The Hungry Bookling

A journey through books and the imagination


I have always loved the sea. I am fascinated by it. It draws me to it in a hypnotic rhythm of froth and foam. I could happily sit and watch it for hours with only the salted breeze for company. It calms and re-focuses my mind like nothing else I have known, maybe its the vastness, its apparent endless nature the way it sticks to the skyline beyond my reach. I have always had a dream of having a small writers cottage by the sea, just the view would bring me contentment enough. Sadly, I do not live by the sea and I must admit that being in lockdown has made me think more about it then I ever have. It’s amazing how your mind can focus on something so strongly and seemingly out of the blue. 

Hmm. Or out of the blue ocean?

Anyway, I guess I know where I will be headed when the lockdown is over. I hope!

Photo by Travis Rupert on

The seaside holds good memories for me. We had a few trips to Wales when I was a kid and yes it was a little cottage within walking distance of a small beach and needless to say I loved it. We would all pile into the car, somewhat sleepily I may add, but as soon as my mum’s ‘Fleetwood Mac’ playlist was on we knew the holiday had started. 

And yes, every time I hear ‘Fleetwood Mac’ now it reminds me of holidays. Of freedom.

Those trips to Wales were some of my happiest memories, aside from the soggy cornflakes and bowls of sharp grapefruit my dad was so keen that we ate every morning. I have never been a fan of grapefruit, it makes my eyes twitch, but I was eager to get to the beach and if eating grapefruit got me there then so be it. I never even minded the walk down there. The cottage owner used to let me and my sisters take care of the horses in the field opposite and I remember one time we even got to ride them down to the beach. Heaven. 

And we even flew a kite on the beach. 


We attempted to fly a kite on the beach. 

I remember it hitting the sand. 

A lot. 

Ok, it was on the sand more than it was in the sky.

You could say our aspirations were higher than the kite went.

Moving on…

Thinking back, those holidays mean even more to be now because I can no longer walk and I guess there is an undeniable appreciation that I got to experience it at all. 

That is why I am always reminding people (and myself!) that life is too short you have to make memories whilst you can, because well… memories they stick to you like wet sand. 

Even when the tide goes out. 

And so some of you may have already guessed, but there are a mixture of books with a seaside theme and although you may be thinking what on earth am I doing reading books about a place I can’t go to right now? My answer is this, because reading about it is better then not having it all! 

When I read a book its like being there and I guess that is why I read so much! 

I’m only encouraging you to travel in your mind! So stay safe and well, sending you all a virtual hug in these difficult times. Thankfully I have a plentiful supply of virtual hugs. 

As always fellow booklings thanks for reading!

Your support for my blog means so much!

Now, I am off to put some music on. 

Here are my book reviews:

For those of you who may have noticed, I am no longer an Amazon Associate so their book image links will no longer appear on my site.

Think of it this way, I am helping you to not judge a book by its cover.

Did I convince you?

Don’t worry you still have my drawings to look forward to…lucky you…ok…ok my attempt at drawings. What can I say…I try.

And so onto my book picks and if you choose to read any of the following books I would love for you to share what you think of them too!

The Things You Find in Rockpools by Gregg Dunnett: Fiction/ Psychological Thriller 

‘The Things you find in Rockpools’ is a psychological thriller told mainly from the perspective of eleven year old Billy who lives with his dad on Lornea Island. Billy is a somewhat quirky and very bright kid who embroils himself in a local investigation into the disappearance of a girl and tourist Olivia Curran. 

From the outset this is a cleverly told and well written thriller with a wave of twists that I most definitely did not see coming… and I read a lot! The story kept me hooked and eager to read the next chapter. The setting of Lornea Island is so descriptive it became so vivid and real in my mind.  The writer is an expert at delivering a well rounded character too. Billy is so believable, loveable and funny, his character was a joy to read. This is a highly addictive thriller that has you caught in a whirpool of events. Or should I say rockpool?

This is a stand alone story, but I did not realise when I read it that there is also a followup book – ‘The Lornea Island Detective Club’ needless to say, I’ve downloaded this already. Without a doubt, this author has quickly made his way onto my must read list. 

This book has also made it on to my top book pick for April – see my ‘Pick-nic’ page.

It is that good. Enough said.

All The Colours of Polynesia by Jasna Tuta: Travel Writing 

‘All The Colours of Polynesia’ is Jasna’s personal account of a three year sailing adventure along French Polynesia. Even if you have never read travel writing before I would urge you to read this book. Jasna writes with such an honest ease that you can’t help but become absorbed in the adventure – the words practically glide on the page. I got a real sense of the cultural and personal side to French Polynesia as well as a unique insight into sailing life. There is a lot to enjoy about this book and the beautiful photography makes it all the more appealing. A captivating and inspirational treat for all. Travel writing at its best. 

The Shark That Walks on Land and other strange but true tales of mysterious sea creatures by Michael Bright : Marine Life/Science 

This is an ocean lover’s dream of a book, with a jam packed blend of scientific study with accounts of tales of sea creatures, incredible events and fascinating facts. This book feels like I have unearthed an oceanic treasure. Told in an appealing manner, with the occasional witness account and including sweet hand drawings, this certainly is a fascinating and enjoyable read. I feel this would appeal to adults and children alike. I would have loved to read this as a kid, but again I would advise that you parents read it first to make sure it is suitable, I guarantee you will want read this book! It is also the kind of versatile book where you can dip in and out of chapters, if you so wish. I read it from start to finish because I found it a compelling read, but I can see myself looking back at certain chapters that particularly caught my interest. This should be a book on your bucket (and spade!) list! 

Deeplight by Frances Hardinge: Young Adult Science Fiction/Fantasy 

‘Deeplight’ is a science fiction/fantasy concerning two teenage friends Hark and Jelt who make a living on the island of Lady’s Crave as sea scavengers, searching for and selling artefacts from the Gods. Hark is drawn into a fantastical adventure through a series of events which are somewhat initially instigated by his best friend Jelt. 

For young adults/adults who are fans of the science fiction/fantasy genre this is an interesting and highly unique read. Due to the writing style and some of the events that occur I think this is not for young children, but fits well within the young adult market. Again, parents I suggest you read and judge for yourselves. Although, I do imagine this book may appeal to some adults too.  I must admit science fiction/fantasy has never been one of my favourite genres to read, however, having said that I can appreciate Frances Hardinge’s intelligent writing style and her dedication to creating a fantasy world with such intricacy and imaginative detail the likes of which I have rarely seen. ‘Deeplight’ is certainly a uniquely original book of imaginative depths. 

6 thoughts on “Some salt, a splash of turquoise and a sea breeze

  1. Donna Dunstan says:

    Loved reading this blog, made me want to go to the seaside too! I’ve already added The Things you find in rockpools to my Goodreads To Read list 😃

    1. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did – let me know what you think! (:

      1. Judith says:

        The things you find in Rock Pools is familiar to me as I was born in Blackpool and many days during the school holiday I would be down on the beach. the story brought these memories back to me although I am fully aware the story will be completely different!!
        I look forward to reading it very much.. thanks Shelley for recommending the book x

      2. That’s awesome Judith! Thank you so much and I will be intrigued to know what you think when you read it!!

  2. Sarah McEvily says:

    The ocean is definitely a mind & body refresher to me too! And yes to Donna, the Rockpools book sounds great!

    1. So glad you agree! Thanks Sarah

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: