The News

It’s the Saraband ‘End of the World Giveaway’!

Well, here we are – it’s December 21st 2012 and, according to some who *think* they understand ancient Mayan astronomy, we have just a few hours to go before we cease to be.

For something a little more accurate about the Maya, look no further than Clare Gibson’s (@MrsSymbols) Hidden Life of the Ancient Maya, a fascinating and beautiful book that explores the ancient Maya civilisation through the symbolism of its art and artefacts. Here’s an extract from the foreword, which covers the common misconceptions about why some believe this could be our last day.Extract.

Happy reading! (We would say Merry Christmas also, but there doesn’t seem much point.)


Beneath Cold Seas wins prestigious National Outdoor Book Award

We are very excited to announce that Beneath Cold Seas has scooped the Design & Artistic Merit category of the 2012 National Outdoor Book Awards (NOBA), an annual awards programme recognizing the best in outdoor writing and publishing.

Featuring remarkable photography by David Hall, Beneath Cold Seas reveals the underwater world of the North American Pacific coast, which contains the most diverse and spectacular marine life of any coldwater ecosystem on the planet.

“The judges were unanimous in their assessment of photographer David Hall’s work,” said Ron Watters, Chairman of the Awards. “He is a gifted artist and has created a masterpiece.”

This year’s National Outdoor Book Awards winners, revealed on Thursday 15 November, were chosen by a panel of judges consisting of educators, academics, book reviewers, authors, editors, and outdoor columnists from across the USA. In their official review of Beneath Cold Seas, the judges said: “This book is a work of art from every possible angle – from the exquisite photographs, to the book’s design, to its flawless printing and production process. There’s no other way to describe it: David Hall has created a masterpiece.

“It’s not something that came easy. His underwater photographic technique had been painstakingly developed and refined over years of work. And what a difficult environment in which to work: diving in bitter cold waters, working in a neutrally buoyant state without a tripod, not having the ability to use telephoto lenses (because of the turbidity of the water), and dealing with a limited amount of time (due to air and nitrogen concerns).

“Hall has everything right in this book. This is a complete and moving immersion in the breathtaking underwater world of the Pacific Northwest.”

Marine biologist Sarika Cullis-Suzuki, who wrote the introduction to Beneath Cold Seas, said that the book would also appeal to British audiences: “The north Atlantic faces issues similar to the north Pacific, such as overexploitation and the need for increased protection. And while our species may differ, I think UK audiences will connect with these images through their familiarity of temperate ocean waters, and through their acknowledgement that we as developed nations must step up to increase marine conservation efforts.”

Buy Beneath Cold Seas at Amazon UK.


Celebrating the Day of the Dead

Today, Thursday 1 November, is the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos). It's a day of remembrance for the dead, celebrated all around the world, but particularly in Mexico.

Far from being a sombre occasion, the festival is a celebration of the lives of loved ones who have died and families gather at cemeteries for picnics of skull-shaped sweets and bread.

This year, the Day of the Dead is even being celebrated in the UK with a special event in London to promote open discussion about dying. The Day of the Dead conference is being organised by the Dying Matters Coalition, which aims to change public knowledge, attitudes and behaviour towards dying, death and bereavement.

We fully support this more open approach to thinking about death, and our book, Where There's a Will, by Michael Kerrigan, guides you with a refreshing lightness of touch through all the emotional, financial, legal and practical issues you need to consider. With a combination of constructive tips and and thoughtful reflections on death, this book throws light on subjects that all too often remain taboo.

You can order print copies of Where There's a Will from Amazon UK. The Kindle edition can be found here, and the ebook is also available at Kobo.

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