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As part of the Virtual Island Summit 2019 we gave away 7 island-themed books to 7 lucky winners. The featured islands and the winners really showcased the diversity of the summit. See below to learn about the books and meet the winners!


Book: How To Read an Island, Christian Pleijel
Winner: Pat Shako, Climate & Disaster Resilience Adviser at the British High Commission, Barbados

Written by the resident of a Swedish island, this book is about Europe’s small islands, the people that live there, their lives, joys, the ferries, children and jobs: islands as societies. It utilizes the “six thinking hats”, a concept developed by Edward de Bono as a tool to help make our thinking processes more effective and gain new perspectives on islands.


Book: Another Mother, Ross Kenneth Urken
Winner: Genitta Pascal, Britannia Merchant Bank and Trust, Saint Lucia

After his cherished childhood nanny dies, a Jewish young man entering adulthood realises there’s so much he has yet to learn about the woman who lent him her accent and with whom he shared an unlikely kindred spirit. Part memoir, part reportage, Another Mother is a story about family, an unlikely duo, and a woman whose strength held it all together. From Jamaica to New Jersey, Ross Kenneth Urken chronicles the life of Dezna Sanderson, the Jamaican nanny who had an outsize positive effect on his dysfunctional Jewish American family and life trajectory.


Book: Islands in Time: A Natural and Cultural History of the Islands of Maine, Philip Conkling
Winner: Valery Aristide Thiombiano, IUCN Ambassador, Burkina Faso

Islands in Time includes a comprehensive snapshot of the flora, fauna, and marine-resource-based communities that make Maine’s islands such a treasured part of our state’s iconography—superbly illustrated by images that capture their rugged beauty and the indomitable character of their year-round inhabitants. Conkling also weaves in the story of the Island Institute’s evolution as a voice for the sustained future of the islands and waters of the Gulf of Maine.


Book: Gaughin’s Moon, Laura Marello
Winner: Alison Ollivierre, Tombolo Maps & Design, Colorado, USA

Daniella believes her lost mother is a World War II spy, but is terrorized by a dream of a war-torn jungle, raining fire. At forty, with her life and career stalled, Daniella is visited by four dead ancestors, who try to help her put her life back together. When this fails, propelled by curiosity about her recurring dream, she travels to the nuclear testing grounds at the Bikini Islands, to find out her mother’s real role in the war and its aftermath.


Book: The Cod Hunters, John Goodlad
Winner: Ivan Emke, Honorary Research Professor, Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada

John Goodlad has always been interested in the history of the Shetland fishing industry and his story of the Faroe smacks is a personal and very readable account of the incredible story of the Shetlanders who fished for cod around Faroe, Rockall, Iceland and Greenland. This is no dry history of boats and fish – it is a story about ordinary people who did extraordinary things. This is however much more than a book about Shetland and Shetlanders. The geographical scope is extensive; from the remote fjords of west Greenland to the elegant dining tables of nineteenth century London, from the fishing banks off Faroe to the best restaurants in the Basque country, from the taverns of Torshavn to the prison cells of Lerwick.


Book: Energy at the End of the World, Laura Watts
Winner: Hon. Mark Pollard, Assembly Member, Falkland Islands

Orkney, Watts tells us, has been making technology for six thousand years, from arrowheads and stone circles to wave and tide energy prototypes. Artifacts and traces of all the ages—Stone, Bronze, Iron, Viking, Silicon—are visible everywhere. The islanders turned to energy innovation when forced to contend with an energy infrastructure they had outgrown. Today, Orkney is home to the European Marine Energy Centre, established in 2003. There are about forty open-sea marine energy test facilities in the world, many of which draw on Orkney expertise. The islands generate more renewable energy than they use, are growing hydrogen fuel and electric car networks, and have hundreds of locally owned micro wind turbines and a decade-old smart grid. Mixing storytelling and ethnography, empiricism and lyricism, Watts tells an Orkney energy saga—an account of how the islands are creating their own low-carbon future in the face of the seemingly impossible. The Orkney Islands, Watts shows, are playing a long game, making energy futures for another six thousand years.


Book: Islandeering: Adventures around the edge of Britain’s Hidden Islands, Lisa Drewe
Winner: Adam Barratt, Devon, United Kingdom

Everything you need to know to walk around fifty incredible British islands and enjoy plenty of adventure on the way. Islandeering takes you on a unique adventure around the outer edge of the UK’s 50 most spectacular islands. From urban islets to clifftop nature reserves, Holy places of pilgrimage to remote offshore idylls. Conquer wild foreshores, discover hidden coast paths and walk, scramble, wade and sometimes even swim to explore the many secrets of our magical archipelago. With detailed maps and directions (including downloadable GPX files) this guide shares the best of these islands incredible food, culture, history, wildlife and geology. With 50 wonderful islands to bag, discover the best offshore lands for epic tidal crossings, glorious beaches, families, contemplation & retreat, skinny dips & secret swims, spotting whales & dolphins, fantastic flora & fauna, ancient remains & abandoned ruins and local food & cosy inns.

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