Every book I’ve read in the last two years

Once upon a time in a Paris loft... It's finally time to publish it. I started keeping this list - of every book I have read cover to cover - in October 2018, as I was nearing the end of my transformational time at the Shakespeare and Company bookshop in Paris. Being there with the … Continue reading Every book I’ve read in the last two years

Five great books about…Norway

What do you think of when you think of Norway? A land of fjords slicing into its frayed coastline, one of the longest in the world; cosy fires, endless summers, and snow beneath the northern lights. Norway is a country of just five million people, but it is huge, and diverse in dialects and industries. … Continue reading Five great books about…Norway

Heligoland: North Sea island with its own seal colony

In the middle of the North Sea, north of the German coast, is a small island (well, archipelago really). Inhabited by around 1,100 people, it sits in an area of sea called German Bight. Best of all, it has its own grey seal colony. This island is Helgoland in the German spelling, Heligoland in English. … Continue reading Heligoland: North Sea island with its own seal colony

Atomic bombs and 500-year-old sharks…

Some research I worked on for months came to fruition at last this summer! This mysterious deep-sea shark is built to live for centuries. Will it survive to tell the tale of the Anthropocene? I consider the Greenland shark, nuclear waste, and ocean plastics, showing how their scales of time and space converge. Please read … Continue reading Atomic bombs and 500-year-old sharks…

‘Your Name’ is a cosmic masterpiece

As Storm Ciara raged across the UK and the Netherlands this weekend, I found myself battling across Amsterdam to get to the cinema as everyone else seemed to be hiding inside. For the first time since moving here, I had decided to shun my beloved bicycle for weather reasons when I realised I would struggle … Continue reading ‘Your Name’ is a cosmic masterpiece

My best books of 2019

Unusually for me, most of my favourite books this year have been non-fiction, and it's true that I've read a lot more of this kind of book in 2019. It's probably due to a reorientation towards studying again, meaning that I have to spend most of my free time reading books that are mostly informative … Continue reading My best books of 2019

Nuclear storage and the future: “Welcome to the new age”

Recently, I went on a field trip to a nuclear waste storage facility called COVRA in the south-west of the Netherlands. The area is called Zeeland, the least populous province of this densely populated country. This watery land is criss-crossed by a series of large barriers, dams, and dykes which were put in place after … Continue reading Nuclear storage and the future: “Welcome to the new age”

Environmental Humanities: books, podcasts, films, etc.

This list will be updated the more I come across, and the more time I can find... 🎬 Films Anthropocene: the Human Epoch Into Eternity Sea of Shadows Whales Weep Not Werner Herzog documentaries Donna Haraway: Storytelling for Earthly Survival Vive la baleine! (Three Cheers for the Whale) 🎧 Podcasts Mothers of Invention National Geographic, … Continue reading Environmental Humanities: books, podcasts, films, etc.

The girl who loved islands

There is a surprisingly large number of people who go around dreaming about an island...Tove Jansson, 'The Island' (1961) Day 1 Sometimes the island was half in shadow; it appeared to her that the darkness was not entirely benign. It wasn't a mere absence of light, or a failure of sunshine to get through vegetation; … Continue reading The girl who loved islands

“Probably the worst weather we’ve had all year”: finding space under big skies in the Orkney Islands, Scotland

A couple of years ago, I was taken with a book called The Outrun by Amy Liptrot. The author, whose parents are English but who had grown up on the Orkney Islands, returned to her hometown after a tumultuous decade in London that had culminated in alcoholism. Her beautiful book charts her recovery, and her … Continue reading “Probably the worst weather we’ve had all year”: finding space under big skies in the Orkney Islands, Scotland