Last Campaigns update saw some great literary inspiration, so much so, we’ve had some lockdown read recommendations from you! It’s been really special to see such a wonderful variety of book recommendations, covering topics from evolutionary biology to re-wilding our natural world, and even surfing. Keep scrolling to see what you’ve recommended along with a few more suggestions from the campaigns team.
Your lockdown reads:
Wilding: The Return of Nature to a British Farm by Isabella Tree
I've read it twice now and find it a fascinating read - well researched, well structured, a totally inspiring story of what can be achieved to help restore nature.
Synopsis: ‘In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the ‘Knepp experiment’, a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope.’
The Lost Words: A Spell Book by Robert McFarlane
For readers young and old – it also has some fabulous illustrations.
Synopsis: ‘The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration of the poetry of nature words and the living glory of our distinctive, British countryside. With acrostic spell-poems by peerless wordsmith Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustrations by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.’
Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle by Thor Hanson
Synopsis: ‘Feathers are an evolutionary marvel: aerodynamic, insulating, beguiling. They date back more than 100 million years. Yet their story has never been fully told. In Feathers, biologist Thor Hanson details a sweeping natural history, as feathers have been used to fly, protect, attract, and adorn through time and place.’
Lockdown reads from the campaigns team:
Penguin Bloom: The Odd Little Bird Who Saved a Family by Cameron Bloom & Bradley Trevor Greive
Recommended by Krissy Le Huray, UK Campaigner
I feel like this is the perfect read during such challenging times. It's a truly heart-warming story of the bond between a ‘scruffy’ magpie called Penguin and a woman coming to terms with a devastating life-changing event.
I can’t really put it better than the last few lines of the synopsis: ‘This plucky little magpie reminds us all that, no matter how lost, fragile, or damaged we feel, accepting the love of others and loving them in return will help to make us whole.’
Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist by Kate Raworth
Recommended by Ruth Lindley, UK Campaigner
Let me start by saying I am not an economist or a mathematician. But that is the great thing about this book, it’s not written just for economists, it's written for everyone. Kate Raworth seeks to change the language of economics, steering it away from the obsession with growth, which has resulted in extreme wealth inequality and intense pressure on the environment.
Instead she proposes the doughnut model. The inner ring of the doughnut represents the minimum humans need to lead a good life e.g. food, shelter, gender equality. The outer ring is the limit beyond which excess consumption damages the environment beyond repair. Raworth's ideal is for humanity to be in between the two rings, where everyone has enough but not too much. This book explores where economics went wrong and shows us how we can change to a system that fairly benefits both people and the environment.
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk
Recommended by Erica Mason, Scotland Campaigner
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones on the Dead takes the idea of a novel about nature to a different level. Both a book about the natural world, the quiet and bleak winter landscape on the Polish-Czech border, and the nature of things within it, the book is both quirky and profound, reflecting on what it means to be human, the hierarchies we create and our separation from nature and its attendant conditions, like birth and death. A product of both the author and the translator, I loved the simple sentences so much I slowed down when I read them, just to savour them longer.
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