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.

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Tim Dee “Greenery: Journeys in the Springtime” FEBRUARY 2020

A masterpiece of nature writing from the author of The Running Sky.

One December, in midsummer South Africa, Tim Dee was watching swallows. They were at home there, but the same birds would soon begin journeying north to Europe, where their arrival marks the beginning of spring.

Between the winter and the summer solstice in Europe, spring moves north at about the speed of swallow flight. That is also close to human walking pace. In the light of these happy coincidences, Greenery recounts how Tim Dee tries to travel with the season and its migratory birds, making remarkable journeys to keep in step with the very best days of the year, the time of buds and blossoms and leafing, the time of song and nests and eggs. After South Africa, we follow European migrants staging in Chad and Ethiopia, and on across the colossal and incomprehensible Sahara. We accompany storks venturing the Straits of Gibraltar, honey buzzards dodging Sicilian hunters, and tiny landbirds finding haven on the curious island of Heligoland. A diary of the spring spreading through Britain with a magic trinity of oak-tree-loving birds interleaves the continental greening. We read of other determined spring-seekers: D. H. Lawrence and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. We hear from a Sámi reindeer herder, a barn-dwelling swallow-devotee, an Egyptian taxi driver, a chronobiologist in arctic Norway. There are bears and boars and bog-bodies too.

Greenery is a masterpiece of nature writing, deeply informed, expansive and often profoundly beautiful. Tim Dee’s journey ends where the greenery of the European spring ends: on the shores of the Arctic Ocean in northern Scandinavia, where, yes, there are swallows in midsummer as there were at the Cape of Good Hope in December.

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Lucy Jones “Losing Eden: Why Our Minds Need the Wild” FEBRUARY 2020

Today many of us live indoor lives, disconnected from the natural world as never before. And yet nature remains deeply ingrained in our language, culture and consciousness. For centuries, we have acted on an intuitive sense that we need communion with the wild to feel well. Now, in the moment of our great migration away from the rest of nature, more and more scientific evidence is emerging to confirm its place at the heart of our psychological wellbeing. So what happens, asks acclaimed journalist Lucy Jones, as we lose our bond with the natural world-might we also be losing part of ourselves?

Delicately observed and rigorously researched, Losing Eden is an enthralling journey through this new research, exploring how and why connecting with the living world can so drastically affect our health. Travelling from forest schools in East London to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault via primeval woodlands, Californian laboratories and ecotherapists’ couches, Jones takes us to the cutting edge of human biology, neuroscience and psychology, and discovers new ways of understanding our increasingly dysfunctional relationship with the earth.

Urgent and uplifting, Losing Eden is a rallying cry for a wilder way of life – for finding asylum in the soil and joy in the trees – which might just help us to save the living planet, as well as ourselves.

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Kate Hodges “Warriors, Witches, Women: Mythology’s Fiercest Females”, illustrated by Harriet Lee-Merrion FEBRUARY 2020

Meet mythology’s fifty fiercest females in this modern retelling of the world’s greatest legends.

From feminist fairies to bloodsucking temptresses, half-human harpies and protective Vodou goddesses, these are women who go beyond long-haired, smiling stereotypes. Their stories are so powerful, so entrancing, that they have survived for millennia. Lovingly retold and updated, Kate Hodges places each heroine, rebel and provocateur firmly at the centre of their own narrative. Players include:

  • Bewitching, banished Circe, an introvert famed and feared for her transfigurative powers.
  • The righteous Furies, defiantly unrepentant about their dedication to justice.
  • Fun-loving Ame-no-Uzume who makes quarrelling friends laugh and terrifies monsters by flashing at them.
  • The fateful Morai sisters who spin a complex web of birth, life and death.

Find your tribe, fire your imagination and be empowered by this essential anthology of notorious, demonised and overlooked women.

Kate Hodges graduated from the University of Westminster with a BA in Print Journalism. She has over 20 years writing experience on magazines, having been a staffer on publications including The Face, Bizarre, Just Seventeen, Smash Hits and Sky, and written for many more, including The Guardian, Kerrang! and NME. She has also worked for Rapido TV and P For Production films. She is the author of three books on London.

Harriet Lee-Merrion is an award-winning illustrator based in Bristol, in the South West of England. Her work has been published worldwide and exhibited internationally in New York, London and Berlin. She has illustrated for numerous clients including The British Library, Conde Nast, the Guardian, the Washington Post and the New York Times.

