Book Reviews

The Eternal Season: Ghosts of Summers Past, Present and Future by Stephen Rutt

What Da Cover Says: Summer is traditionally a time of plenty, of warmth, of breeding; a time to celebrate the abundance of nature teeming in our hedgerows, cities, marshlands and woodlands. But in the twenty-first century, ‘summer’ is becoming harder to define. The changing climate is bleeding our traditional distinctions into one another. Last February held days as warm as August. Or was it the other way around?

Against the anxious backdrop of the global pandemic, Stephen Rutt seeks comfort and reassurance from nature in full bloom. But within his evocative exploration of the landscapes and wildlife that characterise the British summer, he also notes the disturbance to the traditional rhythms of the natural world: the wrong birds singing at the wrong time, the disruption to habitats and breeding, the myriad ways climate change is causing a derangement of the seasons.

What I Says: Set against the backdrop of the COVID Pandemic, this book is how one birder handles the lockdown and how he coped without his usual access to nature. Being put into this situation he starts to notice nature in a different way, species that turn up early or not at all, foreign species that usually live in warm climates and the impact the changing seasons are having on all of nature, from the wee tiny bugs to the majestic birds up in the sky.

I’ve read Rutt’s two previous books and his love for birds really shone through, here he takes things once step further and shares with us his love of all nature…even if it is a thing from nightmares (Yes, there is such a thing as a Wasp Spider) Just like with his previous books Rutt takes a subject that in the wrong hands could become dry and dull, by sharing his love for these animals and plants adds a real poetic edge to his words. I read his blog too and don’t think I’ll ever get bored with his writing.

In this book Rutt ends up stuck in Bedfordshire during the first lockdown and spends his time exploring the area fully, something he probably wouldn’t have been able to do without the presence of the lockdown. The next part of the book he is back home and trying to fit back in with his surroundings, realising what he has missed and seeing new things for the first time. Amongst all these experiences is the concern of climate change, researching the species that are losing out, those that are making the most of the situation and those invading species and the damage they do, not least the distraction of their presence makes us not notice those that have vanished.

My favourite part of this book is when Rutt points out that during the lockdown people were saying that nature was starting to heal, Rutt thinks that was not entirely true, it was just that nature has been given a chance to shout loud enough for us to hear. Brilliant thought. This book really makes you realise you need to get out there and witness these creatures and events in nature before it’s too late…alas I’m just no good at spotting these things, it’s just too slow a process for me to remember the identity of what I have seen, I need to find some kind of course I can go on to help me learn, I wish this was the sort of thing I was taught at school, would have been so much more fun than drama. This is a powerful book that will inspire you to get out there and look in hedgerows and wild plants to see what you can find, before finishing this review I popped out with the dog to see what I could find, I saw lots of weird little bugs and the only one that stayed still long enough for me to photograph was these:

Dock Bug
DD

Thanks to Elliot & Thompson for the review copy of this book, you can avoid A****n by getting a copy from Waterstones.

Book Reviews

Trimming England by M.J. Nicholls

What Da Cover Says: M.J. Nicholls’ path-breaking new book is a stark and uncompromising account of the bizarre and regrettable period when the British government set about trimming England. In 2021, British Prime Minister Frank Oakface elected to rid each English county of its most irritating citizen, deporting them for a period of incarceration in Jersey’s one-star Hotel Diabolique. From a ticket inspector whose sudden lust for zydeco music ruins his marriage, to a blogger who hangs around supermarkets seeking sympathy by the bananas, to a teacher who lobotomises an entire classroom to improve her son’s life chances, Nicholls’ fearless reportage brings together the riveting stories of these hapless discards into an ebullient and swashbuckling satire of our contemporary predicament.

What I Says: M. J. Nicholls is a Jazz-Man Word-Smith or a Word-Smith Jazz-Man or a Jazz-Word Smith-Man…one of those at least, he has a unique way with words, he’ll use words that surely do not exist so you google them and yes “Bummershoot” is a word (even though Microsoft refuse to admit that and have done a red squiggle) and it is a word I shall be using whenever I can. He’ll reuse/rephrase words in a sentence and it gives the paragraphs (some rather long) a certain beat and that’s where the Jazz feeling comes in, you find yourself getting lost in the flow and really enjoying what he has conjured up.

I like the idea of the plot, find a crappy hotel and then take the worst person in each county and send them to that hotel for an amount of time determined by just how bad their crimes are. I have to admit that I was rather interested in who got sent from my county, the crime revolved around the pressure of getting that perfect opening sentence. A reoccurring theme of the crimes was to do with writers, the chaos they create, the stress they cause, the abuse they direct at publishers and of course that opening sentence issue…I thought I’d go back to the beginning and check out Nicholls opening sentence, was it a good’un or will he being doing time? It features underpants and all bran so gets a thumbs up for me.

The best in the book was about M. D. Thomas, an 82 year old from Warwickshire, a brilliant rant written on the side of a museum, I found myself agreeing with his words and was rather disappointed he was found guilty.

Another clever, absurd book by Nicholls, it’s not going to be for everybody but if you’re ok with letting go of reality for a bit then you’re going to get quite a few laughs from this…and if you don’t like words, don’t worry there are a lot of great illustrations here too, a bit like YouTube but on pause.

Thanks to Sagging Meniscus for the copy of this book. If you want a copy then here is the link to get it from Bookshop.org.

Book Reviews

The Heeding by Rob Cowen, Nick Hayes (Illustrator)

What Da Cover Says: From two bestselling and award-winning writers on landscape comes a luminously illustrated meditation on our relationship with the natural world and each other through four unprecedented seasons & a global pandemic.

Rob Cowen is an award-winning writer, hailed as one of the UK’s most original voices on nature and place. His book, Common Ground (2015) was shortlisted for the Portico, Richard Jefferies Society and Wainwright Prizes and voted one of the nation’s favourite nature books on BBC Winterwatch. His poems have featured on Caught By The River and in Letters to the Earth (Harper Collins). He lives in North Yorkshire.  

Nick Hayes is a writer, illustrator and print-maker. He is the author of the Sunday Times bestseller, The Book of Trespass (2020).  He has exhibited across the country, including at the Hayward Gallery. He lives on the Kennet and Avon canal.  Watch him creating imagery for The Heeding HERE.

What I Says: There is one thing I hadn’t fully grasped about living through this pandemic until I read this book, which is that everybody has shared the same experience….in years to come I can bore the grandkids with stories of “during the pandemic….” Cowen captures those moments of lockdown coming into force, the staring at the same four walls day in day out, home-schooling and nature stepping up and taking back the world for a bit.

Cowen and Hayes have created something special here, Cowen’s words share experiences with those that have managed to go unscathed during the pandemic and mixed with Hayes’ illustrations it is heart wrenching. When reading “Last Breaths” I had to put the book down and walk away for a bit, I was overwhelmed, too much to handle, my Grandad passed away during the lockdown and was only allowed one visitor (in full PPE) at the end, Last Breaths captures what he and many others went through in their last moments…it also highlights how much the NHS staff did for those people. That poem is a thing of devastating beauty.

It’s not all like that though, there are lighter moments, the joy of home-schooling ending 🙂 and seeing so much nature up close in the garden. Another one I really liked was the feeling you get when you see a hawk hunting alongside the motorway it doesn’t matter how old you are it will always amaze you. “The Problem With Us” covers fake news, internet lies about the dangers of vaccinations, Cowen has utter contempt for those who spread this nonsense without providing any evidence, I gave him a wee clap after reading this one for reading my mind…a side effect of the vaccine?

