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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Steve Sem-Sandberg “The Tempest” FEBRUARY 2019

After many years away, Andreas returns to his childhood home on a small island off the Norwegian coast. He is there to sort through the belongings of his late foster father in their decaying old house, the Yellow Villa. But he soon finds himself overwhelmed with unexpected memories, and begins to uncover not only the shadowy history of the island, but the mysterious truth about his family’s past.

Rich in shimmering echoes from Shakespeare’s play, Steve Sem-Sandberg’s The Tempest is a hypnotic portrayal of the inherited guilt that seeps through generations, haunting an island overgrown with myths.

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Barry Lopez “Horizon” MARCH 2019

From the National Book Award-winning author of the now-classic Arctic Dreams, a vivid, poetic, capacious work that recollects the travels around the world and the encounters–human, animal, and natural–that have shaped an extraordinary life.

Taking us nearly from pole to pole–from modern megacities to some of the most remote regions on the earth–and across decades of lived experience, Barry Lopez, hailed by the Los Angeles Times Book Review as “one of our finest writers,” gives us his most far-ranging yet personal work to date, in a book that moves indelibly, immersively, through his travels to six regions of the world: from Western Oregon to the High Arctic; from the Galápagos to the Kenyan desert; from Botany Bay in Australia to finally, unforgettably, the ice shelves of Antarctica.

As he takes us on these myriad travels, Lopez also probes the long history of humanity’s quests and explorations, including the prehistoric peoples who trekked across Skraeling Island in northern Canada, the colonialists who plundered Central Africa, an enlightenment-era Englishman who sailed the Pacific, a Native American emissary who found his way into isolationist Japan, and today’s ecotourists in the tropics. Throughout his journeys–to some of the hottest, coldest, and most desolate places on the globe–and via friendships he forges along the way with scientists, archaeologists, artists and local residents, Lopez searches for meaning and purpose in a broken world.

Horizon is a revelatory, epic work that voices concern and frustration along with humanity and hope–a book that makes you see the world differently, and that is the crowning achievement by one of America’s great thinkers and most humane voices.

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Namwali Serpell “The Old Drift” MARCH 2019

An electrifying debut from the winner of the 2015 Caine Prize for African writing, The Old Drift is the Great Zambian Novel you didn’t know you were waiting for and the launch of a thrilling new talent.

On the banks of the Zambezi River, a few miles from the majestic Victoria Falls, there was once a colonial settlement called The Old Drift. Here begins the epic story of a small African nation, told by a mysterious swarm-like chorus that calls itself man’s greatest nemesis. The tale? A playful panorama of history, fairytale, romance and science fiction. The moral? To err is human.

In 1904, in a smoky room at the hotel across the river, an Old Drifter named Percy M. Clark, foggy with fever, makes a mistake that entangles the fates of an Italian hotelier and an African busboy. This sets off a cycle of unwitting retribution between three Zambian families (black, white, brown) as they collide and converge over the course of the century, into the present and beyond. As the generations pass, their lives – their triumphs, errors, losses and hopes – form a symphony about what it means to be human.

From a woman covered with hair and another plagued with endless tears, to forbidden love affairs and fiery political ones, to homegrown technological marvels like Afronauts, microdrones and viral vaccines – this gripping, unforgettable novel sweeps over the years and the globe, subverting expectations along the way. Exploding with colour and energy, The Old Drift is a testament to our yearning to create and cross borders, and a meditation on the slow, grand passage of time.

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Juliet Blaxland “The Easternmost House” APRIL 2019

‘The house on the edge of the cliff was demolished this week, which means we are now the house on the edge of the cliff.’

In June 2015, the house was 50 paces from the edge. Now, it is 25 paces away. The Easternmost House is a memoir which describes a year of life on a crumbling cliff at the easternmost edge of England, all year round and in all weathers. Written at the kitchen table of the eponymous house in Suffolk, it is a meditation on nature, on coastal erosion, and on the changing seasons. It describes a life lived in close proximity to the natural world, and evokes the lived-in outdoors of the everyday: of the firewood forager, the improviser, the beachcomber.

