With the influence of technology increasing in our lives, I have become more aware just how important it is to redress the balance; for all sorts of reasons, not least good sleep and mental health. In honour of this and my Dad, I’m excited to introduce our first Thread Tales’ Book Club, beginning with an eclectic mix of reading suggestions from our team. We can’t wait to share our thoughts with you and to receive your suggestions too!
Planting in a Post-Wild World, Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes,
By Thomas Rainer
2008 Epiphany - I always loved nature, which must have come from exploring the woods with my Dad who was a bit of an expert particularly on birds and fungi. I also remember many happy summer days playing in the river with my friends.
My mum was a member of Greenpeace, and I used to sit at the kitchen table and absorb every word of their newsletter when it arrived each quarter. Despite the alarming reports of species loss, I thought that’s Okay, Greenpeace are sorting it out...
At 17 I went to study Landscape Architecture at Sheffield University combining my two passions – design and the natural world.
It wasn’t until travelling back from our Costa Rican wedding in 2008 when I had my epiphany. I picked up a book in Newark Airport called ‘The World Without Us’ by Alan Wiseman. It imagines what would happen to the world if humans were to vanish in an instant. It blew my tiny mind, and from there I read everything I could get my hands on from peak oil, mass species extinction, climate change, transition towns, re-wilding, permaculture, Gaia theory etc. Naturally I became a bit depressed by it all but I couldn’t stop reading!
I went vegetarian in 2018. I design landscapes that are wildlife friendly. I go on marches. We grow our own veg and I do what I can to lower my carbon footprint. I’m trying to remain upbeat -but it’s getting harder!
My three recommended books would be the already mentioned 1/ ‘The World Without Us’ by Alan Weisman, 2/ ‘Planting in a Post-Wild World’ by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West, and ‘Feral’ by George Monbiot.
- Tom Barnsley
Weaving Contemporary Makers on The Loom
By Katie Treggiden
For anyone passionate about textiles and handmade products, this is an inspiring visual and informative read. Crafts are experiencing a huge revival in interior decor at the moment. This book is beautifully illustrated with colourful and inspiring images. I love the behind the scenes images giving a rare glimpse into the weaver’s worlds. Weaving is an ancient craft with a fascinating history, and is one that keeps evolving, this book presents how it is being reinvented into contemporary works of art.
- Katherine Maunder
By Donna Tartt
I used to think that I may be a potential novelist, loving writing as I do, until I read The Goldfinch by American Author Donna Tartt. Published in 2013, despite totally dividing the critics, it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and is mind-blowingly poetic. 13 year old Theodore survives a bombing in an Art Museum and, through an intriguing event, takes a painting called ‘The Goldfinch’. This small work of art becomes bound to the memory and anguish Theodore experiences from losing his mother in the blast and influences his life. Through her Intriguing prose and incredible melodic use of language, Tartt tells a tale that is acutely painful and uncomfortable, yet extraordinarily beautiful. I’m on the side of the 5 star reviews. We’d love to know what you think...
- Anna Smith
Stitched Up: The Anti-capitalist Book of Fashion
By Tansy Hoskins
Winner of the ICA Bookshop Book of the Year 2014.
Bold. Unapologetic. Eye-opening. Tansy Hoskins’ invites you to step into your wardrobe and embark on a journey to discover the secret world that hides behind your clothes. Not quite the magical land of Narnia, Hoskins’ razor-sharp prose will guide you from sweatshops to runways, from high-street to high-end, jumping between Karl Lagerfeld and Karl Marx, to expose fashion’s vampiric relationship with our planet, our bodies, our minds. Capitalism, consumerism, class and advertising are ruthlessly dissected to reveal their murkiest secrets. This book will leave you sobered up and informed, but also fiercely determined to become a force of change and to fight fashion with fashion, using your clothes as a force for good.
- Guilia Stella
To die for: Is fashion wearing out the world?
By Lucy Siegle
An expose on the fashion industry written by the Observer’s ‘Ethical Living’ columnist, examining the inhumane and environmentally devastating story behind the clothes we so casually buy and wear.
It’s an incredibly well researched exposé of where our clothes really come from and the harm we’re causing to ourselves and to the environment through overconsumption.
This book was a a turning point for me to be a driver and influence for change through my work at Thread Tales and in my everyday life.
- Katherine Maunder