Autumn Reads

Come and browse the perfect books for you to snuggle down with this Autumn. Grab a blanket and a book, and you’re set.

Books to Feed Your Mind

Books to inspire, challenge and free your mind in modern times; from classics to new releases, find a book to feed your soul.

Wainwright Prize 2021 in Nature Writing

Browse the beautiful and inspiring books that made the longlist for the Wainwright Prize on Nature writing, global conservation and climate change.

Explore Folklore, Legends and Myths

Dip into the tales that have influenced our world. Carefully cultivated from countries all around the world, there are stories about the forest, woodlands and gardens to the creatures that stalk our oceans, there is something from everyone.

Welcome to Arcturus Books

Nicknamed ‘Self-Help Central’, we are an independent bookshop, which is deliberately different, specialising in books that support the soul.

Our range includes books on psychology, self-development, spiritual growth, health, nutrition and the environment. Beyond books, we also offer a unique selection of tarot and oracle cards, as well an eclectic range of incense, greetings cards, games and jigsaws, notebooks and gifts.

A consistent and inspiring presence in Totnes, the magical town that is twinned with Narnia, for over 30 years, Meg and Will took over Arcturus Books in 2021.

We are a small independent shop and sometimes we don’t have everything listed that we have available to us.

We can also order in any book, niche or bestseller, so please do contact us directly if you do not see the book that you are interested in. You can contact us via email, phone or pop into the shop in person.

Best Sellers


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  • The Book Of Trespass

    The Book Of Trespass

    £9.99
    by Nick Hayes
    Format: Paperback / softback 464 pages
    Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
    Imprint: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
    ISBN:9781526604729
    Published:8 Jul 2021
    Classifications: Land rights, Public ownership / nationalization, Offences against property, The countryside, country life
    Readership: General (US: Trade) Professional & Vocational Tertiary Education (US: College)
    Weight:376g
    Dimensions:129 x 197 x 39 (mm)
    Pub. Country: United Kingdom

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  • Who Owns England?

    Who Owns England?

    £9.99
    'A formidable, brave and important book' Robert Macfarlane

    Who owns England? Behind this simple question lies this country's oldest and best-kept secret. This is the history of how England's elite came to own our land, and an inspiring manifesto for how to open up our countryside once more. This book has been a long time coming.

    Since 1086, in fact. For centuries, England's elite have covered up how they got their hands on millions of acres of our land, by constructing walls, burying surveys and more recently, sheltering behind offshore shell companies. But with the dawn of digital mapping and the Freedom of Information Act, it's becoming increasingly difficult for them to hide.

    Trespassing through tightly-guarded country estates, ecologically ravaged grouse moors and empty Mayfair mansions, writer and activist Guy Shrubsole has used these 21st century tools to uncover a wealth of never-before-seen information about the people who own our land, to create the most comprehensive map of land ownership in England that has ever been made public. From secret military islands to tunnels deep beneath London, Shrubsole unearths truths concealed since the Domesday Book about who is really in charge of this country - at a time when Brexit is meant to be returning sovereignty to the people. Melding history, politics and polemic, he vividly demonstrates how taking control of land ownership is key to tackling everything from the housing crisis to climate change - and even halting the erosion of our very democracy.

    It's time to expose the truth about who owns England - and finally take back our green and pleasant land.

    Who Owns England?

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  • The Wild Silence : The Sunday Times Bestseller 2021 from the author of The Salt Path

    The Wild Silence : The Sunday Times Bestseller 2021 from the author of The Salt Path

    £9.99
    In 2016, days before they were unjustly evicted from their home, Raynor Winn was told her husband Moth was dying. Instead of giving up they embarked on a life-changing journey: walking the 630-mile South West Coast Path, living by their wits, determination and love of nature.

    But all journeys must end and when the couple return to civilisation they find that four walls feel like a prison, cutting them off from the sea and sky that sustained them - that had saved Moth's life. So when the chance to rewild an old Cornish farm comes their way, they grasp it, hoping they'll not only reconnect with the natural world but also find themselves once again on its healing path . .

