The News

Should bears return to the wilds of Scotland?

Bear Witness makes the controversial case for the reintroduction of species such as bears, wolves and lynxes to the Scottish landscape. Released April 25, 2013.

“Mandy Haggith is a wonderful storyteller. Science, politics, romance and nature observation all combine… This is a book with bite.” - Kenny Taylor, writer and naturalist  

Bear Witness, the new novel by Mandy Haggith, will certainly stir the passions of those on both sides of the debate about the notion of reintroducing large – and potentially dangerous – animals to the Scottish wilderness.

It tells the story of Callis MacArthur, an ecologist who is galvanized into becoming an activist after the brutal shooting of a bear cub. Dreaming of bears roaming free – even in Scotland, a thousand years after their disappearance – Callis finds herself exploring Europe’s remotest forests and meeting colourful characters who are as passionate about nature as she is.  

But as she begins to embrace her wild side, she faces escalating challenges: she must risk her career and endure agonising personal losses to avoid being swept up in events and emotions beyond her control.  

Combining lyrical prose, mythical themes, romance and a cracking plot, Bear Witness is a page-turner with a heart and mind. The book is being launched on April 22 – Earth Day – at a special Highland summit of wildlife experts discussing the pros and cons of reintroducing large species to Scotland.  

How Wild Can We Go? will feature speakers such as Jim Crumley, author of The Last Wolf, and Roy Dennis, Scotland's leading expert on reintroductions of various species, including the osprey, sea eagle and red kite. Joining them on the panel will be a representative of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, which is leading the beaver reintroduction in Argyll, and author Mandy Haggith.

You can pre-order Bear Witness at your local independent bookshop or at Amazon UK.

Praise for Bear Witness:

“A passionate and subversive book, written with a poet's touch.” – Jason Donald, author of Choke Chain.

“Mandy Haggith is a wonderful storyteller. Science, politics, romance and nature observation all combine as she explores re-wilding of both individual and land. This is a book with bite, relevant to contemporary debate about large predators but also a source of many other pleasures and surprises. I know I’ll re-read it many times.” – Kenny Taylor, writer and naturalist.

“There have been moments throughout the history of nature writing when a writer slips through the electrified fences that keep nature and society apart, and liberates not just a biological truth but also a self-fulfilling prophecy. Mandy Haggith’s daring and at times beautifully worked novel is one such moment. This IS what will happen. Read and learn.” – Jim Crumley, author of The Last Wolf.

"A passionate and authoritative novel. Haggith’s evocation of landscape and wildlife is lyrical and vivid, written with a poet’s eye for detail. Her characters convince and entertain. This ambitious, visionary novel belongs to no single genre but encompasses romance, drama, comedy and literary fiction. Bear Witness is a big-hearted book and deserves to find a wide readership. It will make a significant contribution to the debate about the future of Scotland’s wilderness.” – Linda Gillard, author of Star Gazing. 


Aquaponic Gardening - The Future of Food

Aquaponic Gardening: A Step by Step Guide to Growing Fish and Vegetables Together, by Sylvia Bernstein and published on 14 March 2013, is the perfect book for anyone wanting to take control of their health and diet with a new and remarkably successful method of growing food.

The revolutionary system of aquaponics combines the best of aquaculture and hydroponics. It’s a fun and easy way to grow organic fruit and vegetables by simply fertilising them with waste water from fish.

Aquaponic Gardening features an introduction by Charlie Price, the founder of Aquaponics UK. The book is a complete do-it-yourself home guide, giving you all the tools you need to create your own aquaponic system and enjoy healthy, safe, fresh, and delicious food year round. The book explains:

· Theory, benefits and potential of aquaponics

· Location, technical and hardware components

· The living elements – fish, plants, bacteria, and worms

· Putting it all together – starting and maintaining a healthy system

Sylvia Bernstein said: “Aquaponics systems are completely organic, hugely productive and there’s no weeding, watering, fertilizing, bending, digging or heavy lifting – in fact, there really is no down side!”

Anyone interested in taking the next step towards self-sufficiency will be fascinated by this practical and accessible guide. Aquaponics UK’s Charlie Price said: “There’s a growing audience for aquaponics and this is the book that all those in the know have been waiting for. It’s a truly comprehensive guide that gives you the know-how to create your very own independent, food-producing ecosystem in your house, garden or greenhouse.”

Is America still in denial about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

An Exquisite Sense of What Is Beautiful – a sweeping new novel of East and West, love and war – explores the truths and denials that exist within us all. Released March 28, 2013.


“A genuine tour-de-force, a beautifully written love story... calls to mind the best of William Boyd and Sebastian Faulks.” Lesley McDowell


An Exquisite Sense of What Is Beautiful, the new book by J. David Simons, introduces us to Sir Edward Strathairn, an eminent British writer who has returned to the resort hotel in the Japanese mountains where he once spent a beautiful, snowed-in winter. It was there he fell in love and wrote his best-selling novel, which accused America of being in denial about the horrific aftermath of the Tokyo firebombings and the nuclear destruction at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As we learn more about his earlier life, however – as a student in Bloomsbury, involved with a famous American painter – we realise that he too is in denial, trying to escape past events that are now rapidly catching up with him.

Author J. David Simons says that the underlying theme of his new book is denial: "From the novel’s political point of view, it is the accusation that America is still in denial over the use of the atomic bomb on Japan. On the personal level, it is the protagonist’s struggle with the secrets of his past. However, the book is also about so much more – it contains several love stories, it deals with a Japan trying to reinvent itself after the Second World War, it is about Britain in the 1950s, it is about the life of a famous novelist.

"The main reason I wrote this book was the sense of injustice I have always felt about America destroying two cities and killing 200,000 civilians in just two days, not to mention the further loss of 100,000 lives caused by the firebombing of Tokyo five months earlier. I don’t think there is anything that justifies such mass destruction of innocent lives. I don’t think it is an act of war that would be acceptable today.

"I hope this book will make people think again what it really means to drop an atomic bomb on a nation. I also hope that the novel introduces readers to aspects of Japan they might not previously have known about. I loved living in Japan: it added another dimension to my way of thinking, which I hope has made me a wiser human being."

You can pre-order An Exqusisite Sense of What Is Beautiful at your local independent bookshop or at Amazon UK.

Praise for An Exquisite Sense of What Is Beautiful:

“In the tradition of Graham Greene or William Boyd, taking in great sweeps of history without ever losing sight of the personal, the telling detail. It is accomplished and compelling." – Chris Dolan, poet, author and playwright.

“Exquisite and beautiful... A great read. A piece of art.” – Helen Fitzgerald, fiction writer for both teens and adults.

“A beautifully sensitive book portraying the inevitably damning inequalities that can arise within all human relationships, be they political, cultural, sexual or emotional. Insightful and thought-provoking.” Sara Allerton, author of the award-winning Making Shore.



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