Reading Matter

A curated collection of links to sites to inform, inspire, entertain and delight.


  • The Conversation – Curated by professional editors, The Conversation offers informed commentary and debate on the issues affecting our world. Plus a Plain English guide to the latest developments and discoveries from the university and research sector. In-depth analysis, research, news and ideas from leading academics and researchers.
  • Wired UK – An award-winning printed monthly and online publication. WIRED is an agenda-setting magazine offering brain food on a wide range of topics, from science, technology and business to pop-culture and politics.
  • The Week UK – The best of British & international news, opinion, sport, people & business. The Week brings you all you need to know about everything that matters. More than a news digest – it’s an original take on world news as it happens.
  • – an impartial political website with no political affiliation, which prides itself on standing out as an independent voice in a landscape where the norm is to nail your colours to the mast.


Art and Design


  • RSA – Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (added 17/08/19)

Swim Better

Swim wear made of recycled materials is now very much A Thing.

It makes sense – if you love the sea, the ocean and the beach, you’ll care about keeping it clean. It was a logical step to consider recycling plastics that could otherwise end up in the sea and making it into swimwear.

If you are dreaming of summer holidays or need to replace your swimmies for the local pool, consider making a purchase that helps the planet at the same time.

If you’re looking to buy from the UK then try Batoko, “a small independent swimwear brand based on the North West coast of England.” They create fun, bright swim suits with a flattering cut. Very reasonably priced at around the £40 price point.

Lilput and Felix are based in Essex and offer a range of different styles, their current collection has a ‘modern vintage’ theme. Priced around £150-£200 for a swimsuit. Also has a sale section!

London based Riz Board Shorts ” are crafted from Eco-Friendly 100% recycled and recyclable fabric”. They offer a range of designs, mostly just under £100.

If you know of any more UK based brands for recycled swimwear then do let me know!

For international shoppers, check out this page of 30 eco-friendly swimwear brands on the Conscious Fashion website.

The Odd Satisfaction of Collections

There is a fascination and compulsion in photographs of ordered collections.

Two people highlighting the environmental impact of the things we throw away:

Stuart Haygarth’s walked the length of the English South Coast and photographed the flotsam he found, organised by colour. Read an article about it in the Guardian (published April 2016) or purchase his book ‘Strand.’

I encountered a beautiful chandelier made by Stuart Haygarth at the Usher Gallery in Lincoln, made entirely of white plastic found on the beach. The picture below is from the milomade website.

Also posting about beach finds is the Lego Lost at Sea account on Twitter, who is locating some of the 5 million plastic bricks lost from a container ship in 1997.

Daniel Webb kept all of his plastic waste for a year, read about it in the Metro (published October 2018)

Life as Art:

Artist YellowYellow has developed a love for his favourite colour adn turned his life into a work of art. View his video on YouTube’s Archipel channel (posted September 2016).

Here are some lists of books

Top 10 Books About Council Housing.  List compiled by John Boughton and published in The Guardian (25/04/18)

8 Best Books on Innovation published in 2017/18, by Nesta – an innovation charity based in the UK. (28/02/18)

25 Must-read Classics for Women, from the Modern Mrs Darcy blog.  (01/02/18)

46 Books By Women of Color to Read in 2018, by R. O. Kwon, published on the Electric Literature website. (26/12/17)

6 Books Every Boss Babe Should Read, from Zanita Studio. (20/11/16)

These are the 20 best selling books of 2016 so far, published in The Independent.  (09/07/16)

20 books that changed James Altucher’s life (the list is in the comments). (31/01/16)

The 25 Greatest British Novels BBC Culture contributor Jane Ciabattari polled 82 book critics from outside the UK, to pick Britain’s best novels ever – this is what some had to say about the top choices. (09/12/15)

100 Good Books to Read by James Clear, includes a full reading list of more than 100 great books to read, organized by category.  (31/03/15)

30 Inspiring Books You Have to Read.  A Lifehack post by Jacob Cashman.

50 ‘must read’ social psychology books, a list by Gregory Ciotti  from Sparring Mind.

70+ book recommendations from TED speakers: Rashida Jones, Elizabeth Gilbert, Bill and Melinda Gates and many more share their book recommendations.

77 Books That Changed My Life and 3 Recommendations to Help You Read More.  A Lifehack article by Allyson Lewis.

8 books that might change your life from The Becomer.  These are all about money.

15 books that changed women’s lives.  A serious list from Elle Magazine.

A list from Lifehack of 35 short books anyone can find time to read.



Zero Waste Daniel – Brooklyn designer turns waste scrap fabric into high fashion

Daniel Silverstein looked at what was around him and used his creativity and talent to make a difference (and some nifty clothes. )  As well as being an artist and inspiration, he is reducing landfill and creating jobs, nurturing talent and creating community cohesion through his shop.

Visit Daniel’s webpage // Twitter @ZeroWasteDaniel // Facebook @ZeroWasteDaniel

Buy British

Buying British reduces air miles, supports British jobs and encourages the country to continue to teach skills and crafts to its young. has a directory that allows you to find whatever you want and need and source it from a manufacturer in the UK.  And I’m pleased to say – our little island seems to have most things covered.

Start with one thing, just have a look and see if it is available from a UK supplier and support the people near you.


Must Make

It makes sense to me now that I have learned that the making is an essential component of me not losing my shit. It’s more important than sleep or a sensible conversation when my temperature is rising, more helpful than strategy, more fundamental than insight. It’s the bit that comes before, during and after a crisis that makes sure I don’t get lost, it’s trails of breadcrumbs that mark my path.

Read the whole post on Sooz’s Big Adventure

Charity shop challenge

Caroline Jones

365 outfits to raise money for Cancer Research

Caroline Jones has pledged to wear a new outfit every day styled with items from Cancer Research UK, in memory of her Mum who worked at the charity shop.

Caroline is posting her outfits on her Instagram feed and on Facebook.

She is doing this to raise money for Cancer Research UK and you can donate on her Just Giving page.