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.
Charlotte McConaghy “The Last Migration” JANUARY 2021
A dark past. An impossible journey. The will to survive.
How far you would you go for love? Franny Stone is determined to go to the end of the earth, following the last of the Arctic terns on what may be their final migration to Antarctica.
As animal populations plummet and commercial fishing faces prohibition, Franny talks her way onto one of the few remaining boats heading south. But as she and the eccentric crew travel further from shore and safety, the dark secrets of Franny’s life begin to unspool. A daughter’s yearning search for her mother. An impulsive, passionate marriage. A shocking crime. Haunted by love and violence, Franny must confront what she is really running towards – and from.
The Last Migration is a wild, gripping and deeply moving novel from a brilliant young writer. From the west coast of Ireland to Australia and remote Greenland, through crashing Atlantic swells to the bottom of the world, this is an ode to the wild places and creatures now threatened, and an epic story of the possibility of hope against all odds.
“An extraordinary novel… as beautiful and as wrenching as anything I’ve ever read” Emily St. John Mandel
Charlotte McConaghy has been writing since childhood and has published a number of young adult books. She has both a Graduate Degree in Screenwriting and a Masters Degree in Screen Arts, and has worked in script development for film and television for several years. She lives in Sydney.
Though she grew up in Australia, McConaghy has always felt a connection to the UK, the home of her ancestors, and it was while roaming the Irish coastline that the idea for The Last Migration was born. It wasn’t long before her passion for wildlife and her distress over the disastrous extinction crisis faced by the world today collided in the story of a woman’s pursuit of the world’s last birds.
Nicholas Allen “Seatangled: Ireland, Literature and the Coast” JANUARY 2021
The island of Ireland is home to one of the world’s great literary and artistic traditions. This book reads Irish literature and art in context of the island’s coastal and maritime cultures, beginning with the late imperial experiences of Jack and William Butler Yeats and ending with the contemporary work of Anne Enright and Sinead Morrissey. It includes chapters on key historical texts such as Erskine Childers’s The Riddle of the Sands, and on contemporary writers including Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Kevin Barry. It sets a diverse range of writing and visual art in a fluid panorama of liquid associations that connect Irish literature to an archipelago of other times and places. Situated within contemporary conversations about the blue and the environmental humanities, this book builds on the upsurge of interest in seas and coasts in literary studies, presenting James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen, John Banville, and many others in new coastal and maritime contexts. In doing so, it creates a literary and visual narrative of Irish coastal cultures across a seaboard that extends to a planetary configuration of imagined islands.
Nicholas Allen is the director of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts and Endowed Professor in Humanities at the University of Georgia. A native of Belfast, he has published several books on Ireland and its literature, has been the Burns Visiting Scholar at Boston College, and has received many grants and awards, including from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Irish Research Council.
Courttia Newland “A River Called Time” JANUARY 2021
A monumental speculative fiction story of love, loyalty, politics and conscience set in parallel Londons.
The Ark was built to save the lives of the many, but rapidly became a refuge for the elite, the entrance closed without warning.
Years after the Ark was cut off from the world, a chance of survival within its confines is granted to a select few who can prove their worth. Among their number is Markriss Denny, whose path to future excellence is marred only by a closely guarded secret: without warning, his spirit leaves his body, allowing him to see and experience a world far beyond his physical limitations.
Once inside the Ark, Denny learns of another with the same power, whose existence could spell catastrophe for humanity. He is forced into a desperate race to understand his abilities, and in doing so uncovers the truth about the Ark, himself and the people he thought he once knew.
Set in an alternate world where slavery and colonialism never happened, Newland’s staggering novel is both a timely exploration of social inequality and a story about love, loyalty and the search for the truth.
Courttia Newland is the author of seven books including his much lauded debut, The Scholar. His latest novel, The Gospel According to Cane, was published in 2013. His short stories have appeared in many anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. In 2016 he was awarded the Tayner Barbers Award for science fiction writing and the Roland Rees Busary for playwriting. As a screenwriter, he has written two episodes of the Steve McQueen BBC series Small Axe.
Kerri ní Dochartaigh “Thin Places” JANUARY 2021
A breathtaking mix of memoir, nature writing and history: this is Kerri ní Dochartaigh’s story of a wild Ireland, an invisible border, an old conflict and the healing power of the natural world.
