I decided to give it a go, and put the woven bookmarks of the Sea Library on Etsy. I started to weave them last Autumn to raise money for new books for young readers. With each sold Sailor's bookmark, I buy one new kids' book for the collection.
On the Holy Saturday we visited the place where Lielupe River flows into the Gulf of Riga ever since she broke its way to the sea. On the left you can see the final stretch of Lielupe River, on the right – there's the sea, but over there where the pine covered dunes are, Jūrmala starts, a city with 24 km long beach.
"What is a River?" is a gentle gem, telling you a layered story about a river. "The river glimmers in the shade, reflecting trees and flowers. It has hidden depths beneath its surface. Just like people. "River, who are you? Grandma, what is a river?" The book tells you that river is a thread, a journey, a meeting place; that river is home, a name, a history and a mystery.
A beautiful and terrifying portrait of the oceans and their human subjects, and a fascinating study of big business afloat, "Down to the Sea in Ships" by Horatio Clare is a moving tribute to those who live and work on the great waters far from land.
"The Little Book of Swimming Safely: Incomplete Advice for Wild Swimmers" was written last year in the middle of the pandemic with closed public pools and a huge increase in the number of people heading to rivers, seas and lochs near home. Even before lockdown swimming throughout the year in wildness had become more and more popular. Cold water swimming is beautiful, healthy and also dangerous. This little blue book comes in handy.
Erin is fascinated by the legend of Black Rock. It is huge, dark and spiky mass that is said to destroy boats. But are the tales really true? One day Erin sneaks on board her mother's fishing boat to find out.
"Be careful when opening this book," writes American author Lewis Buzbee in an added letter, "inside is a tiny sliver of wood, which is a veneer from the original planking of the Western Flyer, the boat Steinbeck used for this journey." Gifts like these make me a grateful and happy sea librarian.
I took a few weeks off to re-design the Sea Library website. Lockdown is harsh and the library is sadly closed to visitors. I am dreaming of a day when it will be buzzing with kids and grownups browsing through shelves again. During pandemics more and more books are being borrowed online and sent to readers by post, so I had to adjust. There are still so many books to be put up here, but I can’t keep this site down any longer so here it is.
Beautiful new book for kids in the Sea Library. "Meet me by the Sea" is written and illustrated by Taltal Levi who was born in Israel and currently works and lives in Switzerland. From a young age she used drawing as a tool to liberate herself from reality's hardships and dullness.
"Surf, Sweat and Tears: The Epic Life and Mysterious Death of Edward George William Omar Deerhurst" by Andy Martin has arrived in the Sea Library. Finally!
Sea comes back closer again, ice melts, and a silver cover appears. There are not so many books that I am afraid to begin because who knows where will I become stranded this time. "Albert and the Whale" by Philip Hoare is published in March, 2021.
What happens to abandoned places when nature is allowed to reclaim its place. A unique book "Islands of Abandonment: Life in the Post-Human Landscape" by Cal Flyn, published earlier this year, has reached the Sea Library thanks to the generosity of Iain Rousham from England.
A book I didn't know existed until I received it as a gift from Jean Wilson in Christmas. Henry Beston's nature writing classic "The Outermost House" turned into a beautifully illustrated book "The Fo'c'sle" for children. Nan Parson Rossiter is the author of text and drawings.
How to draw water? "The Mousehole Cat", written by Antonia Barber and illustrated by Nicola Bayley, is a beautiful example to explore. It has become a Christmas tradition in Cornwall to re-tell the story of a brave old fisherman and his cat Mowzer who saved their coastal village.
"And she recounted her adventures until the starfish came out and the anemones fell asleep." A gorgeous book for kids by K. G. Campbell will take you to the underwater world of Neptune's daughters. One of the mermaids, Minnow, wants to find her purpose and has so so many questions.
It is 1984 and forty years since Simon, Patricia and Evelyn and Larry first stepped through a magical library door into the enchanted world of Folio. When Patricia's daughter, Jewel, makes a mysterious discovery in an old bookshop, she begins a quest that will make her question everything she thought she knew. Summoned to Folio, she must rescue a missing prince, helped only by her pet hamster and a malfunctioning robot. Their mission to the Frozen Sea will bring them face-to-face with a danger both more deadly and more magnificent than they ever imagined.
