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Al Verey’s Reading List

(5 minute read)

Top ten reads from our library

Will you follow Persephone into the Underworld? Learn how to forage for a natural medicine cabinet? Or roam Lakeland landscapes with writers like Wordsworth and Simon Armitage as your guide? Choose your literary escape from Al Verey’s pick of the Another Place library.

Al Verey's curated selection of 100 books in the hotel library

We love a good book recommendation – especially when they come from someone as well-read as Al Verey, the owner of Pooley Bridge’s new indie bookshop, Verey Books.

And when the books in question can be found in the Another Place library, which Al recently restocked with a curated selection of 100 titles? Even better.

From poetry collections to dip into, to coffee table tomes to pour over with a hot toddy by the fire, Al takes us through 10 of his favourite reads from our revived library…

Al’s potted reads: 10 mini book reviews to give you a flavour of the new Another Place library collection

Ulysses book cover

1. Ulysses – James Joyce

A somewhat daunting novel by size and reputation. Actually, Joyce’s work is very funny at times, full of charm and bathos. The story’s hero is Leopold Bloom, an advertising salesman, and we follow him, mostly lost in thought, as he wanders around Dublin on the 16th June 1904. It’s a wonderful masterpiece.

The Poetry Pharmacy book cover

2. The Poetry Pharmacy – William Sieghart

What is your malady? Are you suffering from regret, ageing parents, feelings of worthlessness, displacement, or obsessive love? Do you have too much emotional baggage? Are you going through divorce? Open The Poetry Pharmacy on the right page and take your verse-medicine. No more ‘wandering lonely as a cloud’ – you will feel better.

Charles Dowding No Dig book cover

3. No Dig – Charles Dowding

Did you know, by not digging when you garden, you are avoiding disrupting the soil life? Your fungi and worms will be thrilled and your garden will glow with vitality and beauty, all for no effort! (Well, perhaps a bit. But not as much.)

A String of Pearls - Book cover

4. A String of Pearls: Landscape and Literature of the Lake District – Helen Shaw and Margaret Wilson

A Lakeland book for word lovers. Authors Helen Shaw and Margaret Wilson select quotes and poetry from iconic writers to capture a sense of the Lake District’s history and place. Wordsworth, Coleridge and Beatrix Potter obviously all feature, but do you remember Ian McEwan evoking the wilderness of the Lakes in his novel, Amsterdam?

History of War in maps

5. History of War in Maps – Philip Parker

A fascinating book featuring maps from wars throughout history, such as: The Battle of Marathon (490 BC); the Battle of Hastings (1066); and Operation Desert Storm (1993). These maps come alive as you read about the part they played in the outcome of the wars and how they have ultimately helped shape human history and its future.

6. The Ashley Book of Knots – Clifford Ashley

The life’s work of Clifford Ashley (born 1881), who spent his adult life on boats of various sizes and in different ship roles. He became a world-leading authority on knot-tying and collected over 3,800 knots, all of which are featured here with beautiful illustrations.

7. Gender Swapped Greek Myths – Karrie Fransman and Jonathan Plackett

Have you heard of Icara and her mother who flew too close to the sun? Or the male sirens whose haunting calls lured brave maidens to their deaths? Or the beautiful men forced to marry underworld queens? It’s fascinating how flipping the genders in these well-known stories makes them entirely new, and brilliantly reverses thousands of years of male-centred stories and fables.

8. 100 Plants that Heal – G. Debuigne and F. Couplan

In this wonderfully informative book, 100 common medicinal plants are described, illustrated, and carefully explained to show how they can be used and consumed to human advantage, promoting health, healing, and symptom relief. For example, used in the right way, the bark of English Oak can treat haemorrhoids and mouth ulcers – just pay attention as to which you tend first!

9. A Woman’s Shed – Gill Heriz

The tagline to this book reads: ‘She Sheds for Women to Create, Write, Make, Grow, Think, and Escape’. This is a really lovely book exploring the cathartic, creative, practical, emotional, and aspirational role sheds play in many women’s lives. There’s inspirational photos, lots of useful information, and many thought-provoking questions for would-be ‘she shedders’. 

10. Forty Farms: Conversations about change in the landscapes of Cumbria – Amy Bateman/David Felton

This beautifully presented book allows the reader a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at 40 farms throughout Cumbria, owned by, amongst others, James Rebanks, Simon Rogan, Lee Schofield (who manages the RSPB site at Haweswater on Naddle Farm) and Hilda Noble. Amy Bateman’s stunning photos document a way of life undergoing immense change – challenging the people involved to their cores.

Read our interview with Forty Farms publisher, David Felton, here.



Book your stay at Another Place and spend time in the library. Or, browse our book collection with Swim and Dine. Library pre-dinner drinks before a three-courses in Rampsbeck and access to Swim Club and the swimming pool from 6.30pm.

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