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Andy Martin “Surf, Sweat and Tears: The Epic Life and Mysterious Death of Edward George William Omar Deerhurst” FEBRUARY 2020

This is the true story of Ted, Viscount Deerhurst, an aristocrat’s son who dedicated his life to becoming a professional surfer. Surfing was a means of escape, from England, from the fraught charges of nobility, from family, and, often, from his own demons. Ted was good on the board, but never made it to the very highest ranks of a sport that, like most, treats second-best as nowhere at all. He kept on surfing, ending up where all surfers go to live or die, the paradise of Hawaii. There, doomed to the inevitable, he fell in love with a dancer called Lola, who worked in a Honolulu nightclub. The problem with paradise, as he was soon to discover, is that gangsters always get there first. Lola already had a serious boyfriend, a man who went by the name of Pit Bull. Ted was given fair warning to stay away. But he had a besetting sin, for which he paid the heaviest price: He never knew when to give up.

Surf, Sweat and Tears takes us into the world of global surfing, revealing a dark side beneath the dazzling sun and cream-crested waves. Here is surf noir at its most compelling, a dystopian tale of one man’s obsessions, wiped out in a grizzly true crime.

Alongside teaching French at Cambridge University and writing a column for the Independent newspaper in the UK, Andy Martin has travelled the world as a keen surfer. He got to know Ted Deerhurst when reporting on the international circuit as surfing correspondent for the Times of London. He is the author of numerous books including: With Child: Lee Child and the Readers of Jack Reacher, The Boxer and the Goalkeeper: Sartre vs Camus, Stealing the Wave and Walking on Water.

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Matt Gaw “Under the Stars: A Journey into Light” FEBRUARY 2020

Moonlight, starlight, the ethereal glow of snow in winter. When you turn off the electricity, other forms of night light reveal themselves.

Light pollution is everywhere. Not only is it damaging to humans and to wildlife, disrupting our natural rhythms, but it obliterates the subtler lights that have guided us for millennia.

In this beautifully written exploration, Matt Gaw ventures forth into darkness to find out exactly what we’re losing. Walking by the light of the moon in Suffolk and under the scattered buckshot of starlight in Scotland; braving the darkest depths of Dartmoor; investigating the glare of 24/7 London and the suburban sprawl of Bury St Edmunds; and, finally, rediscovering a sense of the sublime on the Isle of Coll, he finds beauty and awe, fear and wonder in the interplay between light and dark that is as old as time.

A stunning investigation of the power of light, this beautiful book is a timely and urgent reminder to reconnect with the natural world, showing how we only need to step outside to find that, in darkness, the world lights up.

Matt Gaw is a writer, journalist and naturalist who lives in Bury St Edmunds, and is the author of the acclaimed The Pull of the River: A Journey into the Wild and Watery Heart of Britain (E&T, 2017). His work has been published in the Guardian, the Telegraph and the Times. He works with the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, edits Suffolk Wildlife, currently writes a monthly country diary for the Suffolk Magazine and is a director of the Suffolk Festival of Ideas.

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Kiran Millwood Hargrave “The Mercies” FEBRUARY 2020

Beneath the sunken sun on Christmas Eve 1617, where Finnmark, Norway, scatters into its northernmost islands, twenty-year-old Maren Magnusdatter watches the sea break into a sudden and reckless storm. Forty fishermen, including her brother and father, are drowned and left broken on the rocks below. With the menfolk wiped out, the women of Vardø must fend for themselves.

Three years later, beneath a midnight sun, a sinister figure arrives in Vardø. Absalom Cornet comes from Scotland, where he burned witches in the northern isles. He brings with him his young Norwegian wife, Ursa, who is both heady with her husband’s authority, and terrified by it. In Vardø, and in Maren, Ursa sees something she has never seen before: independent women. But Absalom sees only a place untouched by God, and flooded with a mighty and terrible evil.

Inspired by the real events of the Vardø storm and the 1621 witch trials, this is a story of love, evil, and obsession, set at the everdark edge of civilisation. For readers of Burial RitesThe Miniaturist and Wolf Winter. Forthcoming from Picador (UK), Little, Brown (US), and over a dozen other territories in February 2020.