Book chronicles the turning of 15-year-old Dara McAnulty’s world. From spring and through a year in his home patch in Northern Ireland, Dara spent the seasons writing. These vivid, evocative and moving diary entries about his connection to wildlife and the way he sees the world are raw in their telling.
"The Owl and the Pussycat" is written by Edward Lear in 1871, illustrated by Jan Brett and published as a board book by Puffin Books in 1996 "Owl sets out to woo Pussycat in a boat laden with fruit from their Caribbean island and with a guitar at his side, ready for serenading. As they sail…
In her new book "Fifty Words for Snow" Nancy Campbell digs deep into the meaning of words for snow from all around the world – each of them offering a whole world of myth and story.
"The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts" is written and illustrated by Maja Säfström and published by Ten Speed Press in 2016 "An artfully playful collection of unexpected and remarkable facts about animals, illustrated by Swedish artist Maja Säfström. Did you know that an octopus has three hearts? Or that ostriches can't walk backward? Or…
Surf’s up! Mrs. Armitage and her dog, Breakspear, paddle out to surf the Big Wave. Soon the kindly Mrs. Armitage notices that Breakspear’s little legs are getting tired--so she swims off and returns with an inflatable desert island for him to rest on.
"Ocean Anatomy: The Curious Parts & Pieces of the World under the Sea" is written and illustrated by Julia Rothman with help from John Niekrasz and published in paperback in 2020 "Embark on an aquatic adventure in this gorgeous visual tour of the world's oceans. Explore coral reefs, travel to the polar seas, and dive…
Sail along five mighty rivers around the world and open up the giant fold-out pages to reveal incredible stories from history, mythology and modern times.
"The Time by the Sea: Aldeburgh 1955–1958" is written by Ronald Blythe and published in paperback by Faber & Faber in 2014 "The Time by the Sea is about Ronald Blythe's life in Aldeburgh during the 1950s. He had originally come to the Suffolk coast as an aspiring young writer, but found himself drawn into Benjamin…
Grāmatā "Ukujali dzelmēs zivis dzied" poļu rakstnieks, žurnālists un dabas pētnieks Arkādijs Fīdlers 20. gadsimta 30. un 40. gados vairākas reizes dodas zooloģiskā ekspedīcijā uz tolaik maz izpētīto Amazones baseinu.
Board book "Life on Earth: Ocean: With 100 Questions and 70 Lift-flaps!" is written by Heather Alexander, illustrated by Andrés Lozano and published by Wide Eyed Editions in 2018 "How do fish breathe? Why is the ocean salty? Why is a whale not a fish? Find out the answers to these and many more questions…
Sea Library has sailed into November with a list of watery books coming out in the next few months: a couple of them already available in the Sea Library, all others - eagerly dreamed about. Upcoming at the Sea Library: read more.
"Give Me Back My Bones" is written by Kim Norman, illustrated by Bob Kolar and published by Walker in 2019 "A silly pirate skeleton seeks to put its bones back together in this rhyming romp beneath the waves. Cast a spyglass ’round herewhile breakers curl and pound here.There’s treasure to be found here —I feel…
"Future Sea: How to Rescue and Protect the World’s Oceans" is written by Deborah Rowan Wright and published by University of Chicago Press in 2020 "The world’s oceans face multiple threats: the effects of climate change, pollution, overfishing, plastic waste, and more. Confronted with the immensity of these challenges and of the oceans themselves, we…
"Fifty Words for Snow" is written by Nancy Campbell and published by Elliott & Thompson in 2020 "Every language and culture has its own word for the magical, mesmerising flakes that fall from the sky. From Iceland to Hawaii, frozen forest to mountain peak, school yard to park, snow may be welcomed, feared, played with…
"Ocean Speaks: How Marie Tharp Revealed the Ocean's Biggest Secret" is written by Jess Keating, illustrated by Katie Hickey and published by Tundra in 2020 "As a child, Marie Tharp's curiosity was as big as the world she wanted to explore. She longed to become a scientist and study the fascinating life around her. In…
"The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Ocean" is written by David Abulafia and published by Allen Lane in 2019 "For most of human history, the seas and oceans have been the main means of long-distance trade and communication between peoples - for the spread of ideas and religion as well as commerce. This…
With each sold bookmark, I'm buying a new children's book for the Sea Library. Flat-woven by me from a cotton yarn in twelve colours, each bookmark is a unique souvenir from the Sea Library by the Baltic Sea.
