top of page

Reading list

The Art of the Natural Home

Rebecca Sullivan

Taking inspiration from her grandmother's generation, Rebecca Sullivan has put together this thoughtful and appealing manual to caring for yourself and your home.  Traditional methods are resurrected or updated to suit the modern home, using simple, natural ingredients.  It covers cleaning, cooking and cosmetics, with recipes for soap, candles, chutneys, mascara, cough syrup, and everything in between.

The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2020

Lia Leendertz

We first discovered Lia Leendertz in Simple Things magazine, and were very excited when we learnt she was writing an Almanac, originally crowdfunded via Unbound, for 2018.  Now a regular publication, this indispensable guide demonstrates a real appreciation for the seasons, and offers interesting observations, key geographical facts and delicious recipes.

Edgelands: Journeys into England's True Wilderness

Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts

Poets Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts borrow the term 'edgelands' from Marion Shoard's 2002 eponymous essay to take a creative look at the borderland between town and country - allotments, woodland paths, building sites, railway lines, wasteland - to see what these strange landscapes of modern life have, rather than just what lack.

Green Clean: Eco-Friendly Cleaning for the Home

L&K Designs

This handy guide lives in the cupboard beneath our sink.  It offers loads of recipes and cleaning tips to help replace the harmful chemical products we with natural alternatives.

To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?

Lucy Siegle

In this fascinating read, Lucy Siegle examines the environmentally devastating and inhumanely shocking story behind the clothes we so casually buy and wear, and taking particular issue with our current mania for both big-name labels and cheap fashion.

Eating Animals

Jonathan Safran Foer

We both gave up meat for Lent last year, and it was during this period that we found Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer.  Reading this book has completely revolutionised the way we approach buying and eating meat, and I challenge anyone to remain unmoved or unchanged as a result of reading it.  It offers an intelligent, balanced and shocking insight into the modern meat industry.

The Guardian

Animals Farmed is an investigative series examining the global impact of intensive farming practices and exploring sustainable solutions.  It looks at how the animals that feed us live, and how the business of feeding us works. What happens to animals in the factory farming system? And what does it mean for the planet?

There Is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years

Mike Berners-Lee

A disclaimer: both of us work for Cambridge University Press, but this in no way informs our decision to use this handbook to help us make the best possible decisions for the environment.  In this guide, Mike Berners-Lee offers answers to more than 100 questions, from 'Should I go veggie or vegan?' and 'How can we cut the world's waste?' to 'Should I fly?' and 'Does it all come down to population?'

Grow Your Own Veg

Carol Klein

We have been using this book for a few years now: with clear advice on planting, growing, harvesting and problems, it has been an invaluable guide for our vegetable gardening so far.

The Edible Garden: How to Have Your Garden and Eat It

Alys Fowler

Alys Fowler's beautiful, chaotic garden produces delicious homegrown food in a way that mimics natural growing systems.  In this book, she shared tips, advice, and recipes that are good for the pocket, good for the environment and good for the soul.

Allotment: Month by Month

Alan Buckingham

We are really looking forward to using this book.  It is helpful guide that takes you through the growing year month-by-month, offering advice and tips on what, when and how of gardening.  A must for gardening novices like us!

Gather: Everyday Seasonal Recipes from a Year in Our Landscapes

Gill Meller

Gill Meller, Head Chef at River Cottage, offers 120 recipes celebrating the British landscapes and seasons.

Food for Free

Richard Mabey

This classic guide is designed to help safely identify edible species that grow around us, together with detailed artwork, photographs, field identification notes and recipes.  This will be an invaluable resource as we try to forage more of our food.

Mushrooms – River Cottage Handbook No.1

John Wright

In this first River Cottage Handbook, John Wright provides an informative and very amusing guide to identifying, harvesting and eating mushrooms, while warning you of the challenges and risks.  The identification key in particular is fantastic.

Hedgerow – River Cottage Handbook No.7

John Wright

Another River Cottage Handbook by John Wright, this volume addresses foraging more generally, covering most of the English rural countryside in it's search for wild foods.  As with his mushroom guide, part of the pleasure of this book is Wright's sense of humour, and the information and recipes make this a much needed companion when we are out foraging.

bottom of page