RaveThe Guardian (UK)Reef Life is a vibrant memoir of the joys, as well as the grind, of a research career beginning in the 1980s that has spanned a golden age of coral reef science. It is also a fine introduction to the ecology of reefs and the existential threats they now face ... Roberts revels in the details of life on a coral reef ... Roberts is a humorous, determined expert ... It is poignant to read this ... Roberts, with his irrepressible warmth and passion, concludes: \'Now is the time for action, not mourning. There is everything to play for.\'
RaveNatureRather than assessing the science itself, Notes From An Apocalypse explores how such threats affect individuals. Written before the COVID-19 crisis, it is an eerily prescient mix of confession, political critique, meditation and comic monologue on living in the face of death ... O’Connell probes deeper into our personal psyches. In a tone somewhere between those of writer Samuel Beckett, film-maker Woody Allen and poet W. B. Yeats, he asks what happens when we’re faced with the prospect of both individual and global demise ... offers no scientific analysis of the existential threats we face or how we should respond. Instead, it illuminates the anxieties and delusions we share and oversights we commit, and shows how easily our fears (particularly when enabled by power, money and technology) can cause us to walk away from the disasters we create — to hide, flee, stockpile — just when we most need to engage. In this reflective, hilarious and disturbing page-turner, O’Connell makes a compelling case that connecting with nature and each other is the best way to calm our apocalyptic dread — and it might even increase our prospects of avoiding the worst.
PositiveThe Guardian (UK)... remarkable findings fill its pages ... The book is most engaging when Geddes writes about her own experience ... At Dowth, one of the great neolithic tombs in Ireland, sunlight on the winter solstice briefly shines gold on to sun-like spirals and other marks carved on the stones within. Geddes’s reflection on this, as well as on a dark-sky night near Stonehenge, where the stars reveal themselves in glory, helps bring a sense of wonder to this fact-filled book. But there is much to discover, appreciate and concern us that is not covered in Chasing the Sun. One of the most urgent questions – central to wellbeing in its broadest and deepest sense – is whether humanity’s hunger for light and energy can be met without endangering ourselves and the many forms of light-filled beings on whom we depend, and with whom we share the planet.
RaveThe Guardian (UK)I recommend anyone prone to despair to read Wilding – for Isabella Tree’s apparently quixotic tale of Exmoor ponies, longhorn cattle, red deer and Tamworth pigs roaming free on an aristocratic estate is a hugely important addition to the literature of what can be done to restore soil and soul ... Tree writes with grace about a legion of doubts, obstructions and delays. And there’s welcome detail ... The book contains moments of lyricism and revelation.
PositiveThe Guardian... Kolbert offers well-composed snapshots of history, theory and observation that will fascinate, enlighten and appall many readers ... There are useful, indeed exemplary, discussions of ocean acidification starting from readily observable natural effects off the Italian coast, of the fate of coral from the Great Barrier Reef, of the extent to which tropical forests in Peru can adapt to rapid change, of habitat fragmentation in the Amazon basin and beyond, and of the consequences of the mass global transference of species from one place to another. It is all pretty grim.