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Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History
Plants are so ubiquitous, such a common feature of the world around us, that we rarely stop to consider the profound impact they have on our everyday lives. We give flowers on special occasions, spend many dedicated hours nurturing gardens, use them for dyes and construction, and turn them into cosmetics and medicines. We are also entirely dependent on them for sustenance - even when we eat meat, the animals that provide it have been raised on plants. Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History is a beautifully presented guide to the plants that have had the greatest impact on human civilisation. Entries range from crops like rice and wheat that feed whole populations, to herbs and spices that are highly prized for their medicinal qualities. Weaving together strands of economic, political, and industrial history, each entry is a fascinating look at the most influential plants known to mankind.
About Bill Laws
Bill Laws is a writer, editor, and journalist, based in Herefordshire, England. He is the author of ten books, including Common Losses: Essays and Interviews on Trees, Woods and the Green Man, which was commissioned by the environmental arts group Common Ground, Spade, Skirret and Parsnip: The Curious History of Vegetables, and Byways, Boots and Blisters: A History of Walkers and Walking. Bill writes on homes, gardens, and landscapes for numerous publications, including the Guardian and Telegraph newspapers, Environment Now, Period House, BBC History magazine, and the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are? He has also edited a series of journals and books on rural history for the last twenty years, the latest publication, A Slap of the Hand, being a social history of a country cattle market. Bill is also the author of The Field Guide to Fields: A Guided Tour Through Meadows, Pastures and Praries, soon to be published
224 pages/Hard cover/ ISBN 978 174237 218 1/ RRP $35.00
This series celebrates the V+A's status as a source of inspiration for designers, reflecting the unique breadth and depth of a collection that represents over 3000 years of objects from all over the world. Garden Florals features beautiful, mainly British, plant-inspired patterns produced from 1880 to 1910. The other books in this second instalment of the V+A Pattern series are Owen Jones, Novelty Patterns and Kimono.
The pocket sized books make attractive and collectable gifts but are also a valuable source of ideas for designers of all kinds. Each book includes a short introduction to put the patterns in context plus a free CD of the images inside, which can be redrawn or reworked. Commercial designers looking to license patterns and individual motifs from the collection can use the books as a starting point for research.
The books are available individually or as a stylish boxed set (9781851776078).
About Antonia Brodie
Antonia Brodie was formerly Assistant Curator in the department of Furniture, Textiles and Fashion at the V+A. Garden Florals is her first book.
80 pages/Hard cover/ ISBN 978 185177 588 0/ RRP $22.99
This series celebrates the V+A's status as a source of inspiration for designers, reflecting the unique breadth and depth of a collection that represents over 3000 years of objects from all over the world. The pocket sized books make attractive and collectable gifts but are also a valuable source of ideas for designers of all kinds. The first four titles feature some of the museum's most popular patterns, from sumptuous William Morris wallpapers and Indian florals to the fresh modernity of 1950s textiles and the digital pioneers. A short introduction to each book puts the patterns in context.
Each book comes with a free CD of the images inside, which can be redrawn or reworked. Commercial designers looking to license patterns and individual motifs from the collection can use the books as a starting point for research.
The books are available individually or as a stylish boxed set (9781851775903).
80 pages/Hard cover/ ISBN 978 185177 586 6/ RRP $22.99
Meditation and the Art of Beekeeping
Meditation and the Art of Beekeeping explores the remarkable role bees play in keeping wildlife thriving and cultivated crops blooming. It combines practical beekeeping information with the environmental and spiritual lessons we can learn from the bees. Meditations based on Buddhist practice help you experience the simple pleasure of the natural world.
About Mark Magill
Mark Magill is a long-standing and avid beekeeper as well as a journalist, author and editor. A frequent contributor to Tricycle: the Buddhist Review and a member of its editorial board, Mark is author of Why is the Buddha Smiling? and was a contributor to Good Life, Good Death by Gelek Rimpoche.
