‘Surprising, engrossing, disturbing, and promising… combines masterful storytelling and spellbinding silence.’
Sy Montgomery, author of The Soul of an Octopus
A great delight to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour for LADDERS TO HEAVEN by MIKE SHANAHAN. My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for letting me be part of it all! Before we get to my thoughts on the book, here’s a little more information about the book and author!
About the book
6th September 2018 | £8.99
Published by Unbound
A stunning survey of the extraordinary and surprising ways that fig trees have shaped human civilisation – and could enrich our future.
Fig trees have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways: they are wish fulfillers, rainforest royalty, more precious than gold. In Ladders to Heaven tells their incredible story, beautifully peppered with original hand-drawn illustrations
They fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played a key role in the birth of civilisation. More recently, they helped restore life after Krakatoa’s catastrophic eruption and proved instrumental in Kenya’s struggle for independence.
Figs now sustain more species of bird and mammal than any other fruit – in a time of falling trees and rising temperatures, they offer hope. Theirs is a story about humanity’s relationship with nature, as relevant to our past as it is to our future.
About Mike Shanahan:
Mike Shanahan is a freelance writer and illustrator with a doctorate in rainforest ecology. He has lived in a national park in Borneo, bred endangered penguins, investigated illegal bear farms and produced award-winning journalism. His writing includes work published by The Economist, Nature, New Scientist, BBC Earth, Scientific American and Newsweek.
|I’m always looking to read more non-fiction books, and if they were all written like this one with so much detail and an engaging style of writing then I don’t think I’d pick up another fiction book again!
Who knew Fig trees could be so interesting?! I didn’t for sure and was surprised by how much I found myself involved in the story of how a simple tree could affect so much over the years. The author has grouped information together in a really accessible way and gives a real insight into so many aspects of the importance that the simple Fig tree has played in our history as humans and the role it has played in various times in history.
The author uses a lot of his own experiences through travel to bring a real enthusiasm to the subject and puts things into context that is easy to understand and relate to. Many periods of history are covered, alongside the role of figs in various religions and bringing it up to date with the role of climate change and how that, alongside the behaviour of humans, is affecting the Fig population now. He also looks at how the trees can help us in the future and how they’ve been here a lot longer to us and are much more important than we think a humble tree can be with the amount of life they help sustain. It also looked into the men who have studied figs over the years and how it became an obsession for them, to the point that their families suffered.
I was so ignorant to the story of Figs and I loved how this book has set me straight and taught me so much! I’m a tree hugger by nature but have learnt so much through this book that I’m even now trying to work out where I could put a Fig tree in the garden! The book also contains a number of illustrations which adds another dimension to the book, and it’s another reason as to why the Unbound publishing creation is such an important one so that books like these can be created and shared.
A wonderfully informative read!!
Thank you for stopping by today! Please check out the other stops on the Blog Tour so you can learn even more about this fabulous book!