Ronia’s Summer

Since the grown-up Astrid lived in Stockholm she was not able to enjoy nature all the time, but she could travel there in her imagination. That’s how the story about Ronia began – with a longing for the forest.

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. 

“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.

“Meet me by the Sea” by Taltal Levi

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.

“Islands of Abandonment” by Cal Flyn

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.

“The Mousehole Cat” by Antonia Barber

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.

“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.

“Severnside” by Carolyn Black

“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.”

“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.

Review: “The Seas” by Samantha Hunt

“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.

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: “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.