Upcoming

Sea books, soon to be washed ashore. If you are an author or a publisher, do tell me about upcoming releases. If you are a reader, I promise to have these titles in the sea library sooner or later.

Jūras grāmatas, kuras gaidāmas drīzumā! Ja esi autors vai izdevējs, dod ziņu, ko te pievienot. Ja esi lasītājs, varu apsolīt, ka agrāk vai vēlāk šīs grāmatas būs jūras bibliotēkā.

Alex Preston “Winchelsea” FEBRUARY 2022

In eighteenth-century Sussex, a young girl seeks revenge for the death of her father – an intoxicating historical novel from the acclaimed author of In Love and War.

The year is 1742. Goody Brown, saved from drowning and adopted when just a babe, has grown up happily in the smuggling town of Winchelsea. Then, when Goody turns sixteen, her father is murdered in the night by men he thought were friends.

To find justice in a lawless land, Goody must enter the cut-throat world of her father’s killers. With her beloved brother Francis, she joins a rival gang of smugglers. Facing high seas and desperate villains, she also discovers something else: an existence without constraints or expectations, a taste for danger that makes her blood run fast.

Goody was never born to be a gentlewoman. But what will she become instead?

Winchelsea is an electrifying story of vengeance and transformation; a rare, lyrical and transporting work of historical imagination that makes the past so real we can touch it.

Alex Preston is an award-winning author of three novels: This Bleeding City, The Revelations and In Love and War, as well as a book of non-fiction As Kingfishers Catch Fire. He writes regularly for the Telegraph, the Economist and Harper’s Bazaar. He reviews books for the Observer’s New Review, Financial Times and Spectator. Alex is co-founder of the Corfu Literary Festival and Patron of Oxford Literary Festival.

Tracey Williams “Adrift: The Curious Tale of the LEGO Lost at Sea” FEBRUARY 2022

In 1997 sixty-two containers fell off the cargo ship Tokio Express after it was hit by a rogue wave off the coast of Cornwall, including one container filled with nearly five million pieces of Lego, much of it sea themed. In the months that followed, beachcombers started to find Lego washed up on beaches across the south west coast. Among the pieces they discovered were octopuses, sea grass, spear guns, life rafts, scuba tanks, cutlasses, flippers and dragons. The pieces are still washing up today.

Writer and beachcomber Tracey Williams has always been intrigued by chance finds and the stories and folklore behind them, from shells and sea glass discovered on childhood holidays in Cornwall to flints and fossils unearthed in fields. In 1997, after finding thousands of pieces of sea-themed Lego washed up on beaches in South Devon, she became interested in the changing nature of beach combing and began to research the age and origin of many of the man made items she discovered. Her plastic finds have since been described as ‘a colourful catalogue of our times’. She lives in Cornwall in an old house by the sea with her dog Jess, surrounded by piles of books and an ever-growing mound of beach finds.

Julia Armfield “Our Wives Under the Sea” MARCH 2022

Miri thinks she has got her wife back, when Leah finally returns after a deep sea mission that ended in catastrophe. It soon becomes clear, though, that Leah may have come back wrong. Whatever happened in that vessel, whatever it was they were supposed to be studying before they were stranded on the ocean floor, Leah has carried part of it with her, onto dry land and into their home.

To have the woman she loves back should mean a return to normal life, but Miri can feel Leah slipping from her grasp. Memories of what they had before – the jokes they shared, the films they watched, all the small things that made Leah hers – only remind Miri of what she stands to lose. Living in the same space but suddenly separate, Miri comes to realize that the life that they had might be gone.

Our Wives Under The Sea is the debut novel from the critically acclaimed author of salt slow. It’s a story of falling in love, loss, grief, and what life there is in the deep, deep sea.

Julia Armfield lives and works in London. She is a fiction writer and occasional playwright with a Masters in Victorian Art and Literature from Royal Holloway University. Her work has been published in Lighthouse, Analog Magazine, The White Review and Salt’s Best British Short Stories 2019. She was commended in the Moth Short Story Prize 2017, longlisted for the Deborah Rogers Prize 2018 and is the winner of The White Review Short Story Prize 2018.

Tom de Freston “Wreck: Géricault’s Raft and the Art of Being Lost at Sea” MARCH 2022

An artist’s obsession with Géricault’s monumental painting The Raft of the Medusa, and an intensely personal reckoning that delves deep inside the making of an artwork.

Artist Tom de Freston has long had an obsession with Géricault’s painting The Raft of the Medusa, and the troubling story behind its creation. The monumental canvas, which hangs in the Louvre, depicts a 19th century tragedy in which 150 people were drowned at sea on a raft lost in a stormy sea, when the ship Medusa was wrecked on shallow ground.

