Welcome to Gill’s recommended reading. This is a growing list of books and other resources for a healthier body, mind and spirit.
Tony Chiodo Feel Good Food. My favourite cookbook of 2010, local, accessible and absolutely yummy. Recipes include vegan, seafood and chicken. Take a look at my review of Feel Good Food to find out more.
Heidi Swanson Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen
The queen of 101 Cookbooks latest offering is packed full of delicious vegetarian fare.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall River Cottage Veg Every Day!. Hugh takes a break from catching squirrels and goes vego. His salads and raw foods are especially worth a look. Also features a lot of family-friendly recipes for meat-free meals.
Read my review of River Cottage Everyday Veg!.
Mark Bittman How to Cook Everything: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food: Vegetarian
A big book for new vegetarian, those wishing to expand their vegetable cooking repertoire and novice cooks. Lots of recipes, techniques and handy line drawings.
Maddhur Jeffery is an Anglo-Indian food writer. Her recipes are straight forward and easy to follow.
The large, hardback Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian: An Unrivalled Sourcebook of Over 600 Recipes and Ingredients from All Over the Globe covers many different cuisines.
While the more modest paperbackEastern Vegetarian Cooking focuses on different Asian classics. I’ve owned my copy for over 20 years and is one of my most cooked from books.
Flip Shelton Veg In: Simple Vegetarian Dishes from Around the World
Simple recipes to make healthy and tasty “take aways”, read my book review for more info.
Stephanie Alexander The Cook’s Companion
While this is not a health book, Stephanie Alexander’s work of love helps a competent cook become an excellent one, through understanding flavours and techniques.
Politics of food
Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual. 63 easy to follow tips on how to eat. A short, cheap, helpful guide.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: The Search for a Perfect Meal in a Fast-food World
This book will get you thinking about what you put on your plate, packed full of conversation starters for around the dinner table.
Barbara Kingsolver Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: Our Year of Seasonal Eating
A gentler approach to eating locally. Part diary, part “how to” book by award winner novelist and her family.
Ethno-botonist James Wong’s enthusiastic approach to plant medicines is infective:
Grow Your Own Drugs: Easy Recipes for Natural Remedies and Beauty Fixes
There’s also a DVD of the show.
Grow Your Own Drugs
Phillips and Fitzgerald The Alternative Cat: Improve Your Cat’s Health and Well Being with Natural Therapies and Practical Techniques
Now out of print, it’s worth looking for a second-hand copy if you are a natural health loving cat owner.
The classic herbals for all creatures great and small written by revered herbalist Juliette de Bairacli-Levy
The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat
The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable
The title says it all!
Psychological health and self-discovery
Stephanie Dowrick Forgiveness and Other Acts of Love
A thought provoking exploration of the virtues. Best read slowly and savoured.
Free Thinking: On Happiness, Emotional Intelligence, Relationships, Power and Spirit
Also by Dowrick and worth a read, gentler than her previous work.
Jennifer Louden The Woman’s Comfort Book: A Self-nurturing Guide for Restoring Balance in Your Life
An oldie but a goodie, some great ways to get in touch and a take care of yourself.
Sarah Ban Breathnach Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort of Joy [/i]
A gentle exploration of femininity and abundance.
Bev Aisbett The Book of IT: 10 Steps to Conquering Anxiety
Demystifying anxiety and panic attacks, with the added bonus that the author is also a cartoonist.
Thomas Moore Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life
A thoughtful and thorough book on human nature, that deserves some time and space to explore.
Meditation – I’m excited to see my favourite book is about to be updated.
Kamalashila Buddhist Meditation: Tranquility, Imagination and Insight
Julia Cameron has written a number of guides to creativity. The two best are:
The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation Into the Writing Life
An inspirational resource for budding writers.
The Artist’s Way
Perfect for both visual artists and writers – the book that launched a thousand “artist dates”!
Natalie Goldberg, US writer and Buddhist provides practical advice and exercises in her two classic texts:
Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer within
Keri Smith Living out Loud: An Activity Book to Fuel a Creative Life
Being creative is fun.
Two handy books to help you not only clean up your house but also understand your clutter.
Lissanne Oliver Sorted!: The Ultimate Guide to Organising Your Life – Once and for All
Karen Kingston’s insight in why we hold on to our stuff and how to let go of the clutter is fascinating.
Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui: Space Clearing Can Change Your Life
Kaz Cooke writes accessible, well informed books on women’s health and parenting. A great source of commonsense advice.
Women’s Trouble: Natural and Medical Solutions (with naturopath Ruth Trickey)
One of the best women’s health books available, with the added bonus that it’s written in Australia. Straight forward medical information with natural options.
Up the Duff is the first and often only book you need to read when you’re pregnant. Also great for expectant father’s to read week by week to understand that their partner is not the only one to experience mood changes!
Women’s Stuff is not only health but a “how to” guide for young girls to mature women, without the usual New Age twaddle.
Boys and men
Australian family therapist Steve Biddulph is the master when it comes to understanding masculinity. His books are “must reads” for all parents and lovers of men.
Raising Boys: Why Boys Are Different–And How to Help Them Become Happy and Well-Balanced Men
The New Manhood: The Handbook for a New Kind of Man
Both Steve’s book’s should be on the high school curriculum!
Maggie Hamilton’s research also has great insight into the species otherwise known as the adolescent male.
What’s Happening to Our Boys?
It’s the perfect compaion to her earlier work What’s Happening to Our Girls?: Too Much Too Soon.
Read my 2011 reviews of the following books for more info.
Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things
Fiction and memoir for body, mind and soul
Stella Duffy State of Happiness
A cartographer with a taste for theories of place succumbs to cancer in this metaphorical tale of mortality and map making. A powerful story exploring life, death and sense of place. I’m a longtime fan of Duffy’s fiction but this is quite different to her other work, written while the author wrestled with her own life challenging illness.
Elizabeth Gilbert Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything
Do yourself a favour, don’t see the movie, choose the book instead. Gilbert is a delightful writer and her human tale of self discovery is a charming read.
Joan Anderson A Walk on the Beach: Tales of Wisdom from an Unconventional Woman
Part midlife memoir, part exploration of the psychology of aging. Take a look at my review.
Michelle suggested Glad No Matter What: Transforming Loss and Change into Gift and Opportunity by SARK.
“A very wise and healing book that deals with grief and change”.