universal in its resonance.

 

The Nocturnal Brain by Guy Leschziner

For Dr. Guy Leschziner’s patients, there is no rest for the weary in mind and body. Insomnia, narcolepsy, night terrors, sleep apnea, and sleepwalking are just a sampling of conditions afflicting sufferers who cannot sleep–and their experiences in trying are the stuff of nightmares. Demoniac hallucinations frighten people into paralysis. Restless legs rock both the sleepless and their sleeping partners with unpredictable and uncontrollable kicking. Out-of-sync circadian rhythms confuse the natural body clock’s days and nights.

Then there are the extreme cases. A woman in a state of deep sleep who gets dressed, unlocks her car, and drives for several miles before returning to bed. The man who has spent decades cleaning out kitchens while “sleep-eating.” The teenager prone to the serious, yet unfortunately nicknamed “Sleeping Beauty Syndrome” stuck in a cycle of excessive unconsciousness, binge eating, and uncharacteristic displays of aggression and hyper-sexuality while awake.

With compassionate stories of his patients and their conditions, Dr. Leschziner illustrates the neuroscience behind our sleeping minds, revealing the many biological and psychological factors necessary in getting the rest that will not only maintain our physical and mental health, but improve our cognitive abilities and overall happiness.

 

The Remarkable Life of the Skin by Monty Lyman

Providing a cover for our delicate and intricate bodies, the skin is our largest and fastest-growing organ. We see it, touch it, and live in it every day. It is a habitat for a mesmerizingly complex world of micro-organisms and physical functions that are vital to our health and our survival. It is also a waste removal plant, a warning system for underlying disease and a dynamic immune barrier to infection. One of the first things people see about us, skin is crucial to our sense of identity, providing us with social significance and psychological meaning. And yet our skin and the fascinating way it functions is largely unknown to us. In prose as lucid as his research underlying it is rigorous, blending in memorable stories from the past and from his own medical experience, Monty Lyman has written a revelatory book exploring our outer surface that will surprise and enlighten in equal measure. Through the lenses of science, sociology, and history–on topics as diverse as the mechanics and magic of touch (how much goes on in the simple act of taking keys out of a pocket and unlocking a door is astounding), the close connection between the skin and the gut, what happens instantly when one gets a paper cut, and how a midnight snack can lead to sunburn–Lyman leads us on a journey across our most underrated and unexplored organ and reveals how our skin is far stranger, more wondrous, and more complex than we have ever imagined.

 

War Doctor by David Nott

For more than 25 years, surgeon David Nott has volunteered in some of the world’s most dangerous conflict zones. From Sarajevo under siege in 1993 to clandestine hospitals in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, he has carried out lifesaving operations in the most challenging conditions, and with none of the resources of a major metropolitan hospital. He is now widely acknowledged as the most experienced trauma surgeon in the world.

War Doctor is his extraordinary story, encompassing his surgeries in nearly every major conflict zone since the end of the Cold War, as well as his struggles to return to a “normal” life and routine after each trip. Culminating in his recent trips to war-torn Syria—and the untold story of his efforts to help secure a humanitarian corridor out of besieged Aleppo to evacuate some 50,000 people—War Doctor is a blend of medical memoir, personal journey, and nonfiction thriller that provides unforgettable, at times raw, insight into the human toll of war.

 

Have you read any of these? Do you now want to read them? Let me know in the comments

Wainwright Prize 2019

On Sunday I finished the last of the 13 books on this year’s Wainwright Prize Longlist. There are some cracking books on there covering subjects as diverse as gulls to moles, wild swimming and gipsy parking places. London features twice with sexual adventures in Epping Forrest and ghost trees in Poplar and there are two books on what is happening to our wildlife and the possibilities of what might happen if we change. We head under the sea to Doggerland and deep beneath the surface in Underland. Unusually there is a fiction book on the longlist, however, Lanny is a disturbing read but closely linked to the pagan landscape that we can still see if we look. Lastly, there is a book on the pleasures of walking and another about the loss of coastal landscape on the east coast of Britain.

There were a few surprises on this list, and I think that it was missing some that I read and really enjoyed last year, for example, Under the Rock and The Pull of the River to name but two.

I do not envy the judges selecting the shortlist but it is announced this morning. There is an event tonight at Waterstones Picadilly and I am going to be there. I am really looking forward to meeting the authors and will be taking a small pile of books to be signed too.