When de Freston began making an artwork with Ali, a Syrian writer blinded by a bombing, The Raft’s depiction of pain and suffering resonated powerfully with him, as did Géricault’s awful life story. It spoke not only to Ali’s story but to Tom’s family history of trauma and anguish, offering him a passage out of the dark waters in which he found himself.

In spellbinding, visceral prose, de Freston opens a window onto the magnetic frisson that runs between a past masterpiece and contemporary artistic endeavours. He asks powerful questions about how we might translate violence, fear and trauma into art, how we try to make sense of seemingly unthinkable acts, and the value in facing and depicting the darkest horrors.

Tom de Freston is a visual artist based in Oxford. Among various fellowships and residencies he has held a Leverhulme residency at Cambridge University, a Levy Plumb Residency at Christ’s College and the inaugural Creative Fellowship at Birmingham University. His work is regularly exhibited, and is represented in numerous public and private collections. With his wife, the writer Kiran Millwood Hargrave, he is the co-author of Orpheus and Eurydice and Julia and the Shark. Wreck is his debut non-fiction work.

Egidio Ivetic “History of the Adriatic: A Sea and Its Civilization” MAY 2022

The Adriatic is ‘the small Mediterranean’ – a sea within a sea, part of the Mediterranean and at the same time detached from it, a largely enclosed sea with stunning coastlines and a long history of commercial, political and cultural exchange. Silent witness to the flow of civilizations, the Adriatic is the meeting point of East and West where many empires had their frontiers and some overlapped. With Italy on one side and the Balkans on the other, the Adriatic is the area where the Latin West became intertwined with the Greek and Ottoman East.

This book tells the history of the Adriatic from the first cultures of the Neolithic Age through to the present day. All of the great civilizations and cultures that bordered and crossed the Adriatic are discussed: Ancient Greece and Rome, Byzantium and the Holy Roman Empire, Venice and the Ottomans, Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity and Islam. Byzantium was replaced by Venice, queen of the Adriatic, which reached its zenith at the beginning of the sixteenth century and maintained commercial and military hegemony in its Gulf, sharing the sea with the Turks, the Habsburgs, the Pope and the Spanish vice-kingdom of Naples. It was Napoleon who ended Venice’s reign in 1797. In the nineteenth century, the Austrian Empire prevailed, and Central Europe reached the Mediterranean through the Adriatic. United Italy placed its most symbolic frontier in the eastern Adriatic, clashing with Austria-Hungary in the First World War. The twentieth century was marked by the prolonged conflicts and eventually peace between Yugoslavia, Albania and Italy. Today the Adriatic is a region increasingly integrated into the European Union, experiencing a new era of cooperation following the dramatic collapse of Yugoslavia.

Across centuries, this book illustrates the rich cultural and artistic heritage of diverse civilizations as they left their mark on the cities, shores and states of the Adriatic.

Joanna Quinn “The Whalebone Theatre” JUNE 2022

‘Maudie, why are all the best characters men?’
Maudie closes the book with a clllump. ‘We haven’t read all the books yet, Miss Cristabel. I can’t believe that every story is the same’

Cristabel Seagrave has always wanted her life to be a story, but there are no girls in the books in her dusty family library. For an unwanted orphan who grows into an unmarriageable young woman, there is no place at all for her in a traditional English manor.

But from the day that a whale washes up on the beach at the Chilcombe estate in Dorset, and twelve-year-old Cristabel plants her flag and claims it as her own, she is determined to do things differently.

With her step-parents blithely distracted by their endless party guests, Cristabel and her siblings, Flossie and Digby, scratch together an education from the plays they read in their freezing attic, drunken conversations eavesdropped through oak-panelled doors, and the esoteric lessons of Maudie their maid.

But as the children grow to adulthood and war approaches, jolting their lives on to very different tracks, it becomes clear that the roles they are expected to play are no longer those they want. As they find themselves drawn into the conflict, they must each find a way to write their own story…

Joanna Quinn was born in London and grew up in Dorset, in the South West of England, where her “brilliant, beguiling” debut novel The Whalebone Theatre is set. Joanna has worked in journalism and the charity sector. She is also a published short story writer. She teaches creative writing and lives in a village near the sea in Dorset.