Kiran Millwood Hargrave is an award-winning poet, playwright, and novelist. Her bestselling works for children include The Girl of Ink & Stars, and have won numerous awards including the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the British Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year, and the Blackwell’s Children’s Book of the Year, and been shortlisted for prizes such as the Costa Children’s Book Award and the Blue Peter Best Story Award. The Mercies is her first novel for adults. Kiran lives by the river in Oxford, with her husband, artist Tom de Freston, and their rescue cat, Luna.

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Melody Jue “Wild Blue Media: Thinking Through Seawater” FEBRUARY 2020

In Wild Blue Media, Melody Jue destabilizes terrestrial-based ways of knowing and reorients our perception of the world by considering the ocean itself as a media environment—a place where the weight and opacity of seawater transforms how information is created, stored, transmitted, and perceived. By recentering media theory on and under the sea, Jue calls attention to the differences between perceptual environments and how we think within and through them as embodied observers. In doing so, she provides media studies with alternatives to familiar theoretical frameworks, thereby challenging scholars to navigate unfamiliar oceanic conditions of orientation, materiality, and saturation. Jue not only examines media about the ocean—science fiction narratives, documentary films, ocean data visualizations, animal communication methods, and underwater art—but reexamines media through the ocean, submerging media theory underwater to estrange it from terrestrial habits of perception while reframing our understanding of mediation, objectivity, and metaphor.

“‘Blood is seawater,’ said the French biologist René Quinton more than a century ago. Melody Jue shows that seawater can be the lifeblood of a new ‘milieu-specific’ analysis that discards terrestrial biases in understanding media. Navigating across topics such as iron lungs, squid skin, and Google maps of the ocean floor, this book invites us to let our thinking go productively wild by transcending our lazily land-based concepts via a deep dive into the wet blue yonder.” — John Durham Peters, Yale University

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Felicity Plunkett “A Kinder Sea” FEBRUARY 2020

A Kinder Sea is Felicity Plunkett’s masterpiece in the original sense of that term- the work that most fully expresses her gifts. This collection explores the sea as sanctuary, hoard and repository. It is composed of sequences- love letters, elegies, narratives and odes. Plunkett’s combination of intensity and range is rare, as is this collection’s formal precision and emotional directness. This is an exceptional collection – a break-out work for this gifted poet.

Felicity Plunkett is an Australian poet and critic. She was poetry editor at the University of Queensland Press from 2010 to 2018. Her debut collection Vanishing Point (UQP, 2009) won the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Prize and was shortlisted for several other awards. She has a chapbook Seastrands (Vagabond, 2011) and is the editor of Thirty Australian Poets (UQP, 2011). Her new collection, A Kinder Sea is forthcoming.

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Stanley Donwood “Bad Island” FEBRUARY 2020

From cult graphic designer and long-time Radiohead collaborator Stanley Donwood comes a starkly beautiful graphic novel about the end of the world.

A wild seascape, a distant island, a full moon. Gradually the island grows nearer until we land on a primeval wilderness, rich in vegetation and huge, strange beasts. Time passes and man appears, with clubs, with spears, with crueller weapons still – and things do not go well for the wilderness. Civilization rises as towers of stone and metal and smoke, choking the undergrowth and the creatures who once moved through it. This is not a happy story and it will not have a happy ending.

Working in his distinctive, monochromatic lino-cut style, Stanley Donwood carves out a mesmerizing, stark parable on environmentalism and the history of humankind.

‘I’ve read lots of his stuff and it’s always good and I am in no way biased’ Thom Yorke, lead singer of Radiohead

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David Farrier “Footprints: In Search of Future Fossils” MARCH 2020

A profound meditation on climate change and the Anthropocene and an urgent search for the fossils―industrial, chemical, geological―that humans are leaving behind.

What will the world look like in ten thousand years―or ten million? What kinds of stories will be told about us?

In Footprints: In Search of Future Fossils, the award-winning author David Farrier explores the traces we will leave for the very distant future. Modern civilization has created objects and landscapes with the potential to endure through deep time, whether it is plastic polluting the oceans and nuclear waste sealed within the earth or the 30 million miles of roads spanning the planet. Our carbon could linger in the atmosphere for 100,000 years, and the remains of our cities will still exist millions of years from now as a layer in the rock. These future fossils have the potential to reveal much about how we lived in the twenty-first century.

