The leaves are orange. The pumpkin spice lattes are out. And that means one thing for booklovers. Book season. Of course, summer offers reading by the beach/pool/park, but the really good stuff, the hibernate under a blanket and not come out until the last page stuff, that’s the realm of autumn and winter.
We headed to the #LushShowcase on a quest for the best reads of the season. So pull up your slipper socks, source your fluffy jumper, and get the kettle on. Here’s your autumn/winter reading list courtesy of #LushBookclub:
1. Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race - Reni Eddo Lodge
Ok, so if you haven’t read this, where have you been? Now’s the time to get it off your TBR list as Reni has strongly hinted there’s a new book on the horizon. Speaking at the #LushShowcase (24/09/18) Reni said: “I had a goal to fundamentally change the way race is thought about in Britain, and I think that the book is doing a good job of that. I worked a lot of my twenties doing a lot of thankless underpaid activism and writing work, and then the book took off in a way I didn’t expect and threw me into the public eye. I’ve spent the last six months rewinding, but it feels a lot like back to school time, so I have been doing a lot of writing and research, and hopefully that’ll turn into another book.”
But more about the book, Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race is an expansion of Reni’s 2014 viral blog post of the same name, and looks at a whole spectrum of issues surrounding modern race relations and conversations. It’s a must-read for anyone who, well, just anyone really, and has sparked debate and action across industries and communities.
2. Dear John: The Road to Pelindaba The Unexpected Life Story of Mark Constantine OBE Co-Founder of Lush by Jeff Osment
This year’s Showcase saw the launch of Lush Co Founder Mark Constantine’s biography - penned by lifelong friend Jeff Osment. Throw away all assumptions of what this business-leader’s book might include, this evocative piece tracks the long and emotional journey of finding Mark’s long lost father. So, whether you want to know the story that in part lead to the creation of global cosmetic brand Lush, or you’re more into a wordy version of Who Do You Think You Are, there’s something for every literary lover. Once you start reading Dear John: The Road To Pelindaba you won’t be able to put it down, or out of your mind. Read more about it here.
3. Trans Teen Guide by Owl and Fox Fisher
Whether you’re trans, non-binary or cisgender, the Trans Teen Survival Guide provides a wealth of frank, funny and completely necessary advice and information on being a trans teenager. For yourself, your friend, a family member, or just to gain another perspective, Trans Youth activists Fox and Owl are here to give you help.
At the Lush Showcase co author Owl explained where the book came from and what inspired the duo to make it happen: “We wanted to create something we wish we had when we were growing up. I guess Trans Teen Survival Guide is a favour to our past selves.”
More than that though, the duo hope the guide can make a real difference to the trans community.
Fox says: “Almost one in two people who are trans will attempt to take their own lives, so we made the book to try stop that happening in the future.”
So, whether you’re wondering how to come out to your family and friends, what it's like to go through cross hormonal therapy, want to know how you can be a trans ally, or are just looking to read other trans voices and experiences, this book has your back.
4. Give a Sh*t by Ashlee Piper
Chances are you already give a sh*t about a lot of things. But in today’s society, with companies greenwashing and woke washing wherever you look, nothing’s clean cut. It’s hard to know if your biodegradable plastic straw really does what it says on the tin, or whether your favourite brand’s push for sustainable ingredients is authentic or a publicity stunt. Brand advisor and eco-friendly lifestyle expert Ashlee Piper makes things a whole lot simpler in her practical handbook on how to do good while living well.
Speaking at the Lush Showcase Ashlee said: “I wanted to write a book that was not judgemental, that gave people a lot of research so they understood the problems out there and the context around their behaviours, but was also empowering and fun. I wanted it to be a plug and play book for literally anybody to pick up.”
5. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
The nights are drawing in, and what better than a twenties themed thriller with a twist to keep you company on those long, dark evenings…
Jump into the world of Aiden Bishop - a partygoer thrust into the midst of a mystery. The twist? The murder of young, beautiful Evelyn replays every night, and will continue to do so until it is solved.
Author Stuart Turton explains why he opted for the hybrid genre. “The first books I really read were Agatha Christie books, and I remember devouring them when I was a kid. So I knew the book I wanted to write was one of those.”
And he delivered. Publishers Bloomsbury describe the novel as “Gosford Park meets Inception, by way of Agatha Christie” - so high praise. If you enjoy murder-mystery, you’ll devour this fresh look at the genres tropes and traditions.
6. Homo Distractus Fight for your choices and identity in the digital world by Anastasia Dedyukhina
Struggle to concentrate on the job? Can’t go an hour without checking your smartphone? You’re not alone, with some stats suggesting millennials check their devices up to 150 times per day. Anastasia Dedyukhina, founder of Consciously Digital and firm believer in taking control of our tech, has penned Homo Distractus to help us do just that.
Anastasia explains why she felt her book was so necessary. “We are not so good at multitasking as humans. Checking our devices and switching tasks constantly has an effect and it reduces our productivity. We have to create boundaries. We need to recognise one simple thing. We inevitably will be missing out on something by switching off. But that’s ok. It’s fine to be in the moment.”
Anastasia’s debut non-fiction book explores how uncontrolled usage of tech is taking away our choices and freedom without our knowledge. With practical tips on how to find a balance between our tech and analogue worlds, this crowdfunded piece combines neuroscience with personal learnings, and is just what you need to help tackle tech overload.
7. 7 Ways to Think Differently by Looby MacNamara
If we change the way we think, can we change the future of our planet?
Permaculture teacher, designer and writer Looby Macnamara thinks so.
She said: “It’s a very common myth that permaculture is just for land, but actually it’s so much more than that. I like to think of permaculture as one part common sense, one part magic and one part design.”
In this practical guide, Looby explores how we can work together to achieve positive change, spanning science, politics and even the personal challenges we face.
Watch full interviews with the authors featured above. Looking for more book recommendations? The Lush Library is a varied, and ever growing collection of books that inspire and encourage the Lush team. Anything could grace its shelves, be it fiction, poetry, business advice, a graphic novel, and anything in between. The Lush Library is one of the ways that we continue to learn and develop as a company, so you’ll also find books that question the status quo and provide alternate perspectives on the things we care about. As well as sharing books with staff, the Library aims to spread a love of literature far and wide, look out for it in stores and at Lush events. #LushBookclub