144 pages/ Hard cover/ISBN 978 174237 545 8/RRP $19.90
Storms of My Grandchildren
In Storms of My Grandchildren, Dr. James Hansen, the world's leading scientist on climate issues, speaks out for the first time with the full truth about global warming: the planet is hurtling even more rapidly than previously acknowledged to a climatic point of no return. Although Hansen was Al Gore's science advisor for An Inconvenient Truth, his recent data shows that our situation is even more dire today. But politicians haven't made the connection between the policy and the science. He shows why Gore's solution won't work, why we must phase out all coal, and why 350 ppm of carbon is a goal we must achieve in the next two decades if our children are to avoid global meltdown. This urgent manifesto bucks conventional wisdom (including the Kyoto Protocol) and is sure to stir controversy, but Hansen - whose climate predictions have come to pass again and again, beginning in the 1980s when he first warned Congress about global warming - is the single most credible voice on the subject worldwide, and this book is sure to receive enormous attention.
Hansen paints a devastating but all-too-realistic picture of what will happen in the next year, and ten years from now if we follow the course we're on. But he is also an optimist, showing that there is still time to do what we need to do. Urgent, strong action is needed, and this book, released just before the Copenhagen Conference in December 2009, will be key in setting the agenda going forward to create a groundswell, a tipping point, to save humanity - and our grandchildren - from a dire fate more imminent than we had supposed.
About James Hansen
Perhaps best known for bringing global warming to the world's attention in the 1980s when he first testified before Congress, Dr. James Hansen is considered the world's leading climatologist. The head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, he served as Al Gore's science advisor for An Inconvenient Truth. He teaches at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University, lectures at universities and other institutions throughout the world and has been interviewed in the New York Times and other publications. This is his first book.
Soft cover/ISBN 978 1408807 446 0/ RRP $49.99
V&A Pattern Boxed Set William Morris et al.
Rosemary Crill Honor Beddard Douglas Dodds Linda Parry Sue Pritchard
This series celebrates the V+A's status as a source of inspiration for designers, reflecting the unique breadth and depth of a collection that represents over 3000 years of objects from all over the world. This boxed set of four pocket sized books makes an attractive gift but is also a valuable source of ideas for designers of all kinds. The four titles in the set feature some of the museum's most popular patterns, from sumptuous William Morris wallpapers and Indian florals to the fresh modernity of 1950s textiles and the digital pioneers. A short introduction to each book puts the patterns in context.
320 pages/ISBN 978 185177 590 3/ RRP $79.99
Voyages of Discovery
Voyages of Discovery is a mesmerising visual record of ten of the most significant natural history expeditions.
Superb artworks and photographs spanning three centuries document advances and watersheds in the field of natural science. The stories behind these images - of explorers, naturalists, artists and photographers - entwine into a fascinating study of human achievement and natural wonder.
Among the many stories of adventure and great scientific endeavour are James Cook's perilous Pacific crossings and Darwin's historic voyage aboard the HMS Beagle.
Hand-picked from the vast Library of the Natural History Museum, London, the illustrations and artworks contained here form a rare collection, most of which are exclusively presented in this stunning book.
About Tony Rice
Tony Rice received his first degree and PhD in Marine Biology from the University of Liverpool. He worked as a curator of crustacean at the Natural History Museum, London, then spent 26 years leading the deep-sea benthic biology team at the Natural Environment research Council's Institute of Oceanographic Sciences. He now concentrates on writing books and acting as a marine environmental consultant.
336 pages/Soft cover/ISBN 978 174237 225 9/RRP $39.99
Zen and the Art of Raising Chickens
Zen and the Art of Raising Chickens explores the entertaining, rewarding, and - yes - enlightening art of keeping chickens in an urban or suburban garden. Chickens slow us down and ground us. This book demonstrates how raising chickens can easily fit into a busy lifestyle, and why doing so helps keep us sane and focused on the simpler joys of life.
About Clea Danaan
Clea Danaan lives in Colorado with her husband, two children, two cats, four sweet chickens and suburban organic garden. She is Reiki master with a background in massage therapy, Acutonics Sound Healing, somatic psychology, and Expressive Arts Therapy. She left her healing career to devote time to her children and writing career, and now has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from National University.
144 pages/Hard cover/ ISBN 978 17423 7544 1/ RRP $19.99