Links to all of my reviews are below:

Underland by Robert Macfarlane

Wilding: The Return Of Nature To A British Farm by Isabella Tree

Lanny by Max Porter

Landfill by Tim Dee

Time Song: Searching For Doggerland by Julia Blackburn

Our Place: Can We Save Britain’s Wildlife Before It Is Too Late? by Mark Cocker

How To Catch A Mole And Find Yourself In Nature by Marc Hamer

The Stopping Places: A Journey Through Gypsy Britain by Damian Le Bas

Thinking On My Feet by Kate Humble

Wild Woman Swimming by Lynne Roper

Out of the Woods by Luke Turner

The Easternmost House by Juliet Blaxland

Ghost Trees: Nature and People in a London Parish by Bob Gilbert

My favourites on the list are, Wilding, Landfill, Underland and Our Place. Closely followed by Lanny and Wild Woman Swimming.

Who do you think is going to be on the shortlist?

Who do you want to be on the shortlist?

2019 Wellcome Prize Shadow Panel Winner

This is the second year that I have been on the Shadow Panel for the Wellcome Book Prize and for a list of books that vary in content style and subject you can’t really get any better. It is their tenth anniversary too, so if you want to find a book that is worth reading that had some aspect of health as its core theme, then trawling their backlist of long and shortlisted titles is a great place to start.

The shortlisted books were:

Amateur by Thomas Page McBee

Heart: A history by Sandeep Jauhar

The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein

Mind on Fire by Arnold Thomas Fanning

Murmur by Will Eaves

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

All five of us read all of the shortlisted books and at the end score them from 6 down to 1. This year it wasn’t as clear cut as last year, as each of us had our favourite books, but with the scored totted up our winner this year was:

And it won by just a single point! It is well worth reading, but not when you are having your tea.

Congratulations to Sarah Krasnostein. Looking forward to hearing who is the official winner on Wednesday too, and I am hoping I can get the time off work to go up and hear it live.

Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize – Shortlist announcement!

Earlier today the Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize was announced. The shortlist was chosen by a judging panel chaired by Swansea University Professor Dai Smith CBE with Professor Kurt Heinzelman; Books Editor for the BBC Di Speirs and award-winning novelist Kit de Waal.

The 6 shortlisted books comprise 5 novels and 1 collection of short stories and they are here:

American-Ghanaian writer Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (27) for his debut short story collection Friday Black (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (US) and Riverrun (UK)) which explores what it’s like to grow up as a black male in America, and whose powerful style of writing has been likened to George Saunders. He is from Spring Valley, New York and graduated from SUNY Albany and went on to receive his MFA from Syracuse University. He was the ’16-’17 Olive B. O’Connor fellow in fiction at Colgate University. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Guernica, Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing, Printer’s Row, Gravel, and The Breakwater Review, where he was selected by ZZ Packer as the winner of the 2nd Annual Breakwater Review Fiction Contest. Friday Black is his first book.

Debut novelist Zoe Gilbert for Folk (Bloomsbury Publishing) which was developed from her fascination in ancient folklore and the resurgence of nature writing. She has previously won the Costa Short Story Award in 2014. Zoe Gilbert is the winner of the Costa Short Story Award 2014. Her work has appeared on BBC Radio 4, and in anthologies and journals in the UK and internationally. She has taken part in writing projects in China and South Korea for the British Council, and she is completing a PhD on folk tales in contemporary fiction. The co-founder of London Lit Lab, which provides writing courses and mentoring for writers, she lives on the coast in Kent.

British-Sri-Lankan debut novelist, Guy Gunaratne for In Our Mad and Furious City (Tinder Press, Headline), longlisted for The Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for The Goldsmiths Prize, The Gordon Burn Prize as well as the Writers Guild Awards. He lives between London, UK and Malmö, Sweden. His first novel In Our Mad and Furious City was longlisted for The Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for The Goldsmiths Prize, The Gordon Burn Prize as well as the Writers Guild Awards. He has worked as a journalist and documentary filmmaker covering human rights stories around the world.

Louisa Hall with her latest book Trinity (Ecco) which tackles the complex life of the Father of the Atomic Bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer through seven fictional characters. Louisa Hall grew up in Philadelphia. She is the author of the novels Speak and The Carriage House, and her poems have been published in The New Republic, Southwest Review, and other journals. She is a professor at the University of Iowa, and the Western Writer in Residence at Montana State University. Trinity is her third novel.

For the second time Sarah Perry has been shortlisted for the Prize this time for Melmoth (Serpent’s Tail), one of The Observer’s Best Fiction Books of the Year 2018, and a masterpiece of moral complexity, asking us profound questions about mercy, redemption, and how to make the best of our conflicted world. Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. She has been the writer in residence at Gladstone’s Library and the UNESCO World City of Literature Writer in Residence in Prague. After Me Comes the Flood, her first novel, was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Folio Prize and won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. Her latest novel, The Essex Serpent, was a number one bestseller in hardback, Waterstones Book of the Year 2016, the British Book Awards Book of the Year 2017, was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and Dylan Thomas Award, and longlisted for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017. Her work has been translated into twenty languages. She lives in Norwich.

Zimbabwean debut novelist Novuyo Rosa Tshuma with her wildly inventive and darkly humorous novel House of Stone (Atlantic Books) which reveals the mad and glorious death of colonial Rhodesia and the bloody birth of modern Zimbabwe. She grew up in Zimbabwe and has lived in South Africa and the USA. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her short fiction has been featured in numerous anthologies, and she was awarded the 2014 Herman Charles Bosman Prize for the best literary work in English

The winner will be announced on Thursday 16th May at Swansea University’s Great Hall, just after International Dylan Thomas Day on 14th May.

The International Dylan Thomas Prize was launched in 2006. It is one of the most prestigious awards for young writers, aimed at encouraging raw creative talent worldwide. It celebrates and nurtures international literary excellence. Worth £30,000, it is one of the UK’s most prestigious literary prizes as well as the world’s largest literary prize for young writers. Awarded for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under, the Prize celebrates the international world of fiction in all its forms including poetry, novels, short stories and drama. The prize is named after the Swansea-born writer, Dylan Thomas, and celebrates his 39 years of creativity and productivity. One of the most influential, internationally-renowned writers of the mid-twentieth century, the prize invokes his memory to support the writers of today and nurture the talents of tomorrow.

Follow Dylan Thomas Prize on Twitter here: @dylanthomprize

Wellcome Prize Shortlist 2019

Last night at midnight (no I don’t know why midnight either) the Wellcome Prize announced their shortlist, and the books that they have chosen are:

Amateur: A true story about what makes a man by Thomas Page McBee

Heart: A history by Sandeep Jauhar

Mind on Fire: A memoir of madness and recovery by Arnold Thomas Fanning

Murmur by Will Eaves

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

The Trauma Cleaner: One woman’s extraordinary life in death, decay and disaster by Sarah Krasnostein

The shortlist has two novels on it this year, Murmur by Will Eaves and My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, neither of which I have read yet but have them reserved from the library.  The remainder of the shortlist is non-fiction. Two of the authors are writing about gender, with Thomas Page McBee looking at masculinity and violence as he becomes the first trans man to box at Madison Square Garden in Amateur. Sarah Krasnostein’s book, The Trauma Cleaner, is a biography about Sandra Pankhurst who was a husband, father, drag queen, sex worker, wife – and how her journey through childhood abuse, trauma and transphobic hostility has led her to care to both the living and the dead.

 Heart by Sandeep Jauhar is fairly self-explanatory as to what it is about and Mind on Fire is Arnold Thomas Fanning personal story of his battle with mania, psychosis and severe depression and how he has survived the mental torment. 

As a Shadow Panel, comprising Rebecca from Bookish Beck, Annabel from Annabookbel, Laura from Dr. Laura Tisdall and Clare from A Little Blog of Books we had an opportunity to vote on the favourites that we had and from that chose seven books for our shortlist:

Amateur: A true story about what makes a man by Thomas Page McBee

Educated by Tara Westover

Heart: A history by Sandeep Jauhar

Murmur by Will Eaves

Sight by Jessie Greengrass

The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein

This Really Isn’t About You by Jean Hannah Edelstein

So we guessed four of them correctly!

