The Island Review: Birdland

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. 

Guest Post: “Eye of the Shoal” by Helen Scales

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.

Review: “The Rings of Saturn” by W.G. Sebald

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.

Review: “Burnt Island” by Alice Thompson

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.

Review: “All Our Waves Are Water” by Jaimal Yogis

“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. 

Review: “The Sing of The Shore” by Lucy Wood

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.

Review: “The Seabird’s Cry” by Adam Nicolson

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.

“Tales of Unrest” by Joseph Conrad

“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.

Review: “Icebreaker” by Horatio Clare

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?

Review: “The Waves” by Virginia Woolf

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.

Quote by Virginia Woolf

And when he came to the sea the water was quite purple and dark blue, and grey and thick, and…

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.


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.

Review: “The Great Sea” by David Abulafia

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.

Review: “The Sea is My Country” by Joshua L. Reid

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.