Hayes’ illustrations fit in perfectly with the poems, with a few of them you get caught up in the moment, turn the page and you are hit with an explosion of art, spread across both pages is nature in it’s full glory. There is some clever use of a hawk as a symbol of the virus, one of the first illustrations shows how deadly it is, taking it’s first victim and one of the last illustrations shows our defiance and escaping from it’s grasp. The last illustration in the book was my favourite, an angry little blue tit that would make a pretty awesome tattoo.

I wish I could include a few lines to tempt you into getting yourself a copy but you really need to get it yourself to experience this book, I would love to hear one day in the future that this book is being taught at school as it really is at that level. One of the hardest books I’ve ever read and one thought kept coming to me, “I wish events hadn’t happened to inspire this book”. This has to be one of the most brilliant books to come out during the chaos of the last couple of years, a record of the sacrifices people made that should not be forgotten, this truly is one of those rare books that I’ll be reading again and again. It left me feeling immensely happy, I was left with a real spring in my step ready to face anything the world cares to throw at me.

Thanks to Elliot & Thompson for the advanced copy of this book for me to review.

Book Reviews

The Easternmost Sky: Adapting to Change in the 21st Century By Juliet Blaxland

What da Cover Says: The Easternmost Sky is part memoir, part elegy and part warning. It was written on the Suffolk coast, in a place known for its farmland, nature reserves and the fastest coastal erosion in Europe. By exploring how climate change and social change are already affecting this agriculturally important part of the world, it is possible to imagine a very different landscape, to glimpse the future and to understand how these changes will affect us all.

What I says: This is one of those books that sneaks up on you and sinks it’s teeth in, before you know it you are hooked and planning a way of selling your house and moving into the countryside to become more attuned to nature…but then you remember you got kids and the countryside doesn’t have WiFi and your life will become hell if you move, imagine life without YouTube! This book starts soon after Blaxland gets the letter saying they have to move as their house is being dismantled, the sea is getting closer and closer to Easternmost house and when it is 9metres away, that is when they have to look for a new home. Not wanting to move too far away, in their new house they will still have concerns of the sea reaching them again, the questions are how long have they got and what can they do to delay the inevitable?

The English coastline is shrinking and the rate of lost land each year is mind boggling, Blaxland give you the figures but living in a town I can’t get my head around the numbers….to me it sounds like the UK only has a few years left, I know that’s not true but that’s the feeling I got from the book. What can be done? Nothing much at the moment, one idea is Mangroves but that will spoil the view, other sea defences just ain’t up to the job. The book then moves on to our connection with the country/land and Blaxland shares moments in her life with us, she has had such a close connection with the land and that gives her very strong opinions on subjects that are certain to gain her a few 1star reviews, what you got to remember is she has a vast amount of knowledge in these areas and has done a lot of research and whilst her opinions do come across strongly she does a good job of showing both sides of an argument. I have learnt a huge amount about hunting and how it has changed big time over the last couple of decades, I understand that great numbers of birds are no longer shot and that a fox doesn’t get hunted down and ripped apart but it is still something for the rich to do, there is no way that the homeless are going to get invited onto a shoot and to then take part in a feast, until it becomes more open it isn’t going to be accepted by the masses.

I found her thoughts on vegetarianism interesting, I’ve always thought the being a vegan isn’t very practical due to global footprint and finding food that uses sustainable palm oil, you got to believe what they write on the packaging….bit like when you purchase meat where they “say” the animal has been treated well, the advantage of buying local is you see the little piggy running around having fun before it becomes sausages….of course then it is pretty harrowing to then actually each those sausages.

Blaxland has produced a really good book here full of riveting writing, her love for each subject shows vividly on the pages and she gives you a lot of food for thought, the list of books I need to read after finishing this one almost feels like homework but she has inspired me to look into the world of Rewilding, it sounds like a fascinating topic. Brilliant book by a brilliant writer.