Crossing the boundaries of literature, art, and science, Footprints invites us to think about how we will be remembered in the myths and stories of our distant descendants. Traveling from the Baltic Sea to the Great Barrier Reef, and from an ice-core laboratory in Tasmania to Shanghai, one of the world’s biggest cities, Farrier describes a world that is changing rapidly, with consequences beyond the scope of human understanding. As much a message of hope as a warning, Footprints will not only alter how you think about the future; it will change how you see the world today.

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Gillen D’Arcy Wood “Land of Wondrous Cold: The Race to Discover Antarctica and Unlock the Secrets of its Ice” MARCH 2020

A gripping history of the polar continent, from the great discoveries of the nineteenth century to modern scientific breakthroughs.

Antarctica, the ice kingdom hosting the South Pole, looms large in the human imagination. The secrets of this vast frozen desert have long tempted explorers, but its brutal climate and glacial shores notoriously resist human intrusion. Land of Wondrous Cold tells a gripping story of the pioneering nineteenth-century voyages, when British, French, and American commanders raced to penetrate Antarctica’s glacial rim for unknown lands beyond. These intrepid Victorian explorers―James Ross, Dumont D’Urville, and Charles Wilkes―laid the foundation for our current understanding of Terra Australis Incognita.

Today, the white continent poses new challenges, as scientists race to uncover Earth’s climate history, which is recorded in the south polar ice and ocean floor, and to monitor the increasing instability of the Antarctic ice cap, which threatens to inundate coastal cities worldwide. Interweaving the breakthrough research of the modern Ocean Drilling Program with the dramatic discovery tales of their Victorian forerunners, Gillen D’Arcy Wood describes Antarctica’s role in a planetary drama of plate tectonics, climate change, and species evolution stretching back more than thirty million years. An original, multifaceted portrait of the polar continent emerges, illuminating our profound connection to Antarctica in its past, present, and future incarnations.

A deep-time history of monumental scale, Land of Wondrous Cold brings the remotest of worlds within close reach―an Antarctica vital to both planetary history and human fortunes.

Gillen D’Arcy Wood is professor of environmental humanities at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he serves as associate director of the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and the Environment. He is the author of Tambora: The Eruption That Changed the World (Princeton). Originally from Australia, he lives in Urbana, Illinois, with his wife and two children.

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Steve Mentz “Ocean” MARCH 2020

Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.

The ocean comprises the largest object on our planet. Steve Mentz’s Ocean shows us that retelling human history from an oceanic rather than terrestrial point of view disorients familiar stories and creates a new sense of our relationship with nature. Unlike conventional stories that describe civilizations made through agricultural settlement or violent conquest, in the ocean humans labor more vulnerably as either sailors or swimmers. Our engagement with the planet’s waters can be destructive, as with today’s deluge of plastic trash and acidification, but the discrepancy between small bodies and vast seas also emphasizes the frailty of human experience.

Embracing the omnipresence of salt water in human history, Ocean combines history, myth, poetry, and narrative in order to revise the human story on a nonhuman scale.

From ancient stories of shipwrecked sailors to the containerized future of 21st-century commerce, Ocean splashes the histories we thought we knew into an unfamiliar context.

Steve Mentz is Professor of English at St John’s University, USA. He is the author of three books, including Shipwreck Modernity: Ecologies of Globalization, 1550 – 1719 (2015), and the editor of four books. His maritime research has been supported by the Folger Shakespeare Library, the John Carter Brown Library, Mystic Seaport, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Maritime Museum in London.]

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Elisabeth Gifford “The Lost Lights of St Kilda” MARCH 2020

1927: When Fred Lawson takes a summer job on St Kilda, little does he realise that he has joined the last community to ever live on that beautiful, isolated island. Only three years later, St Kilda will be evacuated, the islanders near-dead from starvation. But for Fred, that summer – and the island woman, Chrissie, whom he falls in love with – becomes the very thing that sustains him in the years ahead.

1940: Fred has been captured behind enemy lines in France and finds himself in a prisoner-of-war camp. Beaten and exhausted, his thoughts return to the island of his youth and the woman he loved and lost. When Fred makes his daring escape, prompting a desperate journey across occupied territory, he is sustained by one thought only: finding his way back to her.