There are some summers, like there are some waves, that can never be forgotten. Hannah has dropped out of university to learn how to 'walk on water'. At Ruben's Cafe at the end of the Peninsula, she meets Jake, who has demons of his own and dreams of surfing the night. They come from different worlds but what brings them together is a love affair with the sea.
"The Starless Sea" is written by Erin Morgenstern and published by Harvill Secker in 2019 "Far beneath the surface of the earth, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories. The entryways that lead to this sanctuary are often hidden, sometimes on forest floors,…
In September 1926 Henry Beston went to his new summer house on Cape Cod for a couple of weeks but stayed there for a year. It resulted in a book.
I wrote a 100-day diary this summer, from May 27 to September 4, choosing one swim each day to write about in around one hundred words. Here are five from the documented dips in river Lielupe and the Baltic Sea.
"A lone street lamp like a sleepy eye guarded our village with a fogged yellow light. So it wasn't that dark. But enough to feel how beautiful the night is, a vertical pause between one day and another."
"The sea is the outer limit of my small world, both boundary and destination. A psychological motif and upholder of the evidence of human disrespect for the planet on which we live."
"Sea Lights" by Ruth Symons and Carolina Rabei is a magical seaside storybook about a little girl and her fisherman dad out there at sea at night.
"You only have to sail by the stars once or twice for that connection to remain with you for the rest of your life," writes Adam Nicolson.
"Every swim is a challenge to my mortality and my stupidity. They become ever more extreme with every season and every place," says Philip Hoare. He swims before dawn.
"The sea begins with the stars," wrote Charlotte Runcie. More words about the night sky and moon and sea from Henry Beston, Emily Brontë, Iris Murdoch, Tove Jansson and others.
"When I read, I am home. Same feeling, when I arrive at an empty beach, throw my bike in the sand and am there. With the sea."
"Just breathe and let those waves pass. Like the ocean, your mind is always changing," says mum to her boy in a wise and beautiful book written by Jaimal Yogis and illustrated by Matthew Allen.
"Looking back, I see that jellyfish came to me at a unique moment in my life," writes Juli Berwald in her book "Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone".
For the shelves in the Sea Library to be filled with new books, I’ve learned to weave on a large wooden frame, my loom. The second dreaming blanket is inspired by a book on Iceland.
Julia Baird chooses phosphorescence as a perfect metaphor for “flashes of life in the middle of the dark, or joy in difficult times.”
Virginia Woolf, Anton Chekhov, Rachel Carson, Herman Melville, Iris Murdoch, Oscar Wilde, Mary Oliver, Tim Winton, Albert Camus, Chloe Aridjis and other writers about the sea.
"When I waded out in the lake on the evening of my birthday I tried to imagine my ancestors living by this same lake thousands of years ago."
In a book for kids "Town is by the Sea", written by Joanne Schwartz and illustrated by Sydney Smith, a boy awaits for his dad to return from a dark coal mine deep under the sea.
For the shelves in the Sea Library to be filled with new books, I've learned to weave. "Dreaming blankets" are made out of wool and their colours are inspired by books in the library.
Godrevy Lighthouse was built in 1859 on Godrevy Island in St Ives Bay, Cornwall. It inspired Virginia Woolf nearly one hundred years ago and appears in Jennifer Edgecombe's poem today.
Charlie Connelly wakes up "ridiculously early", listens to the shipping forecast on the radio and goes for a swim in the English Channel. One day he decides to continue to swim in winter too.
“We know so little of the worlds beneath our feet." In Italy, Robert Macfarlane descends to see a starless river with black dunes on its shores. It has remained almost unmapped to this day.
"Sea Library lives in a separate room of our old house. It is a wonder room, a true cabinet of curiosities. This website could mirror that to some extent. I'll try, my friend, to let the magic happen."
Sea Library has sailed into August with a list of watery books coming out in the next few months: eels and seals, islands and coasts, maps and spells and a little bit of the Baltic Sea.
