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What's new this month? February 2017

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

This month at Vertebrate we’re bringing you exclusive details of Steve Birkinshaw’s new book, There is No Map in Hell. This is Steve’s account of his awe-inspiring attempt to surpass Joss Naylor’s record race across the Lake District fells. Plus, coming up in March we’ve got the paperback edition of Martin Boysen’s Hanging On, and in May Matt Dickinson will launch his latest unputdownable adventure for middle-grade readers, Popcorn Eating Squirrels of the World Unite!

There is No Map in Hell (Steve Birkinshaw)

What’s it about? In 2014, Steve made a record-breaking attempt to complete a continuous circuit of all 214 Wainwright fells in the Lake District, covering a staggering distance of over 300 miles – plus many thousands of metres of ascent – in under seven days. The book recount the preparation, training and mile-by-mile experience of the extraordinary and sometimes hellish demands he made of his mind and body, and the physiological aftermath of such a feat.

Our thoughts: Despite Steve's phenomenal skills as an elite athlete, the book is very matter-of-fact, there's no ego there. He goes into enough detail of his history of running, and of the whole process of the Wainwrights challenge that it builds a crazy picture in your mind of the scale of the run. 

Perfect for? Ultrarunners, trail runners and …  well, any runners – and those with a passion for the Lake District are going to love Steve's account of the minutiae of his record-breaking feat. You don't get many stories like this in a lifetime.


Hanging On – paperback (Martin Boysen)

What's it about? For more than two decades, Boysen was one of Britain’s leading mountaineers. A crucial member of Sir Chris Bonington’s team that climbed the South Face of Annapurna in 1970, he was also part of Bonington’s second summit team on the South-West face of Everest. In 1976 he made the first ascent of Trango Tower with Joe Brown.

Along the way, Boysen climbed with some of the most important figures in the history of the sport, not just stars like Bonington and Brown, but those who make climbing so rich and intriguing, like Nea Morin and the brilliant but doomed Gary Hemming. He joined Hamish MacInnes hunting gold in Ecuador, doubled for Clint Eastwood on the North Face of the Eiger and worked on director Fred Zinnemann’s last movie.

Our thoughts: Wry, laconic and self-deprecating, Martin Boysen’s Hanging On is an insider’s account of British climbing’s golden age.

Perfect for? Anyone interested in Britain's climbing history.


Popcorn Easting Squirrels of the World Unite! (Matt Dickinson)

What's it about? Three hungry heroes go on a madcap mission to get hold of the Pop-O-Matic 3,000 – the ‘Rolls Royce machine of the popcorn-making world’ – to feed all the ravenous squirrels in their town. With new pal Salty leading them astray and nefarious honey badgers on their case, what could possibly go wrong?

Our thoughts: Popcorn Eating Squirrels is a fun story for our younger readers about super-duper squirrels causing popcorn pandemonium.

Who will love this book? Adventure-loving boys and girls of eight to twelve years old.

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