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New books for 2016

Monday, 11 January 2016

Vertebrate Director Jon Barton takes a look at what’s on the publishing cards for 2016. Looks like it might be the year to invest in a new bookshelf.

Phew! I spent Christmas perched on top of Everest, dug in to a snow hole (not literally of course, I was with the in-laws in Ireland). It was great to get to the holidays and catch up on some reading I’d missed – Doug Scott’s autobiography was the book we’d published in November that I’d been saving.

And so we come to 2016 and a year that promises an exciting line up. First will be The Water Vole – Christine Gregory’s second book with us, following on from Brown Hares in the Derbyshire Dales which we published back in 2012. The Water Vole is the story of one of Britain’s most endangered mammals and will be out next month. As I write it’s been raining pretty much consistently for three months, causing ground saturation and widespread flooding, climatic conditions that have been as challenging for water voles as they have been for climbers.

Our best-selling book of 2015 was Matt Dickinson’s The Everest Files. The sequel North Face comes out next month and promises to lift off where the last book landed. I know lots of our teenage fans can’t wait to continue the Himalayan adventure.

1000+ Climbing Tips, courtesy of Andy Kirkpatrick, has been wafting around in ebook format for a few years. At last it is getting a proper cover and real paper pages, pages packed with the useful, the intriguing and, of course, the usual Kirkpatrick banter/nonsense.

For all the rock climbers out there, the big book of 2016 has to be Punk in the Gym by Andy Pollitt. This is a climbing autobiography like no other – not for the fainthearted, not for the easily offended, and not for anyone about to abseil into Gogarth’s North Stack Wall. This one’s due out in March shortly before an altogether more sober, if no less fascinating autobiography, that of Wild Country guru Mark Vallance. Talk about accomplished – Vallance has achieved some remarkable things in his life, both on and off the rock.

Amongst the Tilman back catalogue, Sarah Mussi novels and Helen Mort’s rather breathtaking Lake District Trail Running the autumn brings two very special books, first up The Bond, a mountaineering epic from Simon McCartney and The Darkness Beckons, a comprehensive history of cave diving from Martyn Farr – not one to be read on the Tube.

Kinder rounds off the year, words from Ed Douglas and pictures from John Beatty, this project has been maturing over the last few years and is really something to look forward to.

There are a few other projects we are working on, including a couple that are probably the world's worst kept secrets and, just maybe, one best kept secret. You’ll have to wait and see.

Happy New Year all, and thanks for supporting Vertebrate.

Jon Barton Peak District Trail Running
Jon enjoying a bit of Peak District Trail RunningImage © Keith Sharples.

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