    The Wild Silence : The Sunday Times Bestseller 2021 from the author of The Salt Path

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  • Surrounded by Idiots : The Four Types of Human Behaviour (or, How to Understand Those Who Cannot Be Understood)

    Surrounded by Idiots : The Four Types of Human Behaviour (or, How to Understand Those Who Cannot Be Understood)

    £9.99
    Do you ever think you're the only one making any sense? Or tried to reason with your partner with disastrous results? Do long, rambling answers drive you crazy? Or does your colleague's abrasive manner get your back up? You are not alone. After a disastrous meeting with a highly successful entrepreneur, who was genuinely convinced he was 'surrounded by idiots', communication expert and bestselling author, Thomas Erikson dedicated himself to understanding how people function and why we often struggle to connect with certain types of people. Originally published in Swedish in 2014 as Omgiven Av Idioter, Erikson's Surrounded by Idiots is already an international phenomenon, selling over 1.5 million copies worldwide, of which over 750,000 copies have been sold in Sweden alone.

    It offers a simple, yet ground-breaking method for assessing the personalities of people we communicate with - in and out of the office - based on four personality types (Red, Blue, Green and Yellow), and provides insights into how we can adjust the way(s) we speak and share information. Erikson will help you understand yourself better, hone communication and social skills, handle conflict with confidence, improve dynamics with your boss and team, and get the best out of the people you deal with and manage. He also shares simple tricks on body language, improving written communication and advice on when to back away or when to push on, and when to speak up or indeed shut up.

    Packed with 'aha!' and 'oh no!' moments, Surrounded by Idiots will help you understand and influence those around you, even people you currently think are beyond all comprehension. And with a bit of luck you can also be confident that the idiot out there isn't you!

    Surrounded by Idiots : The Four Types of Human Behaviour (or, How to Understand Those Who Cannot Be Understood)

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  • Wilding : The Return of Nature to a British Farm

    Wilding : The Return of Nature to a British Farm

    £9.99
    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. Winner of the Richard Jefferies Society and White Horse Book Shop Literary Prize.

    Forced to accept that intensive farming on the heavy clay of their land at Knepp was economically unsustainable, Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell made a spectacular leap of faith: they decided to step back and let nature take over. Thanks to the introduction of free-roaming cattle, ponies, pigs and deer - proxies of the large animals that once roamed Britain - the 3,500 acre project has seen extraordinary increases in wildlife numbers and diversity in little over a decade. Extremely rare species, including turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons, lesser spotted woodpeckers and purple emperor butterflies, are now breeding at Knepp, and populations of other species are rocketing.

    The Burrells' degraded agricultural land has become a functioning ecosystem again, heaving with life - all by itself. Personal and inspirational, Wilding is an astonishing account of the beauty and strength of nature, when it is given as much freedom as possible. Highly Commended by the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize.

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  • Homesick : Why I Live in a Shed

    Homesick : Why I Live in a Shed

    £9.99
    'You will marvel at the beauty of this book, and rage at the injustice it reveals' George Monbiot
    'Incredibly moving. To find peace and a sense of home after a life so profoundly affected by the housing crisis, is truly inspirational' Raynor Winn, bestselling author of The Salt Path

    Aged thirty-one, Catrina Davies was renting a box-room in a house in Bristol, which she shared with four other adults and a child.

    Working several jobs and never knowing if she could make the rent, she felt like she was breaking apart. Homesick for the landscape of her childhood, in the far west of Cornwall, Catrina decides to give up the box-room and face her demons. As a child, she saw her family and their security torn apart; now, she resolves to make a tiny, dilapidated shed a home of her own.

    With the freedom to write, surf and make music, Catrina rebuilds the shed and, piece by piece, her own sense of self. On the border of civilisation and wilderness, between the woods and the sea, she discovers the true value of home, while trying to find her place in a fragile natural world. This is the story of a personal housing crisis and a country-wide one, grappling with class, economics, mental health and nature.

