The blurb would have us believe that as Benedict Allen and his team of huskies plunge over a precipice, the author asks himself: 'why do explorers put themselves in such dangerous situations? And â€“ once the worst possible situation occurs â€“ how do they find the resources to survive?â€™
Lower Farm, just outside Chesterfield, is not what most of us would think of as a farm. It is run by a poultry company called Applied Group. Everything happens in four large sheds. Nearly all chicken meat eaten in the UK comes from a place like this.
"I am a woodlander; I have sap in my veins," Roger Deakin writes. The late author is on a mission to get to the heart of something huge and elemental - to understand not just trees, but the very essence of wood.
In a pretentious moment, one might call Hardy a writer of terroir. Far From the Madding Crowd, while lacking the tragic grandeur of Tess, Jude or The Woodlanders, is the first novel to refer to Wessex by name.
Shortly after his birth, the German media reported that an animal rights campaigner was calling for him to be put down rather than brought up by humans. It prompted a huge groundswell of sympathy for the bear, which never went away.
In the haze of rubbed out chalk I can just make out: "Today's temperature 12C, 53F". The atmosphere is Dunkirkian among the old campaigners, some of whom are in their eighties.
It was not known as the Thames Gateway when Pip, the narrator of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, described the area's unique environment, "the dark flat wilderness, intersected with dykes and mounds and gates, with scattered cattle feeding on it."
She was born on a farm in Wales two years ago, bought soon after by entrepreneur Mark Astley, and sent to America to get an education. She has the distinction of being the only certified bedbug sniffer dog in Europe.
Why do people have such a strong attachment to this scarcely-seen creature?
The death this week of a giraffe struck by lightning raises an obvious question: are these lankiest of creatures especially vulnerable to bolts from the sky?