These were the ones that I had nominated based on the few that I have read and what fitted the brief as my suggestion for the shortlist and I had also got four correct:

Amateur: A true story about what makes a man by Thomas Page McBee

Murmur by Will Eaves

Heart: A history by Sandeep Jauhar

Mind on Fire: A memoir of madness and recovery by Arnold Thomas Fanning

Polio: The Odyssey of eradication by Thomas Abraham

This Really Isn’t About You by Jean Hannah Edelstein

Have you read any of them? Are there any that you want to read having seen this list? Let me know below.

 

 

The Wellcome Book Prize 10th Anniversary Blog Tour

Welcome to Halfman, Half Book, I am Paul Cheney. This is the first stop on the 10th Anniversary Blog Tour for the Wellcome Book Prize. Launched in 2009, the prize celebrates the best new books that engage with an aspect of medicine, health or illness, showcasing the breadth and depth of our encounters with medicine through exceptional works of literature. These exceptional works of fiction and non-fiction illuminate the many ways that health, medicine and illness touch our lives. Over the last decade, the prize has recognised an eclectic variety of titles from novels to memoirs to popular science. In 2019, the prize will celebrate this legacy and this extraordinary genre of books that add new meaning to life, death and everything in between.

Today I am going to be highlighting one of the books from 2009, the first year that the prize ran, Tormented Hope. First, though I will be talking about, Illness by Havi Carel.

What is illness? Is it a physiological dysfunction, a social label, or a way of experiencing the world? How do the physical, social, and emotional worlds of a person change when they become ill? Can there be well-being within illness?

In this remarkable and thought-provoking book, Havi Carel explores these questions by weaving together the personal story of her own illness with insights and reflections drawn from her work as a philosopher. Carel’s fresh approach to illness raises some uncomfortable questions about how we all – whether healthcare professionals or not – view the ill, challenging us to become more thoughtful. Illness unravels the tension between the universality of illness and its intensely private, often lonely, nature. It offers a new way of looking at a matter that affects every one of us.

Revised and updated throughout, the third edition of this groundbreaking volume includes a new chapter on organ transplantation. Illness: The Cry of the Flesh will prove essential reading to those studying philosophy, medical ethics, and medical anthropology, as well as those in the healthcare and medical professions. It will also be of interest to individuals who live with illness, and their friends and families.

My Review:

However, there are those that have long term, debilitating and life-shortening illnesses that affect them and their families in a multitude of ways. How does society as a whole consider those that are ill and how should we as individuals treat those that are ill.

Havi Carel is well placed to consider the impact of illness on an individual and the wider implications in society in her position as Professor of Philosophy at Bristol and as a long term sufferer of Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). This is a rare, progressive and systemic disease that typically results in cystic lung destruction and affects younger women.

Using the intimate knowledge of her own illness from when she began to realise that there was something wrong in 2004, learning about the illness with her father there, to details on the medical treatments that she needed. She is open about how some friends, family and medical practitioners have treated her since the diagnosis and when their care has succeeded and when it hasn’t. With the finely honed gaze of a philosopher and through the prism of phenomenology she is best placed to understand how and why people do the things that they do.

It is quite a profound book in lots of ways. Carel explores from a very personal perspective the feeling and emotions that come with severe and long term debilitating illness and gets to the very crux of the matter on how we need to treat those in those long term illnesses. Some of the more esoteric philosophy I didn’t really get the first time, so it will be worth a second read again on those sections. In my opinion, this is a brilliant companion volume to the book by Kathryn Mannix that was shortlisted last year, With The End In Mind, that explores different and more empathetic ways to treat people as they reach the end of their life.


Another book on the shortlist in 2009 was, Tormented Hope. 

In this, Brian Dillon looks at nine prominent hypochondriacs – James Boswell, Charlotte Brontë, Charles Darwin, Florence Nightingale, Daniel Paul Schreber, Alice James, Marcel Proust, Glenn Gould and Andy Warhol – and what their lives tell us about the way the mind works with, and against, the body. His findings are stimulating and surprising, and the stories he tells are often moving, sometimes hilarious, and always gripping. With a new afterword on Michael Jackson.

Brian Dillon’s first book, In the Dark Room, won the Irish Book Award for Non-fiction in 2006. He lives in Canterbury.

Please do come back later for a review of this book and thank you for stopping by today


Do find the other blogs and book lovers on social media as they talk about the books that have made the shortlists over the past decades

Find out more about the prize and the Wellcome Trust here: wellcomebookprize.org

Follow the hashtag too: #WBP2019

WELLCOME BOOK PRIZE 2019 

The longlist for the prize will be announced in February, the shortlist in march and the winner announced in April. Really looking forward to seeing what makes it on this year.