"If we can still learn from the ocean and its creatures, then we are not lost," says Canadian author Laura Trethewey in an interview about her debut book "The Imperiled Ocean" and a new one she is working on right now.
Create your own UNREAL ESTATE collection of coastal houses in literature, and note that there are only 50 copies of each signed, numbered and framed drawing and some have already found their new homes in UK, Ireland and Latvia.
As a companion piece to the third of our essays by Anna Iltnere about literary seaside houses – The Easternmost House – we present an interview with Juliet Blaxland.
"Severnside: An Artist's View of the River Severn" by Carolyn Black is a love letter to a river in drawings and texts. "The story is tidal, the river, like spinal fluid, flows between the banks."
A beautiful, wise and summery book "Mop Rides the Waves of Life" by writer and surfer Jaimal Yogis has arrived in the Sea Library. Mop loves to surf but struggles with mood swings until his mum shows that it is possible to surf those waves too!
In the third of a series of essays on seaside houses from literature, Anna Iltnere takes us to The Easternmost House Juliet Blaxland’s book of the same name. “On a stormy night, sleeping at the Easternmost House is like sleeping in a boat.”
The year 2020 marks 75 years since Finnish writer and artist Tove Jansson wrote her first story about the Moomins. To celebrate the anniversary, Moomin Characters together with its partners is launching a one-year campaign to save the Baltic Sea from blue-green algae.
Mmmarch is around the corner! Here are six books to love in the first month of a wondrous season of birds, flowers, green things, but also a bit of snow, ice and our own footprints, and sea. Glowing, wild, always beautiful. Take a look!
"I’ve always found the sea uncomfortable. Its flat horizon, bare dunes, everything in the spotlight of the sun, no shadows to hide in, wind pushing me from all sides and the pull of the waves. I much rather admire its greatness from a hideout." Katrīna Ģelze
As a companion piece to the second of our essays by Anna Iltnere about literary seaside houses – Quoyle’s Point from "The Shipping News" – we present an interview with Annie Proulx, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the novel.
"I think seeing the stars has probably never been so important. They locate us within the universe, show us where we live and allow us to grasp (even if it is just for a second) the sheer scale of life." Matt Gaw
In the second of a series of essays on seaside houses from literature, Anna Iltnere takes us to Quoyle’s Point from Annie Proulx’s "The Shipping News". "No matter what they did to the house, it kept its gaunt look, never altered from that first looming vision behind the fog."
Illustrated legends of secret gold and sacred animals in a collection of tales of the Amazon Indians.
Eight new books about sea and nature coming out in February 2020. Which one will you read?
Barbarian Days is William Finnegan’s memoir of an obsession, a complex enchantment. Surfing only looks like a sport. To initiates, it is something else: a beautiful addiction, a demanding course of study, a morally dangerous pastime, a way of life. For this book William Finnegan received 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography.
The sea, everywhere the sea, and no one looking at it. Dany Laferrière
"As a terrible swimmer, the sea is the only place, strangely enough, that I enjoy splashing about in the water. Swimming pools are too noisy or organised, but La Mer is the place for me to practice my terrible breast stroke." Jonny Hannah
For Umi, life on the lush and colorful islands of Hawaii is about as average as it can be. As commoners, he and his brothers spend their days weeding the taro field, fishing in the sparkling blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, and dreaming of the delicious foods and thrilling games that are reserved only for the chiefs and priests. But late one night, when everyone is supposed to be asleep, Umi's longing for adventure gets the best of him.
Tom Anderson has always loved surfing – anywhere except the UK. But a chance encounter leads him to adventure on home shores. As he visits the popular haunts and secret gems of British surfing he meets the Christians who pray for waves (and get them), is nearly drowned in the River Severn and has a watery encounter with a pedigree sheep. All this rekindles his love affair with the freezing fun that is surfing the North Atlantic.
Nine books added to the Sea Library in first two weeks of 2020. Thanks to kind donators and writers from Australia, United States and England, and a couple I bought myself.
Kiran and Tom collaborated more than once before, blending their imagination and skills to create unique universes. Even now they are working on a joint book, which is still secret but will feature a lighthouse and a Greenland shark. I interviewed them together, although each was on a different continent when I received their answers.
