Our Book of the Month choice for December

The SSL ‘Book of the Month’ feature highlights a book in our collection that has been chosen by one of our Subject Consultants. This may be a recent addition to our stock or an existing item that we would like to share with you.

Andy Kernot choosing a book from the shelves in the SSL

December’s Book of the Month was selected by Andy Kernot, Subject Consultant for Geography, Social Policy & Intervention, Public Policy, and Internet Studies.



Ice: Nature and Culture

Klaus Dodds

Available as an eBook.




It was chosen because it provides a wide-ranging exploration of the cultural, natural and geopolitical history of ice, revealing how throughout history human communities have made sense of ice.  For those who are intrigued about our relationship with ice, this book will provide an informative and thought-provoking guide.

Book Overview

Ice has played a prominent role in the history of the earth and its living communities for millennia. We have had fun with and on ice, battled over ice, imagined ice, struggled with ice and made money out of ice. It has transformed our relationship with food, and our engagement with ice has been captured in art, literature, popular film and television, as well as made manifest in sport and leisure. Our lakes, mountains and coastlines have been indelibly shaped by the advance and retreat of ice and snow. Beyond Planet Earth, ice can be found in meteors, planets and moons, and scientists think that ice-rich asteroids played a pivotal role in bringing water to Earth.


“Dodds’s addition to the Earth series provides an introduction to the many ways ice can be viewed and understood, and presents the frozen material in a way which is extremely accessible to a non-expert audience. Ice: Nature and Culture is abundantly illustrated, with the 95 illustrations that pepper the 211-page volume providing engaging visual material that supports the prose. The book draws on the history and significance of ice in areas as varied as geopolitics, scientific research, literature, and sport. Despite this eclectic amalgamation of subject matter, Dodds has deftly linked each chapter to the previous one, drawing together the ways in which ice has shaped our understanding of the world, and our relationship to this phenomenon. . . . Fantastically written and well-researched. . . . This is a great book for the lay polar enthusiast.”

Polar Journal

“In Ice: Nature and Culture, Dodds gives the slippery and ephemeral material center stage to show how ice is not only fascinating but fundamental to human life itself. As a part of Reaktion Books’ Earth series, Dodds’s exploration of ice is both a literary and a visual pleasure to read, with beautiful color photographs throughout the book. . . . Wide-ranging.”

Cultural Geographies

“Transform[s] ice from frozen water into something remarkable: a substance always on the edge of our understanding. Once the instability of ice made it something to be claimed and conquered; today, however, this quality is inextricable from human interference. ‘The tone of the conversation’ about ice, Dodds writes, has been imbued with ‘a profound sense of loss.’ With the disappearance of ice comes the loss of cultures and languages that have evolved to express its complexity.”

Times Literary Supplement

How can I access it?

This title is available to consult as an eBook. Access it from a Bodleian Library computer or use it remotely, by logging on to SOLO with your SSO.

Image of an open book with the pages curled to form a love heartWhat would your SSL Book of the Month be? Do you have a favourite book in our collection? If so, we would love to know what it is. Add a comment below or email us.

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