    It shows how housing can trap us or set us free, and what it means to feel at home.

    Homesick : Why I Live in a Shed

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  • The Overstory : The million-copy global bestseller and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

    The Overstory : The million-copy global bestseller and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

    £9.99
    THE MILLION-COPY GLOBAL BESTSELLER and WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION'

    It changed how I thought about the Earth and our place in it' Barack Obama
    'Really, just one of the best novels, period' Ann Patchett

    A wondrous, exhilarating novel about nine strangers brought together by an unfolding natural catastrophe. The perfect literary escape.

    An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut. A hard-partying undergraduate in the late 1980s electrocutes herself, dies, and is sent back into life by creatures of air and light. A hearing- and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another. An Air Force crewmember in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan.

    This is the story of these and five other strangers, each summoned in different ways by the natural world, who are brought together in a last stand to save it from catastrophe. 'It's not possible for Powers to write an uninteresting book' Margaret Atwood'Radical and exciting' Jessie Burton'Breathtaking' Barbara Kingsolver

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    The Overstory : The million-copy global bestseller and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

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  • Entangled Life

    Entangled Life

    £10.99
    Winner of the 2021 Wainwright Prize for Writing on Global Conservation.

    The smash-hit Sunday Times bestseller that will transform your understanding of our planet and life itself. The more we learn about fungi, the less makes sense without them. They can change our minds, heal our bodies and even help us avoid environmental disaster; they are metabolic masters, earth-makers and key players in most of nature's processes.

    In Entangled Life, Merlin Sheldrake takes us on a mind-altering journey into their spectacular world, and reveals how these extraordinary organisms transform our understanding of our planet and life itself.

    'Gorgeous!' Margaret Atwood (on Twitter)'Reads like an adventure story...
    'Urgent, astounding and necessary' Helen Macdonald'
    A magical writer' Russell Brand*

    Entangled Life

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  • Feral : Rewilding the Land, Sea and Human Life

    Feral : Rewilding the Land, Sea and Human Life

    £10.99
    'Captivating. Will change the way you think about the natural world, and your place in it' Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

    In Feral, George Monbiot, one of the world's most celebrated radical thinkers offers a riveting tale of possibility and travel in the wild. How many of us sometimes feel that we are scratching at the walls of this life, seeking to find our way into a wider space beyond? That our mild, polite existence sometimes seems to crush the breath out of us? Feral is the lyrical and gripping story of George Monbiot's efforts to re-engage with nature and discover a new way of living. He shows how, by restoring and rewilding our damaged ecosystems on land and at sea, we can bring wonder back into our lives.

    Making use of some remarkable scientific discoveries, Feral lays out a new, positive environmentalism, in which nature is allowed to find its own way.

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  • The Forager's Calendar

    The Forager's Calendar

    £12.00
    'He writes so engagingly that it's hard to imagine that actual foraging can be more attractive than reading his accounts of it. ...[This book] is a treasure. It is beautifully produced, designed and illustrated.'

    Look out of your window, walk down a country path or go to the beach in Great Britain, and you are sure to see many wild species that you can take home and eat.

    From dandelions in spring to sloe berries in autumn, via wild garlic, samphire, chanterelles and even grasshoppers, our countryside is full of edible delights in any season. John Wright is the country's foremost expert in foraging and brings decades of experience, including as forager at the River Cottage, to this seasonal guide. Month by month, he shows us what species can be found and where, how to identify them, and how to store, use and cook them.

    You'll learn the stories behind the Latin names, the best way to tap a Birch tree, and how to fry an ant, make rosehip syrup and cook a hop omelette. Fully illustrated throughout, with tips on kit, conservation advice and what to avoid, this is an indispensable guide for everyone interested in wild food, whether you want to explore the great outdoors, or are happiest foraging from your armchair.

