Summer reading list 2017

Here are our staff picks for some great books to try this summer.

Going on holiday, relaxing in the garden or sitting on the bus – there are plenty of chances to get reading this summer. Put away your mobile phone and get into a good book.

Our cooking-loving, gardening, environmentally-aware, healthy-living, politically-interested staff have recommended the books they’ve enjoyed this year.

Nearly all the books are available at Brighton and Hove Libraries or can be found at local bookshops or online.


Swallow This: Serving Up The Food Industry’s Darkest Secrets by Joanna Blythman published by Fourth Estate (2012)

Project manager Emily O’Brien says:” Fancy a slice of gothic horror on the beach… a mind boggling insight into how processed food is actually made, and the devious lengths manufacturers go to persuade us that what they sell us is ‘fresh’ and wholesome’.. when it isn’t. A whole load of dirty secrets and a definite reason to cook from scratch.”


The Angry Chef: Bad Science and the Truth About Healthy Eating Paperback – 29 Jun 2017


Nutritionists Vicky Dagnan and Jess English both recommend The Angry Chef’s first book.  Vicky says:”I LOVE The Angry Chef’s comments on clean eating. If you don’t follow his blog or on Twitter I highly recommend you do, he is very funny and sticks to the science.” Jess adds:”The new Angry Chef book – satirical and science-based foray into the world of nutrition and nutri-b*llocks – it undoubtedly contains many swears …but is brilliant.”



At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier 

Community gardener at Racehill Orchard Anne-Marie Burr loved this historical novel. “It’s her most recently published novel, draws on the legend and more likely reality of American pioneer Johnny Appleseed, and there’s lots about sequoias trees as well as apples.”



Eat Well for Less: Family Feasts on a Budget by Jo Scarratt-Jones

The second cookbook to accompany the popular BBC TV series starring hosts Gregg Wallace and Chris Bavin gives lots of healthy, easy-to-cook low-budget meals. Gives tips on meal-planning, using leftovers and budgeting. Communications officer Caroline Sutton says:”With the cost of food going up again, this is a good reminder good food doesn’t need to cost a fortune and you don’t need to buy fancy branded food.”



The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert.


Development officer Helen Starr-Keddle says: ” I’m not sure if this is entirely food related but it is a fantastic fiction book with a good dose of botany and appreciation for nature.  I couldn’t put it down last year.”




Gardening for Mindfulness by Holly Farrell. RHS

Rosie Linford, Community Gardener recommends Gardening for Mindfulness by Holly Farrell. RHS.  “It’s a good reminder of the importance of mindfulness and how the garden or allotment is such an easy setting in which to practice this. It reminds me to enjoy the garden rather than just think about what jobs need doing next. It also contains some useful exercises to practice mindfulness in the garden and I’ll be using some of these methods for my Roots and Boots gardening group.”


The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman 2013

Harvest manager Jess Crocker recommends this recipe book. “Deb Perelman is a famous cookery New York blogger but her recipes are really normal, simple food and very seasonal and super tasty without being too worthy. Her sister was a friend of mine in high school randomly. She has a new book out later in the year and I can’t wait.”




Big Fit Girl by Louise Green 2017

Family and Schools dietician Jess English says:” It’s about gaining health at every size – and just enjoying physical activity and feeling healthy, not chasing an unattainable body shape.”




The Moneyless Manifesto by Mark Boyle 2013

Recommended by Project Support Worker Sarah Davenport. She says:”Lots of tips on how to get things for free as well as a discussion on economics and transition, but not at all dry.”




Fresh India by Meera Sodha 2016 

Development officer Helen Starr-Keddle says: “Quite simply the best recipe book I’ve got on my shelf.”


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