Five Tuesdays in Winter
Picador, £14.99, pp240
In her debut short story collection, King – the author of five highly acclaimed novels – delivers tales of adolescent self-discovery, parenthood, love, desire and grief. A teenage babysitter develops an unhealthy crush on her boss’s married son with emotionally devastating results. A bookshop owner struggles to articulate his feelings for his employee. And a teenage boy spends the summer with a pair of college students after his father’s failed suicide attempt. Intimate and revealing, this is an unflinchingly honest and insightful collection.
The Treeline: The Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth
Jonathan Cape, £20, pp352
“The trees are on the move. They shouldn’t be.” So declares Rawlence in his urgent and timely investigation into the Arctic treeline: the boreal forest that has already been advancing for five decades. Focusing on the six most prevalent species of tree, and traversing regions from Scotland to Siberia, Rawlence witnesses first-hand the cultural, commercial and environmental impact of the climate emergency. Combining science, sociology, natural history and travelogue, this is a meticulously researched and compellingly presented read.
Islands of Abandonment: Life in the Post-Human Landscape
William Collins, £9.99, pp384 (paperback)
Shortlisted for multiple prizes, Flyn’s atmospheric and beautifully eerie book investigates what happens to places when humans cease to inhabit them. From Chernobyl to abandoned holiday resorts, Flyn is less interested in the environmental havoc humans have wreaked than in nature’s resilience and its ability to recuperate and thrive, resulting in a polemic that is haunting and optimistic.
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