10 books that have rocked our world this year - and will change yours

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From economics to the environment, we've been inspired in every direction this year. If you're giving books this Christmas, or treating yourself, these non-fiction wonders will educate, excite and motivate you to life differently in 2019.

Georgina Wilson-Powell 9 November 2018

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10 non-fiction books that have rocked our world this year

We've worked with Chelsea Green, a non-fiction publisher that's put out some incredible non-fiction books this year, on our top 10 list of books that have rocked our world this year, and hopefully will change yours next year.

Small is Beautiful

Economics is hardly a festive topic but Small is Beautiful put the human element of global economics front and centre. Written in the 1970s, by Oxford economist E. F. Schumacher, is just as applicable now. It focuses on how we should build communities not corporations and how we make the local as important as the global.

Vintage, £8.99

The Beauty in the Beast

Want to know more about Britain's wildlife and what you can do to save them? Hugh Warwick takes you on a tour of the UK to meet the people passionate about voles, otters, hedgehogs, owls, beavers and badgers in The Beauty in the Beast. This doesn't just celebrate our diverse wildlife but the eccentric characters that make Britain so beautiful.

Simon & Schuster, £14.99

Beauty In The Beast

The UK is full of people passionate about wildlife, The Beauty in the Beast brings them into the light

Fasting and Feasting: The Life of Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray

Fasting and Feasting: The Life of Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray portrays the hermit like life of food author Patience Gray, a peer of Julia Child. She lived off-grid in Puglia for thirty years, growing her own food, foraging wild food and pioneering what has now become known as the Slow Food movement. Forward-thinking, stubborn and independent, her story is told here with intriguing, beguiling effect. This book will make you want to add her to your fantasy dinner party guest list.

Chelsea Green, £10.99

Chelsea Green Books 2018 2

Discover one of the 20th century's great food writers that you've never heard of

Doughnut Economics

We promise this is the last economics book in the list but it's a must-read. Don't let the title put you off, even if you reckon you don't understand economics. Kate Raworth is a fantastic author and explainer in chief - Doughnut Economics is about the big ideas that could fix our outdated, broken systems. It's a roadmap to a more equal, sustainable, forward-thinking world that works for us and the environment.

Random House Business, £7.19

Forage, Harvest, Feast

If you've looked at forests and hedgerows this year and thought of them as a source of food as well as something to look at, but you're still unsure of what to forage - and more importantly - what to do with it, then Forage, Harvest, Feast is the book for you. Marie Viljoen is an absolute expert plus she backs up what to forage, when with delicious recipes and ideas of what to do with the gluts of random fruits or wild plants you proudly cart home.


Read about her autumnal adventures she wrote for us earlier this year.


Chelsea Green, £27

Chelsea Green Books 2018 1

This is the book to get you foraging with confidence in 2019

The Wizard and The Prophet

How can the human population grow and the earth still support us all? That's the central question up for debate in this challenging but easy to read take on perhaps the biggest elephant in the room - overpopulation. Author Charles C Mann presents two different views in The Wizard and The Prophet- innovation or reduction, with people and solutions split into two groups - Wizards and Prophets. Which will you be?

The Fruit Forager's Companion

If you're eyeing up making jam, chutneys or anything else next year, you'll need a guide to what fruit to forage and how to do it. Sara Bir's essential The Fruit Forager's Companion is the wise old friend you wish you had in real life, packed full of handy tips, delicious recipes to make with your hard earned fruity treasures and advice from someone for who foraging has become a way of life. And with less than half the fruit that's publicly available to forgae used, there's room for a lot more people to get out there.

Read author Sara Bir's essential tips for fruit foraging here.

Chelsea Green, £14.34

Chelsea Green Books 2018

The Fruit Forager's Companion is an essential guide for anyone wanting to scour the hedgerows next summer

Rewild Yourself

When was the last time you noticed nature? The shape of autumn leaves on the floor or the beauty of a rolling hill? Simon Barnes' Rewild Yourself is the antidote to forgetting nature, because we're losing it - and our connection to it. He features 23 'spellbinding' ways to bring nature back into your life - and back into your heart. We love the idea of restoring nature with magic, and these tips and tricks, will seem like magic. Want to tackle overwhelm and do something positive? Start here.

Simon & Schuster, £12.48

Brew Beer Like A Yeti

Say what? While we can't proclaim to know what beer yetis like, expert brewer and author Jereme Zimmerman takes on the idea that you don't need hops to brew great beer at home. Brew Beer Like A Yeti reintroduces a touch of the magical, the mystical and medieval folklore to making beer. The book is half guide to enormous range of things you can ferment into beer (oak bark, mushrooms...) and half a look back at our ancient beer buddies. If you're a craft ale drinker with an eye on the home brew - this will expand your flavour horizons no end.

Chelsea Green, £18.99

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Brew Beer Like A Yeti reintroduces a touch of the magical, the mystical and medieval folklore to making beer

Photography | Jereme Zimmerman

The Weather Detective

The Secret Life of Trees' author James Wohlleben pulls on his Trilby and mac and plays the The Weather Detective in this fascinating and insightful book that looks to help us rediscover nature's signs that reveal the weather. How can clouds, plants, wind and wild animals tell us when it's going to rain or when there will be a frost? In deciphering the signs, Wohlleben argues, we rediscover our respect and interest in the environment on our doorsteps and our place in the natural order of things.


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Chelsea Green

Chelsea Green is a long-standing publisher of books on sustainable living, farming, foraging and feasting. Its books focus on in-depth, practical knowledge to life, and give readers hands-on information related to healthy food, sustainable economics, progressive politics, and, most recently, integrative health and wellness.

Find out more here

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