Kerri ní Dochartaigh was born in Derry, Northern Ireland, at the very height of the Troubles. She was brought up on a grey and impoverished council estate on the wrong side of town. But for her family, and many others, there was no right side. One parent was Catholic, the other was Protestant. In the space of one year they were forced out of two homes and when she was eleven a homemade petrol bomb was thrown through her bedroom window. Terror was in the very fabric of the city, and for families like Kerri’s, the ones who fell between the cracks of identity, it seemed there was no escape.
In Thin Places, a mixture of memoir, history and nature writing, Kerri explores how nature kept her sane and helped her heal, how violence and poverty are never more than a stone’s throw from beauty and hope, and how we are, once again, allowing our borders to become hard, and terror to creep back in. Kerri asks us to reclaim our landscape through language and study, and remember that the land we fight over is much more than lines on a map. It will always be ours but, at the same time, it never really was.
‘A special, beautiful, many-faceted book’ Amy Liptrot
‘A remarkable piece of writing … Luminous’ Robert Macfarlane
Matt Gaw “Under the Stars: A Journey into Light” (paperback) FEBRUARY 2021
Moonlight, starlight, the ethereal glow of snow in winter. When you flick off a switch, other forms of light begin to reveal themselves.
Artificial light 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 of the power of light, Matt Gaw ventures forth into darkness to find out exactly what we’re missing: 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.
Under the Stars is an inspirational and immersive call 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. His work has been published in the Guardian, the Telegraph and the Times. He works with the Suffolk Wildlife Trusts, edits Suffolk Wildlife, currently writes a monthly country diary for the Suffolk Magazine and is a director of the Suffolk Festival of Ideas. This is his first book.
Philip Hoare “Albert & the Whale” MARCH 2021
An illuminating exploration of the intersection between life, art and the sea from the award-winning author of The Leviathan or, the Whale.
In 1520, Albrecht Dürer, the most celebrated artist in Northern Europe, sailed to Zeeland to see a whale. A central figure of the Renaissance, no one had painted or drawn the world like him. Dürer drew hares and rhinoceroses in the way he painted saints and madonnas. The wing of a bird or the wing of an angel; a spider crab or a bursting star like the augury of a black hole, in Dürer’s art, they were part of a connected world. Everything had meaning.
But now he was in crisis. He had lost his patron, the Holy Roman Emperor. He was moorless and filled with wanderlust. In the shape of the whale, he saw his final ambition.
Dürer was the first artist to truly employ the power of reproduction. He reinvented the way people looked at, and understood, art. He painted signs and wonders; comets, devils, horses, nudes, dogs, and blades of grass so accurately that even today they seem hyper-real, utterly modern images. Most startling and most modern of all, he painted himself, at every stage of his life.
But his art captured more than the physical world, he also captured states of mind.
Albert and the Whale explores the work of this remarkable man through a personal lens. Drawing on Philip’s experience of the natural world, and of the elements that shape our contemporary lives, from suburbia to the wide open sea, Philip will enter Dürer’s time machine. Seeking his own Leviathan, Hoare help us better understand the interplay between art and our world in this sublimely seductive book.
Tom Moorhouse “Elegy for a River” MARCH 2021
Water voles are small, brownish, bewhiskered and charming. Made famous by ‘Ratty’ in The Wind in the Willows, once they were a ubiquitous part of our waterways. They were a totem of our rivers. Now, however, they are nearly gone. This is their story, and the story of a conservationist with a wild hope: that he could bring them back.
Tom Moorhouse spent eleven years beside rivers, fens, canals, lakes and streams, researching British wildlife. Quite a lot of it tried to bite him. He studied four main species – two native and endangered, two invasive and endangering – beginning with water voles. He wanted to solve their conservation problems. He wanted to put things right.
This book is about whether it worked, and what he learnt – and about what those lessons mean, not just for water voles but for all the world’s wildlife. It is a book for anyone who has watched ripples spread on lazy waters, and wondered what moves beneath. Or who has waited in quiet hope for a rustle in the reeds, the munch of a stem, or the patter of unseen paws.
Dr Tom Moorhouse is a conservation research scientist who has worked for twenty years at the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, part of Oxford University’s Zoology Department. He completed his DPhil on the conservation ecology of water voles in 2003 at Oxford. His work subsequently focused on water vole reintroductions, then the management of signal crayfish and hedgehog conservation. More recently he has studied the impacts of wildlife tourism and of global demand for wildlife products. Outside of conservation research, Tom is the author of award-winning children’s fiction. He has also published a number of public engagement pieces based on his own work, including the winner of the 2003 New Scientist New Millennial Science Writing Competition, entitled Reintroducing ‘Ratty’. He lives with his wife and daughter in Oxford and spends as much time as possible beside water.
