Guest Review: Rachel Carson’s Sea Trilogy

Rachel Carson’s seminal ‘Sea’ trilogy – "Under the Sea-Wind" (1941), "The Sea Around Us" (1951), and "The Edge of the Sea" (1955) – has been reissued by Canongate in the publisher’s modern classics series, ‘The Canons’. The beautifully-produced paperbacks – each a celebration of the sea told through poetic nature writing – include a full set of integrated illustrations and a pertinent new introduction by Margaret Atwood. 

“Saving American Beach” by Heidi Tyline King

"Saving American Beach" tells an important and inspiring story. The illustrations by Ekua Holmes are a work of art. I think this could be the most beautiful book for kids in the Sea Library. Mixing painting and collage each spread is vibrant and full of life. Perfectly mirroring the unique and powerful personality of MaVynee Betsch.

Blue Dog Notes: “The Mermaid of Black Conch” by Monique Roffey

When a barnacled mermaid with a muscular tail becomes a woman again - just like she was thousands of years ago - life on a tight Caribbean island will never be the same again. "The Mermaid of Black Conch" by Monique Roffey is book of being good and being bad. Of love, desire, jealousy. Even the sea here is a dangerous woman.

“What is a River?” by Monika Vaicenavičienė

"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.

“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.

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…

“Night Surfing” by Fiona Capp

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.

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…

“Ahab’s Wife: Or, The Star-Gazer” by Sena Jeter Naslund

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.

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,…

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.

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.

Natalie Haynes “A Thousand Ships”

"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…

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…