“The Little Book of Swimming Safely” by Sue Gyford

"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.

“The Log from the Sea of Cortez” by John Steinbeck

"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.

Ronald Blythe “The Time by the Sea”

"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…

In the Sea Library

"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…

“Grey Skies, Green Waves” by Tom Anderson

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.

In 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…

In the Sea Library

"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,…

“Walking on Water” by Andy Martin

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.

Review: “Salt on Your Tongue” by Charlotte Runcie

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.

Review: “Ship to Shore: Art and the Lure of the Sea”

“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.

In the Sea Library

"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…

Review: “The Outrun” by Amy Liptrot

“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.

Caroline Alexander “The War that Killed Achilles”

"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…