Juliet Blaxland is an architect, author, cartoonist and illustrator. She grew up in a remote part of Suffolk and now lives on the cliff edge of the easternmost part of England.

She is the author and illustrator of ten children’s books. Her cartoon series, Life in a Listed Building, was published monthly in the Prince of Wales’s architecture magazine Perspectives and won a prize at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. The Crowood Press published Nimrod, a Cavalry Black, in 2015, and The House Pony: an ABC of Horsemanship, was published in 2018. She is also a prize-winning photographer.

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Dan Richards “Outpost: A Journey to the Wild Ends of the Earth” APRIL 2019

There are still wild places out there on our over-crowded planet. Through a series of personal journeys, Dan Richards explores their romantic and exploratory appeal. Wildernesses, seemingly untouched by man’s hand: mountains, tundra, forests, oceans and deserts. These are landscapes that speak of deep time, whose scale can knock us down to size. Their wildness is part of their beauty and such places have long drawn the adventurous, the spiritual, the artistic.

For those who go in search of the isolation, silence and adventure of wild places it is – perhaps ironically – to the man-made shelters that they need to head; the outposts: bothies, bivouacs, cabins and huts. Part of their allure is their simplicity: enough architecture to shelter from the weather but not so much as to distract from the immediate environment around.

Following a route from the Cairngorms of Scotland to the fire-watching huts of Washington State, from Iceland’s Houses of Joy to the desert of New Mexico, and from the frozen beauty of Svalbard to a lighthouse perched in the Atlantic, Richards uncovers landscapes which have inspired writers, artists and musicians, and asks: why are we drawn to wilderness? And how do wild places become a space for inspiration and creativity?

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Ben Smith “Doggerland” APRIL 2019

“Doggerland is a superbly gripping debut novel about loneliness and hope, nature and survival – set on an off-shore windfarm in the not-so-distant future.

‘His father’s breath had been loud in the small room. It had smelled smoky, or maybe more like dust. ‘I’ll get out,’ he’d said. ‘I’ll come back for you, ok?’ The boy remembered that; had always remembered it. And, for a time, he’d believed it too.’

In the North Sea, far from what remains of the coastline, a wind farm stretches for thousands of acres.

The Boy, who is no longer really a boy, and the Old Man, whose age is unguessable, are charged with its maintenance. They carry out their never-ending work as the waves roll, dragging strange shoals of flotsam through the turbine fields. Land is only a memory.

So too is the Boy’s father, who worked on the turbines before him, and disappeared. The boy has been sent by the Company to take his place, but the question of where he went and why is one for which the Old Man will give no answer. As the Old Man dredges the sea for lost things, the Boy sifts for the truth of his missing father. Until one day, from the limitless water, a plan for escape emerges…

Doggerland is a haunting and beautifully compelling story of loneliness and hope, nature and survival.

‘In Doggerland, Ben Smith has created a vision of the future in which the world ends with neither a bang nor a whimper but just rusts gradually into the sea. I found it both terrifying and hugely enjoyable, as well as tremendously moving.’ Jon McGregor, author of Reservoir 13.”

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Robert Macfarlane “Underland” MAY 2019

“In Underland, Robert Macfarlane takes us on a journey into the worlds beneath our feet. From the ice-blue depths of Greenland’s glaciers, to the underground networks by which trees communicate, from Bronze Age burial chambers to the rock art of remote Arctic sea-caves, this is a deep-time voyage into the planet’s past and future.

Global in its geography, gripping in its voice and haunting in its implications, Underland is a work of huge range and power, and a remarkable new chapter in Macfarlane’s long-term exploration of landscape and the human heart. ‘Macfarlane has invented a new kind of book, really a new genre entirely’ The Irish Times”

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Jessica Andrews “Saltwater” MAY 2019

“When Lucy wins a place at university, she thinks London will unlock her future. It is a city alive with pop up bars, cool girls and neon lights illuminating the Thames at night. At least this is what Lucy expects, having grown up seemingly a world away in working-class Sunderland, amid legendary family stories of Irish immigrants and boarding houses, now-defunct ice rinks and an engagement ring at a fish market.