Elif Shafak, the award-winning author, is chair of the Wellcome Book Prize 2019 and is joined on the panel by Kevin Fong, consultant anaesthetist at University College London Hospitals; Viv Groskop, writer, broadcaster and stand-up comedian; Jon Day, writer, critic, and academic; and Rick Edwards, broadcaster and author.

 

 

Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award Shortlists

There are Lots of excellent books to read on these shortlists announced today. The scary thing is that I am an official judge for the Stanford Dolman list!:

STANFORD DOLMAN TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR

Ottoman Odyssey: Travels through a Lost Empire by Alev Scott

Lights In The Distance: Exile and Refuge at the Borders of Europe by Daniel Trilling

The Rhine: Following Europe’s Greatest River from Amsterdam to the Alps by Ben Coates

Dancing Bears: True Stories about Longing for the Old Days by Witold Szablowski (translated from Polish by Antonia Lloyd Jones)

The Stopping Places: A Journey Through Gypsy Britain by Damian Le Bas

The Immeasurable World: Journeys in Desert Places by William Atkins

FICTION, WITH A SENSE OF PLACE

Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Ponti by Sharlene Teo

The Madonna of The Mountains by Elise Valmorbida

Woman At Sea by Catherine Poulain

House of Stone by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

LONELY PLANET ADVENTURE TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR

The Secret Surfer by Iain Gately

Kings of the Yukon: An Alaskan River Journey by Adam Weymouth

Up: My Life’s Journey to the Top of Everest by Ben Fogle and Marina Fogle, Mark Fisher (photographer)

Arabia: A Journey Through The Heart of the Middle East by Levison Wood

Around the World in 80 Days: My World Record Breaking Adventure by Mark Beaumont

Me, My Bike and a Street Dog Called Lucy by Ishbel Holmes

ORDNANCE SURVEY CHILDREN’S TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR

Destination: Planet Earth by Jo Nelson, illustrated by Tom Clohosy Cole

Alastair Humphreys’ Great Adventurers by Alastair Humphreys, illustrated by Kevin Ward

Explorers on Witch Mountain by Alex Bell

Atlas of Adventures: Wonders of the World by Ben Handicott, illustrated by Lucy Letherland

Journeys by Jonathan Litton, illustrated by Leo Hartas, Chris Chalik, Jon David and David Shephard

Maps of the United Kingdom by Rachel Dixon and Livi Gosling

PHOTOGRAPHY AND ILLUSTRATED TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR

The Writer’s Map: An Atlas of Imaginary Lands by Huw Lewis-Jones

The Hidden Tracks: Wanderlust – Hiking Adventures Off the Beaten Path by Cam Honan

Wonders: Spectacular Moments in Nature Photography by Rhonda Rubinstein and California Academy of Sciences

Maps of London and Beyond by Adam Dant, foreword by The Gentle Author

Escape by Bike: Adventure Cycling, Bikepacking and Touring Off-Road by Joshua Cunningham

The Golden Atlas: The Greatest Explorations, Quests and Discoveries on Maps by Simon & Schuster

TRAVEL COOKERY BOOK OF THE YEAR

Pasta, Pane, Vino: Deep Travels Through Italy’s Food Culture by Matt Goulding

Copenhagen Food: Stories, traditions and recipes by Trine Hahnemann, Photography by Columbus Leth

Shetland: Cooking on the Edge of the World by James & Tom Morton, Photography by Andy Sewell

Black Sea: Dispatches and Recipes – Through Darkness and Light by Caroline Eden

Nightingales and Roses: Recipes from the Persian Kitchen by Maryam Sinaiee

Khazana: Saliha Mahmood Ahmed (Hodder & Stoughton) by Saliha Mahmood Ahmed

TRAVEL MEMOIR OF THE YEAR

The Crossway by Guy Stagg

Step By Step by Jonathan Litton

Thinking on My Feet: The small joy of putting one foot in front of another by Kate Humble

In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin by Lindsey Hilsum

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

Skybound: A Journey In Flight by Rebecca Loncraine

More details on this link: http://www.stanfords.co.uk/edward-stanford-travel-writing-awards

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