#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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