Yet Lucy’s transition to a new life is more overwhelming than she ever expected. As she works long shifts to make ends meet and navigates chaotic parties from East London warehouses to South Kensington mansions, she still feels like an outsider among her fellow students. When things come to a head at her graduation, Lucy takes off for Ireland, seeking solace in her late grandfather’s cottage and the wild landscape that surrounds it, wondering if she can piece together who she really is.

Lyrical and boundary-breaking, Saltwater explores the complexities of mother-daughter relationships, the challenges of shifting class identity and the way that the strongest feelings of love can be the hardest to define. A stunning new voice in British literary fiction, for fans of Rachel Cusk and Olivia Laing.”

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Natalie Haynes “A Thousand Ships” MAY 2019

“In A Thousand Ships, broadcaster and classicist Natalie Haynes retells the story of the Trojan War from an all-female perspective. This was never the story of one woman, or two. It was the story of all of them…

In the middle of the night, Creusa wakes to find her beloved Troy engulfed in flames. Ten seemingly endless years of brutal conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans are over, and the Greeks are victorious. Over the next few hours, the only life she has ever known will turn to ash…

The devastating consequences of the fall of Troy stretch from Mount Olympus to Mount Ida, from the citadel of Troy to the distant Greek islands, and across oceans and sky in between. These are the stories of the women embroiled in that legendary war and its terrible aftermath, as well as the feud and the fatal decisions that started it all…

Powerfully told from an all-female perspective, A Thousand Ships gives voices to the women, girls and goddesses who, for so long, have been silent.”

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Mark Haddon “The Porpoise” MAY 2019

“‘I really am so very, very sorry about this,’ he says, in an oddly formal voice… They strike the side of a grain silo. They are travelling at seventy miles per hour.

A newborn baby is the sole survivor of a terrifying plane crash. She is raised in wealthy isolation by an overprotective father. She knows nothing of the rumours about a beautiful young woman, hidden from the world. When a suitor visits, he understands far more than he should. Forced to run for his life, he escapes aboard The Porpoise, an assassin on his tail…

So begins a wild adventure of a novel, damp with salt spray, blood and tears. A novel that leaps from the modern era to ancient times; a novel that soars, and sails, and burns long and bright; a novel that almost drowns in grief yet swims ashore; in which pirates rampage, a princess wins a wrestler’s hand, and ghost women with lampreys’ teeth drag a man to hell – and in which the members of a shattered family, adrift in a violent world, journey towards a place called home.”

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Adam Nicolson “The Making of Poetry: Coleridge, the Wordsworths and their Year of Marvels” JUNE 2019

Wordsworth and Coleridge as you’ve never seen them before in this new book by Adam Nicolson, brimming with poetry, art and nature writing. Proof that poetry can change the world.

The Making of Poetry tells the story of how two young men of genius, living on the edge of the Quantock Hills in Somerset, developed a new understanding of the world, of nature and of themselves. Bestselling and award-winning writer Adam Nicolson recreates this ‘year of miracles’ by embedding himself in the lives they led in Nether Stowey, over 200 years ago.

The 16 months these poets spent here has a claim to being the most famous moment in the history of English poetry. It has always been portrayed as a time of delight and overabundant creativity, from which extraordinary poetry emerged. In fact, it was a time of adventure and perplexity. Wordsworth and Coleridge were both in retreat from the revolutionary politics of the 1790s. Wordsworth was unheard of and Coleridge under attack. Both wanted escape from cities; from politics; from propriety. Here they would find nature; and establish the notions that remain foundational for modernity – the self, its roots, forms of self-understanding, fantasies, longings, dreads and ideals.

