A Note from the Founding Editor



This issue of the Arctic Book Review, edited by Dr Huw Lewis-Jones of the Scott Polar Research Institute, marks our tenth anniversary as an online review.  Over the past decade, we’ve published over 75 reviews by a dozen reviewers, among them such familiar veterans of this frozen terrain as Kenn Harper, Lawrence Millman, and Paul VanPeenen.  We’ve come a long way from the first couple of years, when I typically purchased the books out of pocket and wrote most of the reviews myself.  Nowadays, I’m likely to find more books in my mailbox than I or our small staff of reviewers can manage to review, along with a few puzzlers (what’s polar about Hip-Hop Hares? Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales?).  I’m always grateful for the work of our reviewers, none of whom is paid in any form other than a well-earned copy of the book they’ve reviewed.  In particular, I’d like to thank Jonathan Dore, whose fourteen reviews – his first was in Volume Two back in the fall of 2000 – have made him our most stalwart contributor.


We’re marking the occasion by changing to a new format – a regularly updated blog rather than a periodically-published series of “issues” – with a whole new look. Our original reviews will remain here as a permanent archive, with cross-links to the new site. We’ve also formed an exciting new partnership with polarworld.co.uk, an outstanding independent publisher of Arctic titles in the UK; our reviews will be mirrored at their site. 


With any luck, I hope we’ll enjoy at least another decade of this sort of fun – perhaps by then the “book” may be a sort of antique, and we’ll be reviewing the latest downloadable texts for the Kindle VI – but I hope not.  For those whose polar equipment consists, not of a sledge and a dogteam, but of a bookshelf and an armchair, I hope and expect we’ll continue to provide a worthy guide to the world of polar books.


-- Russell Potter