The Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize
The Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize 2018 Winner:
The Seabird's Cry by Adam Nicolson
It is our great pleasure to confirm Adam Nicolson’s The Seabird’s Cry as the winner of the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize 2018.
Championed by Waterstones as our Scottish Book of the Month for April, The Seabird’s Cry is both a labour of love and the culmination of a lifetime of study. Told in ten chapters - each dedicated to a different bird - it sings with Nicolson’s infectious passion for lives lived on the cusp of water and sky.
Beautifully written and sensitively illustrated by Kate Boxer, it's a book that combines expert knowledge with unforgettable detail and human insight. A truly compelling story of Britain’s coastal birdlife and an inspirational plea for our need to preserve it.
A book about losing and finding, exploring familiar places and discovering unknown horizons, Hidden Nature is both a memoir of Alys Fowler’s travels in a kayak around Birmingham’s canal network and her emotional journey to come out as a gay woman. Beautifully written, honest and very moving it is a book that examines what it means to change and encourages everyone to pay greater attention to the natural wonders that exist in even the most ordinary, urban or industrial spaces.
Growing up in a divided family on ‘the last road in London’, in the buffer-zone between the urban sprawl and green belt woodland John Grindrod experienced first-hand the tension - both personal and social - this long-contested land evokes. The first book to tell the story of Britain’s green belts, Outskirts combines social history, nature writing and poignant memoir to explore what this land means to different people and whether, in the face of increasing pressure, it can survive.
A renowned life-long naturalist, John Lister-Kaye’s memoir is both a celebration of the natural world that shaped his life and work and a deeply moving account of his mother’s terminal illness. Moving from his early ‘wild’ childhood in rural Warwickshire to his own conservation work inspired by his time with Ring of Bright Water’s Gavin Maxwell, this is both a celebration of the solace of the natural world and spirited account of an extraordinary life.
Like his previous acclaimed memoir, Deep Country, The Last Wilderness is a book about how we find ourselves outside ourselves; a book that merges memoir and nature writing to explore how we change when alone with just the natural world for company. Written through a series of solitary walks in the most remote areas of Britain as the author was beginning to lose his hearing, this book is also a powerful examination of how we experience our surroundings and what happens to our sense of ourselves when we find ourselves in nature rather than outside of it.
Just days after learning that her husband was terminally ill, Raynor Winn learned that her home was going to be repossessed, leaving her homeless and penniless. In an extraordinary move, the couple decided to walk the entirety of the South West Coast Path, relying on the kindness of strangers and their own ingenuity. The Salt Path is the story of their journey. An inspirational, uplifting and original book about the courage it takes to begin again, it is also a book that explores the possibilities opened up by returning to a simpler, more instinctive way of living and learning to accept what cannot be changed.
‘Nicolson calls on Heaney and Yeats, Melville and Milton to illuminate his observations,’ noted the Financial Times, ‘but it’s often his own writing that shines most brightly.’ The Seabird’s Cry is a gorgeous and sobering portrait of our hardy seabirds, beautiful and mysterious creatures now so at risk by our sheer thoughtlessness. Accompanied by Kate Boxer’s evocative illustrations, Adam Nicolson surveys ten species of ocean-going birds, from the familiar puffin to the enigmatic, storm-riding fulmars. Fusing science and literature to find the essence of these fabulous creatures, The Seabird’s Cry is a revelation.
A truly magical fusion of words and images, The Lost Words is a vital compendium of language slipping from the grasp of young people – bluebell, lark, newt, kingfisher – presented as a series of acrostic spells that engage both mind and eye. The work of acclaimed nature artist Jackie Morris and award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane (the author of The Old Ways and Landmarks), this is a glorious celebration of the natural world to be both loved and heeded.