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Reading list: Our new favourite books

Plants for the People by Erin Lovell Verinder (Thames & Hudson, $45)
May the vital force of plants be with you via this modern guide to botanical medicine that promises to support you, soothe you and make you reconsider burning the candle at both ends. A herbalist, nutritionist and energetic healer, its author considers plants the wisest mystics of them all and seeks to redirect us to become more in harmony with them and our bodies. “Plant medicine attunes to our needs the way only nature can, offering essential healing elements for body, mind and soul,” she says. “This is the return to simplicity, the return to nature.” These thoughtful, informative pages offer recipes for curative balms, elixirs, essences, syrups, tinctures, poultices, pastilles and other melodic words for things to make you better — just ask yourself how you feel and the remedy will follow. You might go easy with herbal tea or take Erin’s advice on how to become an at-home apothecary using herbs you can purchase or forage for, stepping into your wild. 

MAIN IMAGE Most medicinal teas involve steeping plant material in boiling water; however, some plants prefer a cold-water infusion as their delicate properties are sensitive to heat. TOP & MIDDLE Having trained in Australia and the US, Erin now calls Byron Bay home. ABOVE Herbal jellies and pastilles are a fun way to disguise strong flavours and encourage little ones to take their daily dose of goodness. Photography: Georgia Blackie.

IN BRIEF


Gathering
by Kristen Caissie (Rizzoli, $105)
It’s hard to imagine anyone could fill an entire book with ideas for setting the table, but Californian florist/designer/stylist Kristen of Moon Canyon has done so — and we’re definitely not mad at it. In a series of evocative scenes supported by abundant tips and techniques, she shows how to include botanicals and hero homeware among the usual knives, forks and spoons as a symbol of sharing that creates a mood and excites the senses.


Eat Your Greens!
by Anette Dieng & Ingela Persson (Gestalten, $90)
Twenty-two ways to cook a carrot is just a taste of what this cookbook includes. Is this the future of recipes in our time-poor age? Just pick a vege then navigate to several short, delightfully inexact instructions for what to prepare it with, quickly, deliciously and healthily putting an end to the angst of wondering what to do with that one thing you need to use up.


Live Beautiful
by Athena Calderone (Abrams, $65)
How do a cast of cool international creatives decorate their spaces? You’re about to find out in this read by the founder of luxe lifestyle blog EyeSwoon, which features their favourite design haunts alongside interviews that pick their brains, and drills down to the details to help you enrich your own life not through good deeds but good décor. 

Words Philippa Prentice