The Lost Lights of St Kilda is a sweeping love story that will cross oceans and decades. It is a moving and deeply vivid portrait of two lovers, a desolate island, and the extraordinary power of hope in the face of darkness.

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“Tales of Two Planets: Stories of Climate Change and Inequality in a Divided World” edited by John Freeman APRIL 2020

Building from his acclaimed anthology Tales of Two Americas, beloved writer and editor John Freeman draws together some of our greatest writers from around the world to help us see how the environmental crisis is hitting some of the most vulnerable communities where they live.

In the past five years, John Freeman, previously editor of Granta, has launched a celebrated international literary magazine, Freeman’s, and compiled two acclaimed anthologies that deal with income inequality as it is experienced, first in New York and then throughout the United States. In the course of this work, one major theme has come up repeatedly: how climate change is making already dire inequalities much worse, devastating further the already devastated. The effects of global warming are especially disruptive in less well-off nations, sending refugees to the US and elsewhere in the wealthier world, where they often encounter the problems that perennially face outsiders: lack of access to education, health care, decent housing, employment, and even basic nutrition.

But the problems of climate change are not restricted to those from the less developed world. American citizens are suffering too, as the stories of distress resulting from recent hurricanes testify: People who can’t sell their home because the building is on a flood plain, people who get displaced and cannot find work, and more. And this doesn’t even take on board the situation in much of the Caribbean, or south of the Rio Grande in Mexico and Central America.

Galvanized by his conversations with writers and activists around the world, Freeman has engaged with some of today’s most eloquent writers, many of whom hail from the places under the most acute stress. The response has been extraordinary: a literary all-points bulletin of fiction, essays, poems, and reportage. Margaret Atwood conjures with a dystopian future in three remarkable poems. Lauren Groff takes us to Florida; Edwidge Danticat to Haiti; Tahmima Anam to Bangladesh. Eka Kurniawan takes us to Indonesia and Chinelo Okparanta to Nigeria. As the anthology unfolds, clichés fall away and we are brought closer to the real, human truth of what is happening to our world, and the dystopia to which we are heading. These are news stories with the emphasis on story, about events that should be found in the headlines but often are not, about the most important crisis of our times.

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Gavin Francis “Island Dreams: Mapping an Obsession” May 2020

In Island Dreams, Gavin Francis journeys into our collective fascination with islands. He blends stories of his own travels with great voyages from literature and philosophical exploration, and he examines the place of islands and isolation in our collective consciousness.

Comparing the life of freedom of thirty years of extraordinary travel – from the Faroe Islands to the Aegean, from the Galapagos to the Andaman Islands – with a life of responsibility as a doctor, community member and parent approaching middle age, Island Dreams riffs on the twinned poles of rest and motion, independence and attachment, never more relevant than in today’s perennially connected world.

Beautifully illustrated with maps throughout, this is a celebration of human adventures in the world and within our minds.

Gavin Francis is an award-winning writer and GP. He is the author of four books of non-fiction, including Adventures in Human Being, which was a Sunday Times bestseller and won the Saltire Scottish Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award, and Empire Antarctica, which won Scottish Book of the Year in the SMIT Awards and was shortlisted for both the Ondaatje and Costa Prizes. He has written for the Guardian, The Times, the New York Review of Books and the London Review of Books. His work is published in eighteen languages. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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James Bradley “Ghost Species” May 2020

When scientist Kate Garrard joins a secretive project to re-engineer the climate by resurrecting extinct species she becomes enmeshed in another, even more clandestine program to recreate our long-lost relatives, the Neanderthals. But when the first of the children, a girl called Eve, is born, Kate cannot bear the thought her growing up in a laboratory, and so elects to abduct her, and raise her alone.

Set against a backdrop of hastening climate catastrophe, Ghost Species is an exquisitely beautiful and deeply affecting exploration of connection and loss in the age of planetary trauma. For as Eve grows to adulthood she and Kate must face the question of who and what she is. Is she natural or artificial? Human or non-human? And perhaps most importantly, as civilization unravels around them, is Eve the ghost species, or are we?

James Bradley is the author of four novels, WrackThe Deep FieldThe Resurrectionist and Clade, and a book of poetry, Paper Nautilus. His books have won or been shortlisted for a number of major Australian and international literary awards and have been widely translated.