Healthy Living

Our pick of the best books to read in autumn

Take time out with books to nourish and entertain. From cookbooks that bring the world to your table, to brilliant page-turners, we share our pick of the best books to read this autumn.

The best books to read

Beautiful world, where are you, by Sally Rooney

From the multi-award- winning and bestselling author of Normal People, Sally Rooney, comes her hotly anticipated third novel. Following four young people in Ireland and across the continent, this novel is true to Sally’s contemporary and nuanced style, accessible yet intensely profound. It’s sure to be the talking point of many book clubs in the weeks to come.

Sunset, by Jessie Cave

From comedian, actress and illustrator Jessie Cave comes this charming debut novel. It follows two sisters, wildly different yet inseparable, as they navigate adulthood, sisterhood, grief and summer holidays. The narrative feels observant and honest, true to the intensity of the bonds that carry us through life. It’s spry and funny, but also tender and raw, eliciting laughter and sentimentality in equal measure.

A Slow Fire Burning, by Paula Hawkins

This new white-knuckle page-turner from the author of The Girl on the Train is full of suspense and unexpected twists and turns. The story follows three women in the wake of a violent murder, caught in a spiral of crime and victimhood. It’s short, sharp chapters will keep your eyes glued to the story and your head spinning. Tense and gripping, it’s an unputdownable read.

A Statin-Free Life, by Dr Aseem Malholtra

Statins are some of the most widely prescribed medicines in the world, used to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease, but a survey found that three-quarters of respondents had stopped taking them within the year. Dr Aseem’s radical new book sets out a treatment plan for the heart without the need for endless pills every day. Taking into account diet, mobility and even stress, this recipe book-turned- lifestyle manual contains helpful advice for a long and healthy life.

Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love, by Yotam Ottolenghi

A dinner party spread is seldom without an Ottolenghi-inspired dish these days, so luckily the Israeli-born chef has been back in the test kitchen rustling up delicious new recipes with his signature Middle Eastern flair. Ottolenghi and his colleagues have grown a reputation for complicated recipes and hard-to-come-by ingredients but fear not, this new collection is specially designed for relaxed, flexible cooking, born out of store cupboard essentials and fuss-free techniques.

Sea & Shore, by Emily Scott

Inspired by the rugged coastline of Cornwall, chef Emily Scott’s new cookbook follows her ethos of simple, seasonal cooking to mouthwatering results. Charting the ebbs and flows of the seasons in her cherished home county, her book showcases the rich pickings of a rural life by the sea, and each page is imbued with a sense of rustic wildness. Fresh fish, seasonal veg and speciality Cornish sweet treats are among the jewels in this compendium of recipes and passionate storytelling.

The Garden Apothecary, by Christine Iverson

Rich with folklore and history, this book is a beautiful guide to the art of apothecaries. Discover the hidden herbal secrets of your own garden, with tips on how to safely identify, prepare and preserve your harvest. From recipes for delicious red clover lemonade to healing hand balms and soothing bath soaks, it’s full of delicious edible treats, herbal cures and restorative beauty products that can come from beyond the back door.

Lessons from Plants, by Beronda Montgomery

Named as one of Cell Press’s 100 most Inspiring Black Scientists in America, Beronda Montgomery has put her biochemistry expertise to good use with this book about the secret habits of plants. She takes a deep dive into the botanic experience and what we as people could learn from their adaptive and social journeys to survival. Thoughtful yet factual, philosophical yet accessible, this is a fascinating read that breathes new life into our understanding of plants.

An A-Z of Pasta, by Rachel Roddy

Part recipe book, part love letter to the sun-blushed cooking traditions of Italy, this book is a feast for the eyes and the imagination. Putting pasta centre stage in all of its unique and wonderful shapes, there’s a dish for every occasion, whether you’re cooking to impress or simply in need of a comforting bowl to warm the soul. Rachel Roddy spent more than 15 years learning her craft in Rome and has wisdom and inspiration aplenty.

The Urban Vegetable Patch, by Grace Paul

Many of us dream of popping out to the garden to harvest fresh produce, but that can feel a million miles away from where and how we live in the modern world. Grace Paul has written this guide to show how we can make the most of our outside spaces, even if it’s just a windowsill. From seeds to scraps, this practical book has all the necessary tips for looking after your veg and working towards a greener lifestyle.

Find all of these books and more through bookshop.org. This great intiative sources books through your local independent bookseller, offering support to a vital part of your local high street.

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