Our Festive booklist

We asked friends of Lewes Climate Hub and Transition Town Lewes to recommend inspiring books on nature, climate action and more to gift to loved ones this holiday.

Charlotte Wilson – Lewes Climate Hub co-ordinator
Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures – Merlin Sheldrake (Vintage, 2021)
My favourite book from recent years is Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake, all about the wonderful world of Fungi. It’s a beautiful book with wonderful images.


Kirsten Firth
The Lost Rainforests of Britain – Guy Shrubsole (William Collins, 2023)
Irresistibly enthusiastic and positive, Guy Shrubsole lays out an exploration of the temperate rainforests of the western coasts of Britain. Journalistic in places, as he tells his own story, he also acknowledges the efforts of campaigners and ecologists to map and save the remnants of old forest. After reading this book on a recent trip to the Scotland, my eyes were opened to the mosses, airplants and ferns growing on the trees, fed by the Highland mists and rain.


Lewes Urban Arboretum
The Overstory – Richard Powers (Vintage Classics, 2022)
A moving and informative novel about trees and the wide range of people from different backgrounds who are brought together to save the natural world from catastrophe.


Lewes Swift Supporters

On Crescent Wings – Jonathan Pomroy (Mascot Media, 2018)
Beautiful words and paintings that celebrate the glorious wonder of Swifts and chart their activities from arrival to departure over one season.


Gabriel Carlyle – Divest East Sussex
Who Owns the Wind? Climate Crisis and the Hope of Renewable Energy – David McDermott Hughes (Verso, 2021)
‘The sky is a cornucopia – heaven, not so far from earth. We have to guard that cornucopia against industries and interests that would make it scarce.’ Thus writes anthropologist David McDermott Hughes, on the final page of this enthralling book. It’s simultaneously a call for a new ‘socialism of the wind’ and an in-depth exploration of the social, political and cultural challenges facing the renewable energy revolution. But it’s also a call for artists and other cultural workers to join in the coming struggles over renewable energy, which will be won as much by the powers of art and imagination as by technology. ‘We live perpetually beneath a gas ocean, heated and stirred by a star’, Hughes writes. ‘Look up and think big.’


Steve Lewis at Laughton Greenwood
Wilding: The return of nature to a British farm – Isabella Tree (Picador, 2019)
Describes the Knepp rewilding experiment in its first enthusiasm-filled decade. Easy to read and optimistic (even if we probably need to be a little sceptical of some of the claims).


Dinah Morgan – Lewes Climate Hub
It’s Not That Radical – Climate Action to Transform our World – Mikaela Loach (DK, 2023)
Billed as ‘a fresh perspective for real climate action that could drastically change the world as we know it for the benefit of us all’, Mikaela Loach’s book Is very clear, upbeat and to the point regarding what we can do and what needs to happen!


Susan Murray – The Lewes Pound
Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World – John Vaillant (Hachette, 2023)
I haven’t read it yet but Fire Weather by John Vaillant sounds like a really interesting and ironic take on connections between oil extraction and unusual weather. It’s just won the Baillie-Gifford prize for nonfiction.


Ruth O’Keeffe – Landport Community Hub
The subtitle for this book is “what they feel, how they communicate” and the book is a very readable look into all manner of things you might never have thought about including trees communicating by scent, trees being friends with one another (including technically after death) and many other very interesting and thought-provoking ideas.
Natasha Padbury – Love Our Ouse
Nature is in crisis and does not have legal standing to live and thrive. Learn all about the positive movement that re-frames our relationship within our ecosystems and gives nature the same legal protections that humans and corporations have. Be part of the great paradigm shift!


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