2019 was incredibly inspiring year, Sea Library is a miracle that attracts other miracles. I learned to swim properly in 2018 and last year spent nine months in water. I met two dogs, Yoko and Zigzig, both are my friends now. And the community of sea lovers in the library! I loved 2019. I am ready for a wonderful 2020. Let's go!
I live; I die; the sea comes over me; it's the blue that lasts. Virginia Woolf
"Walking by the sea is one of my favourite activities - sounds, colours, smells and temper, always different, always changing, affect me. I’m meditative, exhilarated, reflective, creative. It makes me feel how comforting the change could be." Elina Ruka
As a companion piece to the first of our essays by Anna Iltnere about literary seaside houses – Shruff End from "The Sea, The Sea" by Iris Murdoch – we present an interview with Miles Leeson, lead editor of the Iris Murdoch Review.
In the first of a new series of essays on seaside houses from literature, Anna Iltnere, founder of the Sea Library on Latvia’s Baltic shore, takes us to Shruff End from Iris Murdoch’s novel "The Sea, The Sea". Each essay will be about a different house, illustrated by the artist Katrina Gelze.
"Afloat on the afterglow of forbidden energy, texting the celestial canopy above. To sleep on the sea I return to a primeval cradle, a place to rest, not to think, but absorb. Transmuted in dreams I become the ocean." Angela Cockayne
Eight new books on winter shores: seas, oceans, tides, waves and islands. Coming out in January and February 2020!
My interview with English writer Philip Marsden, author of "The Summer Isles: A Voyage of the Imagination", published in 2019 by Granta and available in the Sea Library.
In civilizations without boats, dreams dry up... Michel Foucault
I think I've never written anything more personal than this. About being born in the family of artists, about truth that haunts me and my sea-changed compass, and the Sea Library.
"Black Sea: Dispatches and Recipes Through Darkness and Light" is written by Caroline Eden and published by Quadrille in 2018 "This is the tale of a journey between three great cities – Odessa, built on a dream by Catherine the Great, through Istanbul, the fulcrum balancing Europe and Asia and on to tough, stoic, lyrical…
Jau kopš vasaras, kad biju uzkāpusi Aspazijas mājas otrā stāva verandā kopā ar saviem puikām, zelta tālskatis uz trijkāja, pa kura aci starp pretējām mājām varēju saskatīt jūras horizontu, mani bija pilnībā pārņēmis...
Visit the new section to read articles and interviews about the Sea Library in press!
“Greetings from Almaty!” she writes in her e-mail a few days ago. If British writer Caroline Eden is not at home in Edinburgh, she is most probably traveling the roads of Eastern Europe or Central Asia, and her explorations in different cultures have a special kind of prism – food.
Dozen reasons to read in Autumn in the Sea Library. Books of September, October, November by twelve wonderful writers.
Sea doesn’t care and sea doesn’t listen, it just lets me be in her magnificent presence. When I enter the seaside, I enter a different world.
If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
My interview with British writer Stephen Rutt. His debut book "The Seafarers: A Journey Among Birds" is available in the Sea Library.
From the opening line—"Captain Ahab was neither my first husband nor my last"—you will know that you are in the hands of a master storyteller and in the company of a fascinating woman hero. Inspired by a brief passage in "Moby-Dick", American writer Sena Jeter Naslund has created an enthralling and compellingly readable saga, spanning a rich, eventful, and dramatic life.
There's something about flood, something mythic and disturbing, that gets to the heart of our uncertainty about our place on the earth at all. Olivia Laing
"Wild Sea: A History of the Southern Ocean" is written by Joy McCann and published by the University of Chicago Press in 2019 “The Southern Ocean is a wild and elusive place, an ocean like no other. With its waters lying between the Antarctic continent and the southern coastlines of Australia, New Zealand, South America,…
Do visionaries – artists, writers, musicians, – have a responsibility to give us new languages and tools to actually do something about our deteriorating world? I asked. Artists David Bramwell, Justin Brice Guariglia, Olafur Eliasson, Antony Gormley and Jonathan Meese, writers Jay Griffiths, Caspar Henderson, Dahr Jamail and Barry Lopez, poet Craig Santos Perez, philosopher Graham Harman, and scientist Peter Wadhams wrote me back.