Chloe Timms “The Seawomen” JUNE 2022

Esta has known nothing but Eden’s Isle her whole life. Raised by her grandmother, after a fire claimed her parents and scarred her face as a child, Esta faces a life of piety and dread, bound to a religious society who cut themselves off from the mainland in the name of salvation. The island is governed by a fear of the outside world and the corrupting evil, lurking deep in the water known as the Seawomen. They fear the water, and the only way to remain virtuous is never to enter the sea, to follow God’s word, but curious Esta longs for more.

Women on the island are controlled, married off and must conceive a child within the twelve months of their appointed motheryear. If she doesn’t bear a child in that year, she is marked as cursed, and cast back into the sea as a sacrifice, in an act called the Untethering.

When Esta witnesses a woman Untethered before her eyes she sees a future to fear. Her fate awaits, a loveless marriage, her motheryear declared. But before long, Esta gets a taste of freedom and the insular world she knows begins to unravel.

Chloe Timms is a writer from the Kent coast. After a career in teaching, Chloe studied for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Kent and won a scholarship for the Faber Academy where she completed their six-month novel writing course. Chloe is passionate about disability rights, having been diagnosed with the condition Spinal Muscular Atrophy at 18 months old, and has campaigned on a number of crucial issues. The Seawomen is her first novel.

Wyl Menmuir “The Draw of the Sea” JULY 2022

Wyl Menmuir’s The Draw of the Sea is a book about the fishermen, surfers, swimmers, beachcombers, conservationists, sailors and boatbuilders who make their living on the Cornish Coast.

Since the earliest stages of human development, the sea has fascinated and entranced us. It feeds us, sustaining communities and providing livelihoods, but it also holds immense destructive power which can take all those away in an instant. It connects us to far away places, offering the promise of new lands and voyages of discovery, but also shapes our borders, carving divisions between landmasses and eroding the very ground beneath our feet.

In this beautifully-written meditation on what it is that draws us to the waters’ edge, author Wyl Menmuir tells the stories of the people whose lives revolve around the sea in the Cornish community where he lives.

In twelve interlinked chapters, Menmuir explores the lives of local fishermen steeped in the rich traditions of a fishing community, the beachcombers who wander the shores in search of the varied objects which wash ashore and the stories they tell, and all number of others who have made their lives on the beautiful Cornwall coast.

He also writes movingly about his own connection to the sea, telling heartfelt personal anecdotes about what it has come to mean in his and his family’s lives.

This book is a meaningful and moving work into how we interact with the environment around us, and how it comes to shape the course of our lives. As unmissable as it is compelling, as profound as it is personal, this must-read book will delight anyone familiar with the intimate and powerful pull which the sea holds over us.

Wyl Menmuir is an award-winning author based in Cornwall. His 2016 debut novel, The Many was longlisted for the Man-Booker Award and was an Observer Best Fiction of the year pick. His second novel Fox Fires was published in 2021 and his short fiction has been published by Nightjar Press, Kneehigh Theatre and National Trust Books and appeared in Best British Short Stories. Wyl’s first full-length non fiction book, The Draw of the Sea, won the Roger Deakin Award from the Society of Authors and will be published in 2022. A former journalist, ​Wyl has written for Radio 4’s Open Book, The Guardian and The Observer, and he is a regular contributor to the journal Elementum.​ He is co-creator of the Cornish writing centre, The Writers’ Block and lectures in creative writing at Falmouth University. Born in Stockport in 1979, Wyl now lives on Cornwall’s north coast with his wife and two children. When he is not writing or teaching writing, Wyl enjoys messing around in boats. 

Helen Scales, Sonia Pulido (Artist) “What a Shell Can Tell” JULY 2022

A stunning, lavishly illustrated, and information-packed introduction to the wonder of shells through the art of observation – the perfect book for young explorers, collectors, and nature lovers everywhere.

Award-winning marine biologist Helen Scales introduces children to the wonders of shells (from seashells to land snails) through the art of observation. Using a friendly question-and-answer format, she explores, through a richly sensory experience, the incredible diversity of shells around the world and showcases the environments molluscs inhabit. From what a shell’s shape, color, or texture can reveal about its inhabitant, to where shells are found (from the deepest seas to jungly treetops), with this book, readers can get up close with nature to observe its wonders.

Dr Helen Scales is a marine biologist, writer, and documentary maker focusing on connections between people, science, and the living world. She is the author of the Guardian bestseller Spirals in Time, and writes for National Geographic Magazine, the Guardian, and New Scientist, among others. She teaches at Cambridge University and is science advisor for the marine conservation charity Sea Changers.

Sonia Pulido  is an artist living in a seaside village close to Barcelona. Her illustrations have appeared in publications globally, including The New Yorker and The New York Times.