Here at House of Coco wanderlusting is in our blood, but we’re turning our eyes away from Caribbean waters and towards our own shores for a little while. A reading list for curious souls, home-birds and budget travellers alike, these soul-souring stories exploring the connection between nature and the human-psyche against the backdrop of the British countryside, will supply you with a longing to explore every corner and crevice of the island we call home.
The Field Guide to Getting Lost – Rebecca Solnit
Much like being alone, the feeling of loss or being lost in a world which demands anchorage to people, things and places, is synonymous with uncertainty and terror. Rebecca Solnit’s investigation into the pleasures and fears of being lost unpacks the delicate layers of existence and considers loss as a state of mind which spans both the metaphysical and the metaphorical. Drawing connections between real world subjects from mapmaking to long distance running, Solnit weaves memoir with history and philosophical musings of discovery in glittering, dreamlike prose. To always be found and never lost, Solnit argues, is to miss the crux of life. For solo travellers, lonely hearts and wandering souls, read these wistful words and discover ways to indulge and enjoy the act of getting lost.
The Wild Places – Robert Macfarlane
Wild is perhaps not the first word that springs to mind when one thinks of Great Britain, but Robert Macfarlane delves into the forgotten corners of our isle in a series of adventures which bring light to the archipelago’s most rustic landscapes; blending history and memoir The Wild Places sweeps across rugged coastlines to ancient forests in perfect prose. A travelogue for those with a wanderlust and a hankering for home, turn your eyes towards the true wild places left in Britain and Ireland and find a slice of adventure on your own shores.
To the River: A Journey Beneath the Surface – Olivia Liang
A compulsive recollection of the relationship between the land and the water in the dizzy summer heat, Olivia Liang meanders along the River Ouse in Sussex, which claimed the life of Virginia Wolf in 1941. Meandering from the river’s source in the Sussex countryside to open waves, Liang ponders the physical and emotional effect of nature in tune to the River’s rushing currant. The life and literary worlds of Wolf are ever-present in Liang’s mind as she blends memoir, biography and nature writing amongst a steady flow of literary and academic references. To the River is a hypnotic and absorbing read for literature lovers and those yearning for a slice of the English countryside.
Sea Room: An island life – Adam Nicolson
Adam Nicolson’s Sea Room chronicles his father’s purchase of three isolated and uninhabited islands in the Outer Hebrides following an advertisement in a local newspaper. Enthralled by the promise of unspoiled coastlines abundant with bird and marine life, the wild and wonderful isles become the core of Adam’s very existence. After inheriting the islands at 21, Adam recounts his island adventures and the mythical tales of witchcraft and murder which surround it. For those who crave the tranquillity and freedom of island life, this raw and unspoiled existence will leave you longing for a secluded escape.
The Salt Path – Raynor Winn
A story of tragic loss woven with the healing powers of nature, The Salt Path accounts the journey of Raynor and her husband, who following the loss of their home and the onset of terminal illness, decide to walk the 630 miles of the South West Coast Path from Somerset to Dorset. Weighed down by grief for what they have lost and what is still left to lose, they live wildly along the rugged cliffs which line the English coastline and rebuild a new and unique sense of home beyond bricks and mortar. This tantalising read chronicling an impulsive test of strength and endurance will pull your heart strings and leave you wanting for ancient weathered coves and briny sea air.