"I have already forgotten darkness," Adam Weymouth writes after first weeks of kayaking through Midnight Sun in Alaska, following the kings, the salmons, to the Bering Sea. He paddles a bright yellow 18ft glass-fibre canoe down the Yukon, for almost 2,000 miles.
Summer reading in the Sea Library has been sorted out. Here are books coming out in June, July and August. Outstanding octet!
“River-Horse: The Logbook of a Boat Across America” is William Least Heat-Moon’s account of a four-month coast-to-coast boat trip across the United States in which he traveled almost exclusively on the nation’s waterways from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
This book is about waves. It is the story of an obsession, a journey through heaven and hell, the clumsy initiation of an outsider, the author himself, into a cult and a culture. It is also an oblique history of the world, a human comedy on waves, that will find an echo in anyone who has fallen prey to the spell of the ocean. Surfing is less a sport than a state of mind, an adventure in mythology, a religion with its own high priests and ritual sacrifices.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. Twain was raised in Hannibal, Missouri, which later provided the setting for "Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn".
William Collins publishing house and Christina Thompson has sent to the Sea Library her latest book Sea People: In Search of the Ancient Navigators of the Pacific which came out in March and is available now also for readers here in Jūrmala by the Baltic Sea. If you travel to Latvia, come and visit! Or…
Roger Cox, journalist from Scotland who writes about books, art and outdoors for Scotland's National newspaper "The Scotsman" has donated a book for the Sea Library - "Stealing the Wave: The Epic Struggle Between Ken Bradshaw and Mark Foo". It is written by Andy Martin, British author, academic and retired surfer, and published in 2007.
and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago Herman Melville
"Fuck the dry land. I am a mermaid," she says in one of the first pages. Narrator of Samantha Hunt's debut novel "The Seas", originally published in 2004, is a 19-year-old girl, a protagonist with a witty tomboy's voice, living in a remote, alcoholic seaside town in North America.
British writer Charlie Connelly has donated his bestselling book Attention all Shipping: A Journey Round the Shipping Forecast to the Sea Library. It was published in 2004 and has been reprinted many times. Book is about "strangely poetical mantra", the shipping forecast, that has been broadcasted on BBC radio since 1920s. Charlie Connelly sets himself…
Charlotte Runcie's "Salt on Your Tongue" is a book of stories, legends, myths and songs about the sea, and about women who are left on the shore to take care of the life on land, to wait and hope, while men are in the sea, and about women, who are as dangerous, powerful and mysterious as the sea itself, the mermaids, selkies, sea goddesses and witches.
British writer Edward Wilson-Lee has donated for the Sea Library his latest book "The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books: Christopher Columbus, His Son, and the Quest to Build the World's Greatest Library". It is an amazing story of Hernando Colón, Christopher Columbus' son, who tried to build the biggest library the world had ever seen. Borrow…
16 books coming out in spring and summer that I can't wait to add to the Sea Library so locals and others could come, borrow and read.
Skotu rakstnieka Keneta Greiema grāmata "Vējš vītolos” ir bērnu literatūras klasika. Stāsta varoņi ir draugi Ūdensžurks un Kurmis, kuri kopā ar prātīgo Āpsi mēģina pāraudzināt avantūristu un sapņotāju Krupi. "Vējš vītolos” ir tapis no gulētiešanas pasakām, ko Kenets Greiems izdomāja savam dēlam Elisteram.
James Roberts, one of the editors of Driftfish: A Zoomorphic Anthology, has donated this wonderful anthology, published in 2016, to the Sea Library. It's a collection of essays, fiction and poetry about animals, including the ones living in or by the sea: octopuses, oysters, turtles, jellyfish, seals, cormorants and whales. ZOOMORPHIC is a magazine, "dedicated…
My interview with British writer William Atkins for The Island Review. His books “The Moor: A Journey into the English Wilderness” and "The Immeasurable World: Journeys in Desert Places" are available in the Sea Library.
British writer Lucy Wood has written three books, all of them available in the Sea Library: Weathering, Diving Belles and The Sing of the Shore, which came out last spring. It's a book of 13 stories, full of secrets and ghosts, set in Cornwall by the sea, and you can read my review here. This…
“Ship to Shore: Art and the Lure of the Sea” is a monograph, a book of conversations with selected international artists whose work is connected to the sea. In sixteen intimate interviews with curator and book’s editor Jean Wainwright artists reveal how their works came to be and what the lure of the sea means to them.
German writer Bernd Brunner has sent to the Sea Library a copy of his book The Ocean at Home: An Illustrated History of the Aquarium. Its English translation was first published in 2005, but this is an expanded second edition from 2011. A rare gift, as the book is out of stock. From now on…
The sea remains the last place to which you can run away. Horatio Clare
"The Immeasurable World" by British writer William Atkins is about seven deserts in five continents, and about desert per se, divine and infernal. Author travels to Oman, Australia, China, Kazakhstan, United States and Egypt. "It was like nothing I had experienced save for being at sea."
Favourite islands and birds of writers Michael Brooke, Tim Dee, Jennifer Lavers, Amy Liptrot, Adam Nicolson, artist Kittie Jones, and photographer Marianne Taylor in my piece for The Island Review.
Full fathom five thy father lies / Of his bones are coral made / Those are pearls that were his eyes / Nothing of him that doth fade / But doth suffer a sea-change / Into something rich and strange. William Shakespeare
My interview with British writer Philip Hoare, author of "Leviathan, or the Whale", "The Sea Inside" and RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR, I did for The Island Review. You can borrow these books from the Sea Library.
One of the most intimate pieces I've ever done. I asked writers and an artist, I admire, to show me their notebooks, the diaries of their creative work. Peek and read on The Island Review.
My interview with British writer Caroline Eden for The Island Review. Her beautiful book "Black Sea: Dispatches and Recipes Through Darkness and Light" is available in the Sea Library.
Louise Kenward, artist and writer, in a guest post about Helen Scale's latest book "Eye of the Shoal: A Fishwatcher's Guide to Life, the Ocean and Everything", where author disputes and demystifies any romantic notions, or fears, the reader has about fish.
Jūrmala is a sea resort city in Latvia, breathing under pine umbrellas on a stretch of land between river Lielupe and the Baltic Sea. In 2018 I have opened Sea Library here in Jūrmala. Come and look!
There are books that you never truly leave, "The Rings of Saturn" is one of them. Close to impossible to escape the dreamy landscape, that dwells among the pages; it has soaked into my skin and has become part of my thoughts. "The Rings of Saturn" by W.G. Sebald enchants.
The sixth novel by British writer Alice Thompson, “Burnt Island”, kicks literary world wittily in the balls. Although this gothic story can give you shivers, the satiric prose made me laugh a lot. Struggling writer Max Long decides to write his next book with a completely different approach. He will calculate each step to create an easy-to-read bestseller. Max gets a place in a writing residency and travels with a ferry to the Burnt Island.
Standing looking out to sea can be like standing at an altar. You wait in silence for some kind of benediction. If prayer could have a physical destination, this would be it. Jean Sprackland
“All Our Waves Are Water” is a memoir written by American writer Jaimal Yogis, and is his third book. A guy, who grew up with Buddhist-yogi parents, loves to surf, studies journalism and searches for the blissful lining of the thing called life. Rational mind, daily hamster wheel and ego are in one hand, buddhism and meditation in the other. He juggles. The opening line “God is in this book” left me wandering through the first pages suspicious and cautious, but soon the book engulfed me and I could not put it down.
I didn’t just read “Moby-Dick”. I listened to it too. In 2012 an online platform mobydickbigread.com was launched. All 135 chapters and an epilogue can be listened on your laptop or even phone. More then 10 million people have visited it.
Lucy Wood is a British writer from Cornwall. “The Sing of the Shore” is her third book. The sing of the shore is a phrase in Cornish, used by local sea goers. It is the sound made by waves, breaking against the shore and thus giving the experienced fishermen an indication, where they are, when fog or darkness make land invisible. To find a landmark is a silent wish of all the book’s characters. They are haunted by ghosts of the past, unfulfilled dreams and unexplainable phenomena.