The poetry produced was astonishing: ‘This Lime Tree Bower My Prison’, ‘Kubla Khan’, The Ancient Mariner, , ‘Frost at Midnight’, ‘Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads, ‘The Idiot Boy’, ‘The Thorn’, ‘Tintern Abbey’, and the first suggestions for The Prelude.

Adam Nicolson relived the months the poets spent in the Quantocks, immersed in their lives. The poets here are not literary monuments but young people, troubled, ambitious, dreaming of a vision of wholeness, knowing they had greatness in them but confronted by the uncertain nature of what they understood of the world, of each other and themselves.

In so doing, both discovered that poetry was not an aspect of civilisation but a challenge to it.

Wordsworth called poetry ‘the first and last of all knowledge’. This wonderful new book shows how these poets came to understand that poetry can remake assumptions, reconfigure the mind and change the world.

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Julian Hoffman “Irreplaceable: The Fight to Save Our Wild Places” JUNE 2019

For readers of George Monbiot, Mark Cocker and Robert Macfarlane – an urgent and lyrical account of endangered places around the globe and the people fighting to save them.

All across the world, irreplaceable habitats are under threat. Unique ecosystems of plants and animals are being destroyed by human intervention. From the tiny to the vast, from marshland to meadow, and from Kent to Glasgow to India to America, they are disappearing.

Irreplaceable is more than a love letter to the haunting beauty of these landscapes and the nightingales, lynxes, hornbills, redwoods and elephant seals that call them home. It is also a timely account of the vital connections between humans and wildlife, uniting people to save these special places from extinction.

From local communities and grassroots campaigners to professional ecologists and academics, Julian Hoffman traces conservation stories around the globe, exploring treasured coral reefs, ancient woodland, tallgrass prairie and urban allotments. And in the process, he asks what a deep emotional connection to place offers us – culturally, socially and psychologically. In this rigorous, intimate and impassioned account, he presents a powerful call to arms in the face of unconscionable natural destruction.

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Laura Cumming “On Chapel Sands: My mother and other missing persons” JULY 2019

Uncovering the mystery of her mother’s disappearance as a child: Laura Cumming, prize winning author and art critic, takes a closer look at her family story.

In the autumn of 1929, a small child was kidnapped from a Lincolnshire beach. Five agonising days went by before she was found in a nearby village. The child remembered nothing of these events and nobody ever spoke of them at home. It was another fifty years before she even learned of the kidnap.

The girl became an artist and had a daughter, art writer Laura Cumming. Cumming grew up enthralled by her mother’s strange tales of life in a seaside hamlet of the 1930s, and of the secrets and lies perpetuated by a whole community. So many puzzles remained to be solved. Cumming began with a few criss-crossing lives in this fraction of English coast — the postman, the grocer, the elusive baker — but soon her search spread right out across the globe as she discovered just how many lives were affected by what happened that day on the beach — including her own.

On Chapel Sands is a book of mystery and memoir. Two narratives run through it: the mother’s childhood tale; and Cumming’s own pursuit of the truth. Humble objects light up the story: a pie dish, a carved box, an old Vick’s jar. Letters, tickets, recipe books, even the particular slant of a copperplate hand give vital clues. And pictures of all kinds, from paintings to photographs, open up like doors to the truth. Above all, Cumming discovers how to look more closely at the family album — with its curious gaps and missing persons — finding crucial answers, captured in plain sight at the click of a shutter.

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Benjamin Myers “The Offing” AUGUST 2019

One summer following the Second World War, Robert Appleyard sets out on foot from his Durham village. Sixteen and the son of a coal miner, he makes his way across the northern countryside until he reaches the former smuggling village of Robin Hood’s Bay. There he meets Dulcie, an eccentric, worldly, older woman who lives in a ramshackle cottage facing out to sea.

Staying with Dulcie, Robert’s life opens into one of rich food, sea-swimming, sunburn and poetry. The two come from different worlds, yet as the summer months pass, they form an unlikely friendship that will profoundly alter their futures.