    The Forager's Calendar

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New Releases


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  • Nature Is Never Silent : how animals and plants communicate with each other

    Nature Is Never Silent : how animals and plants communicate with each other

    £14.99
    For readers of Entangled Life and The Hidden Life of Trees, a fascinating journey into the world of plants and animals, and the ways they communicate with each other. In forests, fields, and even gardens, there is a constant exchange of information going on. Animals and plants must communicate with one another to survive, but they also tell lies, set traps, talk to themselves, and speak to each other in a variety of unexpected ways.

    Here, behavioural biologist Madlen Ziege reveals the fascinating world of nonhuman communication. In charming, humorous, and accessible prose, she shows how nature's language can help us to understand our own place in the natural world a little better.

    Nature Is Never Silent : how animals and plants communicate with each other

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  • A  Book of Secrets : the insightful and profound Sunday Times bestseller

    A Book of Secrets : the insightful and profound Sunday Times bestseller

    £20.00
    In A Book of Secrets, internationally bestselling author Derren Brown considers the value and benefit of having pain in our lives, asking: * Is it in those moments that we are faced with adversity that we find the most lasting rewards? * Do we spend so much time trying to make sense of our lives that we forget what makes us wonderfully us? * What are the secrets that show us how to meet challenging moments head on?In thirteen fascinating chapters, Derren takes us back to his own scenes of childhood humiliation, to lonely evenings on tour, to being paralysed by shyness at a dinner party hosted by famous guests, to navigating middle age and to finding love. By sharing his own moments of anger, frustration, loneliness and loss, Derren reveals how it's possible to find consolation and compassion in our most challenging times.

    A Book of Secrets is a profound and practical guide to finding value in sadness and strength from what life throws at us - it is from the difficulty of life that we find meaning and grow.

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  • Silent Earth : Averting the Insect Apocalypse

    Silent Earth : Averting the Insect Apocalypse

    £20.00
    THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

    We have to learn to live as part of nature, not apart from it. And the first step is to start looking after the insects, the little creatures that make our shared world go round. Insects are essential for life as we know it.

    As they become more scarce, our world will slowly grind to a halt; we simply cannot function without them. Drawing on the latest ground-breaking research and a lifetime's study, Dave Goulson reveals the shocking decline of insect populations that has taken place in recent decades, with potentially catastrophic consequences. He passionately argues that we must all learn to love, respect and care for our six-legged friends.

    Eye-opening, inspiring and riveting, Silent Earth is part love letter to the insect world, part elegy, part rousing manifesto for a greener planet. It is a call to arms for profound change at every level - in government policy, agriculture, industry and in our own homes and gardens. Although time is running out, it is not yet too late for insect populations to recover.

    We may feel helpless in the face of many of the environmental issues that loom on our horizon, but Goulson shows us how we can all take simple steps to encourage insects and counter their destruction.

    Silent Earth : Averting the Insect Apocalypse

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  • Bringing Back the Beaver : The Story of One Man's Quest to Rewild Britain's Waterways

    Bringing Back the Beaver : The Story of One Man's Quest to Rewild Britain's Waterways

    £20.00
    Bringing Back the Beaver is farmer-turned-ecologist Derek Gow's inspirational and often riotously funny first-hand account of how the movement to rewild beavers into the British landscape has become the single most dramatic and subversive nature conservation act of the modern era. Since the early 1990s - in the face of outright opposition from government, landowning elites and even some conservation professionals - Gow has imported, quarantined and assisted the reestablishment of beavers in waterways across England and Scotland.

    Alongside stories detailing the ups and downs of rewilding beavers, Bringing Back the Beaver makes a passionate case as to why the return of one of nature's great problem solvers will be critical as part of a sustainable fix for the UK's growing flooding problems, whilst ensuring the creation of essential landscapes that enable the broadest spectrum of Britain's wildlife to thrive.

    This authentic, impassioned manifesto-cum-memoir will hopefully have a major impact on what is likely to be a long-running controversy. The Spectator
    Gow reinvents what it means to be a guardian of the countryside. the GuardianGow has a fire in his belly.
    We need more like him. BBC Wildlife Magazine

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What We’re Reading


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  • From What Is to What If

    From What Is to What If

    £10.99
    Big ideas that just might save the world. the Guardian
    A serious book on an important subject. Without imagination, where are we? Sir Quentin Blake

    What if we took play seriously? What if we considered imagination vital to our health? What if we followed nature's lead? What if school nurtured young imaginations? What if things turned out okay? Rob Hopkins asks the most important question that society has somehow forgotten - What If? Hopkins explores what we must do to revive and replenish our collective imagination.

    If we can rekindle that precious creative spark, whole societies and cultures can change - rapidly, dramatically and unexpectedly - for the better. There really is no end to what we might accomplish. From What Is to What If is the most inspiring, courageous and necessary book you will read this year; a call to action to reclaim and unleash the power of our imaginations and to solve the problems of our time.

    Meet the individuals and communities around the world who are doing it now - and creating brighter futures for us all. At last, we have a design for our dreams. I believe we have a debt of honour to take action.

    From What Is to What If

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  • Behave : The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

    Behave : The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

    £10.99
    Why do human beings behave as they do?

    'Awe-inspiring... You will learn more about human nature than in any other book I can think of' Henry Marsh, bestselling author of Do No Harm
    One of the best scientist-writers of our time' Oliver Sacks

    We are capable of savage acts of violence but also spectacular feats of kindness: is one side of our nature destined to win out over the other? Every act of human behaviour has multiple layers of causation, spiralling back seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, even centuries, right back to the dawn of time and the origins of our species. In the epic sweep of history, how does our biology affect the arc of war and peace, justice and persecution? How have our brains evolved alongside our cultures? This is the exhilarating story of human morality and the science underpinning the biggest question of all: what makes us human?'

    Behave : The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

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  • A Treasury of British Folklore : Maypoles, Mandrakes and Mistletoe

    A Treasury of British Folklore : Maypoles, Mandrakes and Mistletoe

    £12.99
    An entertaining and engrossing collection of British customs, superstitions and legends from past and present. In this beautifully illustrated book, Dee Dee Chainey tells tales of mountains and rivers, pixies and fairy folk, and witches and alchemy.

    Did you know, in Cumbria it was believed a person lying on a pillow stuffed with pigeon's feathers could not die? Or that green is an unlucky colour for wedding dresses? In Scotland it was thought you could ward off fairies by hanging your trousers from the foot of the bed, and in Gloucestershire you could cure warts by cutting notches in the bark of an ash tree. You've heard about King Arthur and St George, but how about the Green Man, a vegetative deity who is seen to symbolise death and rebirth? Or Black Shuck, the giant ghostly dog who was reputed to roam East Anglia?

    She explores how British culture has been shaped by the tales passed between generations, and by the land that we live on. As well as looking at the history of this subject, this book lists the places you can go to see folklore alive and well today. The Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival in Cambridgeshire or the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance in Staffordshire for example, or wassailing cider orchards in Somerset.

    A Treasury of British Folklore : Maypoles, Mandrakes and Mistletoe

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  • The History of Magic : From Alchemy to Witchcraft, from the Ice Age to the Present

    The History of Magic : From Alchemy to Witchcraft, from the Ice Age to the Present

    £12.99
    A remarkable, unprecedented account of the role of magic in cultures both ancient and modern -- from the first known horoscope to the power of tattoos. Three great strands of practice and belief run through human history: science, religion and magic. But magic - the idea that we have a connection with the universe - has developed a bad reputation.

    It has been with us for millennia - from the curses and charms of ancient Greek, Roman and Jewish magic, to the shamanistic traditions of Eurasia, indigenous America and Africa, and even quantum physics today. Even today seventy-five per cent of the Western world holds some belief in magic, whether snapping wishbones, buying lottery tickets or giving names to inanimate objects. Drawing on his decades of research, with incredible breadth and authority, Professor Chris Gosden provides a timely history of human thought and the role it has played in shaping civilization, and how we might use magic to rethink our understanding of the world.

    The History of Magic : From Alchemy to Witchcraft, from the Ice Age to the Present

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  • Kew - Witch's Garden : Plants in Folklore, Magic and Traditional Medicine

    Kew - Witch's Garden : Plants in Folklore, Magic and Traditional Medicine

    £14.99
    Witch's Garden describes over 50 of the world's most powerful magical plants and their uses, mythical and proven. Wise women, apothecaries, witches, herbalists: whatever you call them, those who cultivate plants for their fabled mystical and healing properties have existed for thousands of years. From the screaming mandrake to calming St John's Wort, the history of esoteric species is often as dark and elusive as the art of herbalism itself.

    Including tales of remedies for everything from bad weather and broken hearts to protection from evil and the invocation of immortality, Witch's Garden features exquisite botanical illustrations and fascinating specimens held within the archives of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, while archival images depicting occult practices evoke the bewitching nature of these mysterious species.

    Kew - Witch's Garden : Plants in Folklore, Magic and Traditional Medicine

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  • Bringing Back the Beaver : The Story of One Man's Quest to Rewild Britain's Waterways

    Bringing Back the Beaver : The Story of One Man's Quest to Rewild Britain's Waterways

    £20.00
    Bringing Back the Beaver is farmer-turned-ecologist Derek Gow's inspirational and often riotously funny first-hand account of how the movement to rewild beavers into the British landscape has become the single most dramatic and subversive nature conservation act of the modern era. Since the early 1990s - in the face of outright opposition from government, landowning elites and even some conservation professionals - Gow has imported, quarantined and assisted the reestablishment of beavers in waterways across England and Scotland.

    Alongside stories detailing the ups and downs of rewilding beavers, Bringing Back the Beaver makes a passionate case as to why the return of one of nature's great problem solvers will be critical as part of a sustainable fix for the UK's growing flooding problems, whilst ensuring the creation of essential landscapes that enable the broadest spectrum of Britain's wildlife to thrive.

    This authentic, impassioned manifesto-cum-memoir will hopefully have a major impact on what is likely to be a long-running controversy. The Spectator
    Gow reinvents what it means to be a guardian of the countryside. the GuardianGow has a fire in his belly.
    We need more like him. BBC Wildlife Magazine

    Bringing Back the Beaver : The Story of One Man's Quest to Rewild Britain's Waterways

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The Bookshop Blog

Smoke Cleansing + How to Cleanse Your Home

Smoke Cleansing + How to Cleanse Your Home

Think about how you feel when you have spent time in the presence of positive, uplifting people. Whether it's a compliment from a stranger that leaves you smiling all day, or an evening spent laughing riotously in the company of loved ones – Have you felt that...

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Why? Books to help us understand Us…

Why? Books to help us understand Us…

Quick show of hands…. Hands up if you feel that life is rather overwhelming sometimes? Hands up if you sometimes avoid conversations with other people because you’re not sure how best to interact? Hands up if you’ve ever felt like you’re the only person talking sense...

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Popular Categories

Heavily polluting chimney

The Environment

Our Environment section contains many fascinating titles from books on activism and how to bring about change to gentle nature memoirs.

We also have a good stock on foraging and the use of wild plants for eating and medicinal purposes, as well as books on permacultures and how to rewild your garden for nature.

In this section you will also find books on how to build cabins, houses and tiny homes in an ecologically friendly way. 

Shamanic spiritual meditation ritual leather drum

Paganism & Wicca

In our Paganism and Wicca section, you will find titles on Witchcraft, Druidry and Paganism and their modern uses.

You will also find a range on Shamanism and contacting your spirit guides.

In this section, there are also books on ancient sites around the UK and abroad, as well as publications on the history of magic. 

Buddha statue on Swayambhu temple, Kathmandu

Spirituality

Our Spirituality sections contains a variety of titles to cater for a wide range of beliefs from around the world; from Buddhism to Islam, Christianity to Hinduism.

We also stock titles on theology, atheism and the history of religion. In this section, you will also find books on angels and psychic abilities.