As well as writing on the beach, about the sea, by the harbour, after a day on the water...etc. I also love reading inspiring content by other authors who have been drawn to the blue. Here are a few of my favourite nature-connected water and wellbeing reads:
50 Things to Do by The Sea by Dr Easkey Britton
When I first came across this one in Falmouth Bookseller I thought it was going to be more of a flip-through novelty book, but after hearing Dr Easkey speak at the Finisterre Sea 7 online conference, I instantly wanted to buy the book and properly explore her approach to ocean and human health further.
From understanding the sea, to understanding what it does for us (both emotionally and physically), to learning what we can do to protect and preserve the ocean as our most precious natural resource, this book introduces a wide range of ideas. It also has beautiful illustrations and is laid out in a way that is easy to dip in and out of as and when you have the time.
Gift from The Sea
by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
This is such an adorable little book - pocket size and literally perfect for 'gifting'. First published in 1955, it has a kind of peaceful, nostalgic tone as Anne Morrow Lindbergh writes beautifully about shells, sunrises and how to live a natural and wholesome life.
Emma Thompson describes it as "quietly powerful and a great help"; a feeling echoed by many who keep this book on a bedside table to return to as a literary comfort blanket.
Blue Mind by Wallace J Nicholls
A staple read from the marine biologist who coined the term 'blue mind', this book explores the benefits of being with water through both anecdotal and scientific evidence. Rooted in a surf-vibe Californian version of blue health and wellbeing, it feels like a 'zoomed out' version of how water connection could influence us on a wider societal level, as opposed to some of the more personal (and often female) storytelling experiences in my other recommendations.
Its bestseller sales figures possibly reflect the way it could universally appeal to business people and political leaders as well as creatives and watersports professionals. The academic approach lends weight to the theories explored and situates the book as one I would come back to for research and inspiration rather than pleasure re-read for the tenth time on a sunny beach blanket!
Salt on Your Tongue by Charlotte Runcie
A mix of nature writing and self-reflective memoir by the Telegraph journalist, this book is a light and easy read with so many beautiful sea-themed links to classic stories and myths. Weaving between her own experience and that of women before her in art and literature, Charlotte Runcie explores mainly the wild Scottish coastline around Edinburgh. Feminine energy, creation and motherhood are strong themes explored in a relatable and accessible style, and I found myself handing this book to many fellow water-loving friends to share in the storytelling. (And the hardback cover is stunning!)
The Book of Tides by William Thomson
A big book of facts about the UK's incredible seas and oceans. I learnt so much from the diagrams alone in this easy-to-read overview - from coastal currents and tidal patterns to local marine life and their preferred depths of habitat. I'm less emotionally attached to this book than some of the others but it's full of information about our British coast that I feel I ought to know!
The Art of Wandering by Merlin Coverley
The book itself is not specifically ocean-related, but as most of my own walks are by the sea, I applied much of what Coverley says about creativity and nature to the coastal paths I frequent in Cornwall. A denser analysis of the relationship between walking and writing, this one is full of my scribbled underlinings and notes in the margins - making plans for future writing projects as well as reflecting on those I'm already working on.
A few more blue health recommended reads include: