It’s getting to that time of year where reading challenges for next year start popping up. The Around the Year in 52 Books challenge list has been voted in, and with that I’ll start my new series exploring reading challenge prompts with my recommendations, a look at forthcoming books that fit the bill and a hint at what I will be reading.

ATY # 28 A book related to sea

I love a good watery read, from the unseen dangers lurking beneath the surface to the wealth of fascinating life within them, the sea offers so much reading potential.

The Unknown Depths

You’ll never know what you’ll find if venture into the abyss. Our Wives Under the Sea is a beautifully told tale of one woman who comes back from the depths changed, and her wife trying to cope with it. On the other hand, there might be murderous mermaids like in Into the Drowning Deep or The Salt Grows Heavy. More in the mood for something more classic? Then try The Kraken Wakes, where something new has settled in our oceans.


All Aboard!

In order to sail the seas, you’ll need a vessel. These next three books have very different reasons for being at sea but they all feature time spent onboard a boat. The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi is a swashbuckling tale of piracy and magic in the Indian Ocean. In Migrations, the seas are emptying of life and the last Arctic Terns are followed on a fishing boat. And if magical, sapphic romance is more your thing, then the plot of A Restless Truth unfolds on an Edwardian cruise liner.


Closer to Shore

Where the land meets the sea a different sort of story can be told. The Mountain in the Sea introduces the reader to a different kind of intelligence in the octopuses off the coast of Vietnam. But for a less scientific look at our clever octopus friends, you might enjoy Remarkably Bright Creatures about a woman and her unlikely friendship with a captive Giant Pacific Octopus. We know all too well that shorelines can quickly turn to sea, and A Study in Drowning is set against the backdrop of crumbling cliffs and a damp mansion with the sea encroaching on every page.


Sea in the Title

If seafaring isn’t your thing, the ATY prompts are super flexible and you can simply look for sea in the title or on the cover. You’d be surprised the amount of books referring to seas that don’t spend much time on them. Sea of Tranquility refers to the moon, The Starless Sea is an underground world and Salt to the Sea follows those who hope to find safety on a fated ship.


New Releases to Look Forward To

When I plan my challenge reading, I like to have some new releases to look forward to, and I found seven forthcoming releases that would work for related to sea. There’s retired spies in The Spy Coast, a flooded city off the coast of Africa in Lost Ark Dreaming and Voyage of the Damned promises a fantasy murder mystery at sea. Fathomfolk is set in a partially submerged city bursting with mythical creatures and A Letter to the Luminous Deep is an underwater epistolary novel. Closer to home, Things We Lose in Waves looks at a coastal town falling into the sea, and Seaweed Rising offers up sentient seaweed.


Non-fiction from the Depths of my TBR

I always start the year meaning to read more non-fiction, and ATY’s trio of land, sea and air prompts are the perfect opportunity for some nature writing in my opinion. Here are some of the books that I have languishing on my TBR and wishlists:

Seashaken Houses, How to Speak Whale, The Seabird’s Cry, Spring Tides, Soundings.


I’ll incorporate the Popsugar Reading Challenge into this series when the prompts are announced, but do let me know if there are any other fiendish challenge prompts you would like to see me cover.

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