Hope Adams “Dangerous Women” MARCH 2021
London, 1841. Two hundred Englishwomen file aboard the Rajah, the ship that will take them on a three-month voyage to the other side of the world. They’re daughters, sisters, mothers – and convicts. Transported for petty crimes. Except one of their number is a secret killer, fleeing justice. When a woman is mortally wounded, the hunt is on for the culprit. But who would attack one of their own, and why? Based on a true story, Dangerous Women is a sweeping tale of confinement, loss, love and, above all, hope in the unlikeliest of places.
Hope Adams was born in Jerusalem and spent her early childhood in many different countries, such as Nigeria and British North Borneo. She went to Roedean School in Brighton, and from there to St Hilda’s College, Oxford.
“KALEVALA: The Epic of the Finnish People” Elias Lönnrot (Edited by) Jukka Korpela (Introducer) Eino Friberg (Translator). Penguin Classics. MARCH 2021
Sharing its title with the poetic name for Finland – ‘the land of heroes’ – Kalevala is the soaring epic poem of its people, a work rich in magic and myth which tells the story of a nation through the ages from the dawn of creation. Sung by rural Finns since prehistoric times, and formally compiled by Elias Lönnrot in the nineteenth century, it is a landmark of Finnish culture and played a vital role in galvanizing its national identity in the decades leading to independence. Its themes, however, reach beyond borders and search the heart of human existence.
Michael Blencowe “GONE: A Search for What Remains of the World’s Extinct Creatures” APRIL 2021
Inspired by his childhood obsession with extinct species, Michael Blencowe takes us around the globe from the forests of New Zealand to the ferries of Finland, from the urban sprawl of San Francisco to an inflatable crocodile on Brighton’s Widewater lagoon. Spanning five centuries from the last sighting of New Zealand’s Upland Moa to the death of Lonesome George, the Pinta Island Giant Tortoise in 2012, his memoir is peppered with the accounts of the hunters and naturalists of the past as well as revealing conversations with the custodians of these totemic animals today.
He reveals what made these species unique; what their habits and habitats were; who discovered (or killed) them; what remains of them; and where we can view what survives of them today. He inspects the only known remains of a Huia egg at Te Papa, New Zealand; views hundreds of specimens of deceased Galapagos tortoises and Xerces Blue Butterflies in the California Academy of Sciences; and pays his respects to the only soft tissue remains of the Dodo in the world.
Michael Blencowe lives in West Sussex where he works and volunteers for a number of wildlife conservation charities, and writes for many local publications.During the first Lockdown he used the observations of nature in his own garden to produce the hugely popular 100 Day Wildlife Diary for the Sussex Wildlife Trust. His passion for wildlife began in his South Devon childhood where he first encountered tales of the last British Bird to be declared extinct, The Great Auk.
Fully illustrated with 35 colour linocuts by artist Jade They.
Michael Blencowe lives in Sussex where he works and volunteers for several local wildlife conservation charities. For the past ten years he has been inspiring people to take action for nature through his writing and by leading wildlife events, delivering talks and putting hawk-moths on children’s noses. He is co-author of The Butterflies of Sussex (Pisces, 2017) and created the mini-book of caterpillars which accompanies Julia Donaldson’s The Woolly Bear (Macmillan, 2021). He is saving his pennies so that he can one day go to Bering Island.
Caroline Lea “The Metal Heart” APRIL 2021
Orkney, 1940. Five hundred Italian prisoners-of-war arrive to fortify these remote and windswept islands. Resentful islanders are fearful of the enemy in their midst, but not orphaned twin sisters Dorothy and Constance. Already outcasts, they volunteer to nurse all prisoners who are injured or fall sick.
Soon Dorothy befriends Cesare, an artists swept up by the machine of war and almost broken by the horrors he has witnessed. She is entranced by his plan to build an Italian chapel from war scrap and sea derbis, and something beautiful begins to blossom.
But Con, scarred from a betrayal in her past, is afraid for her sister; she knows that people are not always what they seem.
Soon, trust frays between the islanders and outsiders, and between the sisters – their hearts torn by rival claims of duty and desire. A storm is coming…
In the tradition of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, The Metal Heart is a hauntingly rich Second World War love story about courage, brutality, freedom and beauty and the essence of what makes us human during the darkest of times.
Caroline Lea grew up in Jersey and gained a First in English Literature and Creative Writing from Warwick University, where she now teaches writing. Her fiction and poetry have been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, and The Glass Woman was shortlisted for the HWA Debut Crown.
