Rivers: From Mountain Streams to City Riverbanks – Claudia Martin

Amber Books never disappoints. I know that whenever they drop a new book on Netgalley, I’m going to have a great time reading it. Pavlovian effect? Could be. The thing is, Rivers by Claudia Martin fits into the Awesome! category to a T. 


Illustrated with more than 200 spectacular color photographs supported by expert captions, Rivers is a fascinating journey from the mountains to the sea.

Being essential to the survival of civilizations, rivers run through mythology—think of ancient Egypt—and religion—think of the Ganges and Hinduism. And they continue to inspire writers and artists—think of Mark Twain’s Mississippi and John Steinbeck’s Salinas. From the Ganges rising in the Himalayas to the Nile Delta, from the Amazon rainforest to the Bow River flowing out of the Rocky Mountains, from the Rhine to the Rhone, Yangtze to the Mekong, Danube to the Volga to the Ebro, Rivers explores the grandest and most interesting rivers around the world. Arranged by continent, the book reveals the fascinating stories of how rivers have supported and shaped civilizations, the significance that rivers have gained in religion and myth, the battles that have been fought over them, the borders that they have marked, and how rivers have altered their courses, thus changing lives and livelihoods.

224 pages
Amber Books LTD


Cover: I love it. One look at it and I was sold.


  • The title says it all. Rivers , compiled by Claudia Martin, is a book about the rivers of the world. It features great pictures, from close-ups to aerials, and interesting, bite-sized info about each of them. We get to see deltas, bends, boats and bridges – glimpses of how nature and humanity often intersect.
  • As always, I have to high-five both the publisher and the author, because the pictures are breathtaking. I have my preferences, aesthetically speaking, but even the ones that didn’t catch my attention were really good.
  • Structure and prose: A+. I like the utilitarian structure of continents-as-chapters, so that it’s easy to search what you’re looking for. I couldn’t find a single grammar mistake or a typo, which is by now a happy trend with this publisher.

Special mention:

  • First bend of the Yellow River, Sichuan, China.
  • Three Gorges Tribe Scenic Spot, Yangtze River, China. The bridge! 
  • Indus River, Ladakh, India. I have a soft spot for blue rivers.
  • Victoria Falls, Zambezi River.
  • Lena Pillars, Lena River, Russia.
  • Sava River, Croatia.
  • Aldford Iron Bridge, River Dee, England. Cast iron bridges are incredible.
  • Confluence of Rio Negro and Amazon River, Brazil. Wow. What a great shot.
  • Horseshoe Bend, Colorado River, Colorado. 
  • Sahalie Falls, McKenzie River, Oregon.


  • The Po river! Where is the Po? I can’t believe you featured the Tiber and not the Po. It’s the main Italian river.

5 stars on GR.

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