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Geographical’s pick of the books: April

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Geographical’s pick of the books: April
23 Apr
Read on for our reviews of some of the latest non-fiction books to hit the shelves


THE STREETS OF EUROPE: The Sights, Sounds and Smells That Shaped its Great Cities by Brian Ladd

In his wonderful new book, Ladd adopts a thematic approach, focusing on the period between 1700 and 1900, and making case studies of Berlin, London, Paris, and Vienna. The book opens with a look at the street as workplace. It’s easy to forget how much urban commerce was once conducted in the open air. Dentists would yank out teeth, laundresses would get into a lather, and Paris’s Pont au Change would be aptly named: long ago, it was where money-changers set up their stalls, ever wary of a strong breeze blowing their notes of exchange into the Seine. Then, with the 19th century, the weather-resistant arcades arrived for the toffs and, before too long, we were all headed towards the soulless shopping mall.

Click here to read the full review


THE FROZEN RIVER: Seeking Silence in the Himalaya by James Crowden

In 1976, James Crowden abandoned his career in the British Army and trekked into Ladakh, in the northern Himalaya. There, he spent a winter living among the Zangskari people, one of the most remote communities in the world. In The Frozen River, Crowden recounts his time in Zangskar, and through his eyes we glimpse a vanishing world; the nature, people and traditions little changed for hundreds of years until roads connected the area to the outside world. Crowden witnesses the first vehicles ever to arrive in Zangskar.

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THE CITIZEN’S GUIDE TO CLIMATE SUCCESS: Overcoming Myths That Hinder Progress by Mark Jaccard

For climate policy expert Marc Jaccard, slowing climate change is ‘manageable’ if only we change our ways – and debunk myths. 

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THE ONLY GAIJIN IN THE VILLAGE: A Year Living in Rural Japan by Iain Maloney 

Scottish writer Iain Maloney moved to Japan aged 35 with his wife Minori. A decade later, harbouring a desire to grow his own veg, the couple de-camp to a half-acre plot in the countryside.

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AN INDIFFERENCE OF BIRDS by Richard Smyth book review

What feels fresh about a book seemingly about birds – that must compete with a veritable flock of rival books about birds – is that it’s actually a book about humans. It’s merely told from the birds’ perspective.

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WHAT WE NEED TO DO NOW: For a Zero Carbon Future by Chris Goodall 

In these uncertain times, when climate change seems to bear down on us like an ashen-faced monster and we can’t see the woods or the trees, Chris Goodall appears in the thorny thicket like a fresh-faced guide, offering a way out. We can do this, he says. ‘The solutions to the climate crisis are available, and the cost is bearable.’ 

Click here to read the full review


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