Elizabeth-Jane Burnett “Of Sea”, cover design by Zigmunds Lapsa, MAY 2021
Writer and academic Elizabeth-Jane Burnett follows up her acclaimed first collection, Swims, with a remarkable new book in praise of marine fauna.
Of Sea takes the form of a poetic bestiary of creatures living beneath, beside and above the water: in wetlands, salt marshes and the intertidal zone. In a sequence of 46 poems, Burnett captures the world of cockles and clams, rare moths and the humble earwig (to name a few) with a precise and dynamic lyric that seems always on the verge of music.
Elizabeth-Jane Burnett is a writer of English and Kenyan heritage. She was born in Devon and her work is inspired by the landscape in which she was raised. She is the author of Swims, a Sunday Times Poetry Book of the Year, and her poetry has been highly commended in the Forward Prize. Her ‘geological memoir’, The Grassling was published by Allen Lane in 2019.
Richard Dawkins “Books do Furnish a Life: Reading and Writing Science” MAY 2021
Science has never had a greater impact on our lives, or on the life of the planet than now. Never has it been more important to communicate the discoveries of science and to recognise the importance of great science literature.
For the first time, Books Do Furnish a Life brings together Dawkins’ forewords, afterwords and introductions to the work of some of the leading thinkers of our age – Carl Sagan, Lawrence Krauss, Jacob Bronowski, Lewis Wolpert – with a selection of his reviews to provide an electrifying celebration of science writing, both fiction and non-fiction.
Including conversations with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Steven Pinker, Matt Ridley and more, this is a brilliant guide to the most exciting ideas of our time and their proponents and a sparkling addition to Dawkins’ own remarkable canon of work.
Richard Dawkins is author of The Selfish Gene, voted The Royal Society’s Most Inspiring Science Book of All Time, and also the bestsellers The Blind Watchmaker, Climbing Mount Improbable, The Ancestor’s Tale, The God Delusion, and two volumes of autobiography, An Appetite for Wonder and Brief Candle in the Dark. He is a Fellow of New College, Oxford and both the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature. In 2013, Dawkins was voted the world’s top thinker in Prospect magazine’s poll of 10,000 readers from over 100 countries.
Nicholas Crane “Latitude: The True Story of the World’s First Scientific Expedition” MAY 2021
Told for the very first time, this is the story of the adventure that shaped the world.
By knowing the shape of our earth we can create maps, survive the oceans, follow rivers, navigate the skies, and travel across the globe. This is the story of our world, of how we discovered what no one thought possible – the shape of the earth.
A thrilling and page-turning account of the first major expedition by data gatherers and qualified observers to interior Peru, to discover the shape and magnitude of the earth. Until humanity discovered this it would be impossible to produce accurate maps and sea charts, without which thousands of lives would be lost, and exact locations of cities, roads and rivers would never be known. This fascinating and dramatic story weaves scientific rigour, egos, funding crises and betrayal with sea voyages, jungles and volcanoes.
Nicholas Crane was born in Hastings, but grew up on the rugged coast of Norfolk. He is an award-winning writer, journalist, geographer and explorer who has presented BAFTA winning, BBC TV series Coast, Great British Journeys, Map Man and Town. His previous books include, Great British Journeys, Clear Waters Rising, Two Degrees West and Mercator: The Man Who Mapped the Planet and writes for the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian and the Sunday Times. Nicholas has travelled extensively in Tibet, China, Afghanistan, Africa, and he identified and visited for the first time the geographical Pole of Inaccessibility, the point on the globe most distant from the open sea, in the Gobi Desert. He now lives in London with his wife and children.
Libby Page “The Island” JUNE 2021
A tender and uplifting story from the Sunday Times bestselling author of THE LIDO about friendship, community and finding where you truly belong.
Lorna’s world is small but safe.
She loves her daughter, and the two of them is all that matters. But after nearly twenty years, she and Ella are suddenly leaving London for the Isle of Kip, the tiny remote Scottish island where Lorna grew up.
Alice’s world is tiny but full.
She loves the community on Kip, her yoga classes drawing women across the tiny island together. Now Lorna’s arrival might help their family finally mend itself – even if forgiveness means returning to the past…
So with two decades, hundreds of miles and a lifetime’s worth of secrets between Lorna and the island, can coming home mean starting again?
Libby Page is the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Lido, The 24-Hour Café and The Island (out June 2021). Before writing The Lido Libby worked as a campaigner for fairer internships, a journalist at the Guardian and a Brand Executive at a retailer and then a charity.