Thanks to Sandstone Press for the copy of this book, if you want to avoid A****n then you can get a copy of the book HERE: (Out 24th June)

Book Reviews

After the Quake by Haruki Murakami

What da Cover Says: Haruki Murakami, a writer both mystical and hip, is the West’s favourite Japanese novelist. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Murakami lived abroad until 1995. That year, two disasters struck Japan: the lethal earthquake in Kobe and the deadly poison gas attacks in the Tokyo subway. Spurred by these tragic events, Murakami returned home. The stories in After the Quake are set in the months that fell between the earthquake and the subway attack, presenting a world marked by despair, hope, and a kind of human instinct for transformation. A teenage girl and a middle-aged man share a hobby of making beach bonfires; a businesswoman travels to Thailand and, quietly, confronts her own death; three friends act out a modern-day Tokyo version of Jules and Jim. There’s a surreal element running through the collection in the form of unlikely frogs turning up in unlikely places. News of the earthquake hums throughout. The book opens with the dull buzz of disaster-watching: “Five straight days she spent in front of the television, staring at the crumbled banks and hospitals, whole blocks of stores in flames, severed rail lines and expressways.” With language that’s never self-consciously lyrical or show-offy, Murakami constructs stories as tight and beautiful as poems. There’s no turning back for his people; there’s only before and after the quake.

What I Says: I am a big fan of Murakami, he can take you on a magical journey into a reality which could go in any direction and you are guaranteed to be left with many questions that you are able to answer with your own ideas after the story has finished…that is how it works with his full length novels. Short stories don’t work as well, the 6 stories in this collection are fantastic but they are not long enough, the characters don’t get a chance to develop and you just start to get intrigued when the story ends.

My favourite story was about the bloke who built bonfires on the beach, he really shows the art of building a good fire, but all that happens at the end is you are left wanting more…I was even left wanting more of the kids story within the last story in the book. I’m not sure what the underlying theme is here, it could be men’s inability to show love or it could be about how a bear goes about selling honey, whatever it is about I wish there was more…I might have mentioned that already.

If you are starting out on Murakami’s writing don’t start here.

Book Reviews

OOF: An Online Outrage Fiesta for the Ages By Strobe Witherspoon

What Da Cover Says: Award-winning novelist and cultural critic Strobe Witherspoon interrogates his own profession.

Strobe Witherspoon just sold his latest satirical novel for a lot of money. The book in question, FLOTUS: A Memoir, is a fictitious autobiography about a former first lady of the United States reflecting on years of misery at the hands of her much older POTUS husband. When a chapter is leaked in advance of the book’s publication, an Online Outrage Fiesta (OOF) ensues via mainstream news outlets, blogs, Twitter, troll farms, and everything in between. Witherspoon has his life placed under a microscope. It doesn’t go well.

What I Says: Oh My! Oh My! What a book! This was completely unexpected, the cover throws you off big time, it looks like journal that would make for rather dry reading, what you actually get is a scarily accurate portrayal of just how the Internet has broken humanity’s grasp on reality. The Strobe Witherspoon in the book has written a novel, a parody of sorts about a former first lady of the USA, no names are given in the book but it is obvious who this first lady is and the ensuing chaos and outrage from “that President’s” loyal supporters makes the basis for this book (OOF not the one about the first lady). Using some innovative writing techniques we get an outrageous story that couldn’t possibly happen…but if you sit back and think about the state of social media and it’s cancel culture of guilty without needing evidence, this book becomes a warning, humanity is on a precipice if we don’t stop with being so dumb ALL the time then we’re gonna tip over the edge and armageddon will be our reward.

Strobe uses tweets, podcasts, blogs, interviews and emails to tell the story, you’d think this wouldn’t work but we are trained to read a story from tweets, blogs are structured in a way that flow nicely and are comfortable for readers and podcasts…are just fun, great when they get out of hand. One weird thing about this book is you have a lot of characters but you only really know 4 of them, the rest are just like in real life, a faceless entity behind a computer screen, Strobe has handled these well and you can get a sense of who they are in how they write. The book has many many many good lines, think of those eye catching headlines and the tweets that make you reply with an LOL. My favourite has to be:

“Hysterical is now the new normal”

I certainly get that feeling when I check out the threads when something is trending…that is a quote that deserves to make it onto a T-shirt.

I have really enjoyed this book, it is very clever and leaves the reader unsure of what is real and what is fake news. One sign of just how good this was is by the time I was halfway through I was already recommending this to everybody.

Thanks to the author for sending me the copy of this book to review. It is a fab book and you’ll be missing out by not reading it so go grab a copy from HERE:

Book Reviews

Walking Pepys’s London by Jacky Colliss Harvey

What Da Cover Says: Brings to life the world of Samuel Pepys with five walks through London.

Samuel Pepys, the seventeenth century’s best-known diarist, walked around London for miles, chronicling these walks in his diary. He made the two-and-a-half-mile trek to Whitehall from his house near the Tower of London on an almost daily basis. These streets, where many of his professional conversations took place while walking, became for him an alternative to his office.

With Walking Pepys’s London, we come to know life in London from the pavement up and see its streets from the perspective of this renowned diarist. The city was a key character in Pepys’s life, and this book draws parallels between his experience of seventeenth-century London and the lives of Londoners today. Bringing together geography, biography, and history, Jacky Colliss Harvey reconstructs the sensory and emotional experience of Pepys’s time. Full of fascinating details, Walking Pepys’s London is a sensitive exploration into the places that made the greatest English diarist of all time.

What I Says: I love this wee book, it is slimmer and taller than a normal book, clothbound and perfectly fits in your pocket when imbibing the odd pint at one of the many old pubs mentioned in these pages. The maps are wonderful, nice full page spreads with the routes clearly marked out and if you don’t get on with paper maps or you don’t want to have to keep flicking through pages there is a QR code at the back where you can download digital copies of the routes…a genius idea that even Pepys would be impressed by.

As for the written part, I really enjoyed what I read, I know very little about Pepys other than he kept a diary like Adrian Mole did. I’ve learnt so much from this book, Pepys was quite a character, his long suffering wife had a lot to put up with, arguments, other women, being abandoned and violence. He was a real man about town, he knew everybody who was worth knowing. The 5 walks in the book follow him on common routes he would take throughout his life and Harvey is always getting you to use your imagination to picture the buildings, the bustling daily activities, the smells and of course the fire! The great fire of London is a big part of the narrative, Pepys account of the scenes and the devastation makes for some interesting reading.

It is difficult to share the areas of Pepys’s time with the reader as a huge amount of the buildings were destroyed by fire or the Blitz or gotten rid of to make way for a modern concrete boring building. Harvey’s writing is impressive and the descriptions help you to picture what was there, modern day events are also shared (buildings used in movies and a certain alleyway in that Potter movie) and there are still an incredible amount of smaller buildings still standing, old pubs and shops going back 100s of years, I hadn’t realised what was still around.

I have enjoyed this book immensely and will one day take a trip to London and do some of these walks…and some of the pubs!

Thanks to Haus Publishing for the copy of the book, if you wanna get yourself a copy then you can avoid A****n by getting it from HERE:

Book Reviews

Parade by Michael Graves

What Da Cover Says: Reggie Lauderdale suffers from a crisis of faith. His cousin, Elmer Mott, dreams of becoming their hometown mayor. Both boys are stuck in suburbia trying to be adults … but they aren’t sure how to be themselves yet. When a twist of fate sends them fleeing in a stolen limousine, the cousins escape to Florida where they meet a retired televangelist, who inspires them on a path of glitzy sermons and late-night parties. But are the celebrations sincere or deceptive? And who is keeping tabs? Who is watching? Parade is a tour-de-force, comic tale of faith and friendship.

What I Says: This book was fun, with a crazy free flowing plot and a fantastic bunch of characters. Elmer and Reggie are leading dull and stagnant lives, they haven’t really grown up, it takes a moment of tragedy for each of them to wake up and go on an adventure and it is at that point the book comes alive, before that it felt like a sleeping giant waiting for it’s moment to erupt onto the pages. I really liked how the plot flowed, Graves would throw a character into the mix and sit back and watch how the story would evolve, once it had settled he would chuck in somebody else, you’d think this would get confusing but each character is so distinctive that you don’t lose track of who’s who. It is then that the book tricks the reader, you begin to think everything is one big party but bit by bit the book’s heart starts to show (I’d explain more but that would spoil things, just read and experience the revelation). The ending works well and leaves you wandering….could there be more adventures on the way?

One of my favourite things about the book is on one of the first pages, a playlist! I’ve seen that books have mentioned there is a playlist but I’ve not seen one include the list at the front of the book, in my opinion this is a brilliant addition. Graves has gone one step further and created an actual list on SPOTIFY that you can listen too as you read the book.

It’s tricky to describe just what the book is like or who it reminded me of, the best I can do is the writing reminds me of Hubert Selby Jr, Graves has that same ability of taking a misfit that you should be disgusted by and makes you care for them and hope that they come good at the end. As for what the book is like? The best I can come up with is it is like a party popper, the slow pull of the string, an explosion and utter chaos followed by contentment once it’s all over….so if you like party poppers then get yourself a copy of this book.

Massive thanks to Storgy for copy of this book. If you want a copy then avoid A****n get a copy from Storgy HERE:

Book Reviews

Finding True North by Linda Gask

What da Cover says: Beneath the wide skies of Orkney Linda Gask recalls both her career as a consultant psychiatrist and her lifelong struggle with her own mental health. After the favelas of Brazil, the glittering cities of the Middle East, and the forests of Haida Gwai, will she find perspective, spiritual relief, and healing in the quietude of her new home? Her troubled past is never far away.

What I says: What a remarkable book this is, Gask shares with us a side of mental health that the average joe wouldn’t ever consider, the mental health of a psychiatrist. Gask has had a full career helping those many people who have needed somebody to be there, to listen and to see them and if her writing is anything to go by she must have been a great listener with a soothing voice. The book comes across as very honest, by listening to her patients she has learnt ways to come to terms with her own past trauma and depression and she shares with the reader the highs and lows of her route to where she is at this moment in her life.

I am one of those lucky people, I don’t suffer from any mental health issues and I feel very lucky to be where I am in life, a good life at home and somewhere at work to get away from the stresses of work, (a common with plenty of wildlife to help me unwind) without these stable parts of my life it is scary to think what I’d be like. I think I found “The True North” that Gask is hinting at in this book early on in my life. I do know of people who suffer from anxiety and depression and this book has really opened my eyes about what they are going through, I must admit that I have thought at times that it must be easier to deal with and that it would go away soon…this book has taught me I’ve gotta be way more patient and shown me ways I can be more helpful.

I think Gask has been very brave in writing this book as it is a harsh world out there full of people with a mean streak and zero cares for anybody but themselves, I think she has written a well balanced book, she hasn’t attacked anybody or any system, she points out faults and comes up with ways to improve things and she has raised awareness of things that are working. I’m not sure this is a book for those who suffer as they won’t get any help here, apart from realising they aren’t alone, this is a book for those who know of people who suffer from mental health problems, it is a way they can find ways they can help. Also don’t read this book if you are trying to avoid falling in love with The Orkneys, it is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go….one day I shall make it there.

Thanks to Sandstone Press for the copy of this book to review.

Cover Reveals

Book Cover Reveal: Out Front the Following Sea by Leah Angstman

Well this is super exciting, my first ever cover reveal, seeing as I have never done one of these before I’ve no idea how to lay this out so I am just gonna wing it…leave the complaints in the comments as per usual. When I am looking for a new book to read (I mean add to the huge tbr pile) the cover is the most important thing, if the cover draws me in then I’m gonna give it a go, if the it is uninspired I’m gonna skip it, this process has never let me down…so no pressure on Leah Angstman for being my first in the cover revealing business.

So with no more delays here is the cover for…..

OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA: A Novel of King William’s War in 17th-Century New England BY LEAH ANGSTMAN

Sooooooo……I’m impressed, nice choice of colours and I really like the bold edges to the illustrations and there is enough happening on the front to draw me in, pick up the book and look closer. The title is intriguing and the seemingly abandoned lady on the cliff edge leaves you wondering what it is all about. The question is “is it good enough to earn a spot on my bookshelf?” HELL YEAH IT IS!!!!

What’s the book about?

OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA is a historical epic of one woman’s survival in a time when the wilderness is still wild, heresy is publicly punishable, and being independent is worse than scorned—it is a death sentence.

At the onset of King William’s War between French and English settlers in 1689 New England, Ruth Miner is accused of witchcraft for the murder of her parents and must flee the brutality of her town. She stows away on the ship of the only other person who knows her innocence: an audacious sailor—Owen—bound to her by years of attraction, friendship, and shared secrets. But when Owen’s French ancestry finds him at odds with a violent English commander, the turmoil becomes life-or-death for the sailor, the headstrong Ruth, and the cast of Quakers, Pequot Indians, soldiers, highwaymen, and townsfolk dragged into the fray. Now Ruth must choose between sending Owen to the gallows or keeping her own neck from the noose. Steeped in historical events and culminating in a little-known war on pre-American soil, OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA is a story of early feminism, misogyny, arbitrary rulings, persecution, and the treatment of outcasts, with parallels still mirrored and echoed in today’s society. The debut novel will appeal to readers of Paulette Jiles, Alexander Chee, Hilary Mantel, James Clavell, Bernard Cornwell, TaraShea Nesbit, Geraldine Brooks, Stephanie Dray, Patrick O’Brian, and E. L. Doctorow.

Publication Date: January 11, 2022

Regal House Publishing

Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audiobook; 334 pages

Genre: Historical / Literary / Epic

**Shortlisted for the Chaucer Book Award**

Who is the author then?

Leah Angstman is a historian and transplanted Michigander living in Boulder. OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA, her debut novel of King William’s War in 17th-century New England, is forthcoming from Regal House in January 2022. Her writing has been a finalist for the Saluda River Prize, Cowles Book Prize, Able Muse Book Award, Bevel Summers Fiction Prize, and Chaucer Book Award, and has appeared in Publishers Weekly, L.A. Review of Books, Nashville Review, Slice, and elsewhere. She serves as editor-in-chief for Alternating Current and The Coil magazine and copyeditor for Underscore News, which has included editing partnerships with ProPublica. She is an appointed vice chair of a Colorado historical commission and liaison to a Colorado historic preservation committee.

Links for stalkers!

WEBSITE

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

GOODREADS

INSTAGRAM

MEDIUM

ELLO

MAILING LIST

Here’s the cover again 🙂

Praise

“With OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA, Leah Angstman reveals herself as a brave new voice in historical fiction. With staggering authenticity, Angstman gives us a story of America before it was America—an era rife with witch hunts and colonial intrigue and New World battles all but forgotten in our history books and popular culture. This is historical fiction that speaks to the present, recalling the bold spirits and cultural upheavals of a nation yet to be born.”

—Taylor Brown, author of PRIDE OF EDEN, GODS OF HOWL MOUNTAIN, and THE RIVER OF KINGS

“OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA is a fascinating book, the kind of historical novel that evokes its time and place so vividly that the effect is just shy of hallucinogenic. I enjoyed it immensely.”

—Scott Phillips, author of THE ICE HARVEST, THE WALKAWAY, COTTONWOOD, and HOP ALLEY

So you want a copy of the book?

AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER

Print copy from REGAL HOUSE or amazon kindle

You can also request an ARC from TNBBC PUBLICITY

That’s it, my first cover reveal done. I’ll update it soon once I’ve read and reviewed the book.

Cheers