What does it feel like to be a seabird? "The Seabird's Cry", by a British writer Adam Nicolson, could be the closest we have ever been to imagining the world of a migrating seabird, living above the enormous oceans, breeding, feeding and dying there. Too much dying, in fact, in the recent decades. Only now the veil of mystery of seabird migration has been lifted thanks to the advanced technologies. You become well informed by reading "The Seabird's Cry", but the story is told by a poet, so you stay and listen as long as you can.
I love the sea but the sea does not love me. Tim Winton
"Tales of Unrest" is a collection of short stories by Joseph Conrad originally published in 1898. Some of the stories had been published previously in various magazines. This was the first published collection of any of Conrad's stories and his second book.
“To The River: A Journey Beneath The Surface” is written by British author Olivia Laing, and is her first book, published in 2011. After a painful breakup, the author starts a week long journey. She packs her bag and walks along the River Ouse in Yorkshire, from the source to the sea.
"The Sea in the Greek Imagination" is written by Marie-Claire Beaulieu and published by University of Pennsylvania Press in 2016 "The sea is omnipresent in Greek life. Visible from nearly everywhere, the sea represents the life and livelihood of many who dwell on the islands and coastal areas of the Mediterranean, and it has been…
10 days the Welsh-British writer Horatio Clare spends on a Finnish icebreaker Otso, who works in the Bay of Bothnia, helping ships that are stuck in ice. Sea ice spreads over the polar saltwater and works as an Earth conditioner. Have you ever wondered, how amazing this solid form of water is?
Poetic novel “The Waves” by the British literary icon Virginia Woolf is the most experimental of her works, and is woven entirely of soliloquies spoken by the book’s six characters. Nursery, school, youth, family, job, ageing. They all meet again and again. Life is not a solid ground, and Virginia Woolf teaches us to walk on water.
And when he came to the sea the water was quite purple and dark blue, and grey and thick, and no longer so green and yellow, but it was still quiet. And he stood there. Virginia Woolf
“The Outrun”, by a British writer and journalist Amy Liptrot, is her first book and it’s about her. Absolutely open, disarmingly honest, life affirming and with a thin lining of silver sorrow. Amy finds herself at a rehab in London and returns home on an island by the North Sea, in hope to understand the traps of consciousness and the deeps of subconscious. To learn to see the world with new, sober eyes.
In “RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR”, book by a British writer Philip Hoare, the words of the title are fused together as well as persons, times and events. Philip Hoare has written many books, but this is his third about the watery side of the world. He is deadly in love with the sea and its creatures, including poets, artists, many of them drowned. When you read, you can’t help falling in water like falling in love.
British historian David Abulafia has written the first complete history of the Mediterranean Sea and its people. Unlikely there is any other sea in the world with such a huge role in the history of human civilisation. If you are interested in the Mediterranean, this definitely is a must-have book for you.
Academic Joshua L. Reid, with Native American origin, has written first comprehensive tribal history of the Makahs, who placed sea – not land – at the centre of their culture. For the Makahs, American Indians at the most northwestern point of the United States, saltwater is a central part of their home.
"A Thousand Ships" is written by Natalie Haynes and published by Mantle in 2019 "In "A Thousand Ships", broadcaster and classicist Natalie Haynes retells the story of the Trojan War from an all-female perspective, for fans of Madeline Miller and Pat Barker. This was never the story of one woman, or two. It was the story…
"The War that Killed Achilles: The True Story of Homer's Iliad and the Trojan War" is written by Caroline Alexander and published in paperback by Penguin in 2010 "The Iliad is still the greatest poem about war that our culture has ever produced. For a hundred generations, poets and thinkers in the West have pored over, retold…
"The Iliad", written by Homer, is published in a new English translation by Caroline Alexander by Ecco in 2016 "With her virtuoso translation, classicist and bestselling author Caroline Alexander brings to life Homer’s timeless epic of the Trojan War Composed around 730 B.C., Homer’s Iliad recounts the events of a few momentous weeks in the protracted ten-year…
"The Sea is My Country: The Maritime World of the Makahs" is written by Joshua L. Reid and published by Yale University Press in 2015 "The first full-scale history of the Makah people of the Pacific Northwest, whose culture and identity are closely bound to the sea. For the Makahs, a tribal nation at the…