NAMES FOR THE SEA, by Sarah Moss (author of NIGHT-WAKING) is our July NonFiction choice

(51 Posts)

Those of you who read Night-Waking, one of our favourite Bookclub novels of 2012, will remember Sarah Moss' witty and observant take on motherhood, and the impact of trying to bring up two small children on a tiny isolated island. NAMES FOR THE SEA is her very own experience of doing exactly that - in 2009, Moss accepted a job at the University of Iceland, and moved her family to Reykjavik. Her arrival co-incided with the economic collapse, the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull and the onset of Arctic winter, where even the sea is silent and instead of waves there are 'grey slabs, piled up against each other like fallen gravestones'. As the weeks turn into months, Moss and her family explore boiling mud geysers and remote farms, struggle to learn ancient customs and modern Icelandic driving skills, and hunt for any type of fresh vegetable that isn't a potato. Packed with fascinating anthropological detail and comparisons between cultures, this is an extremely intelligent, honest and funny account of one English family's adventures in the Arctic Circle.

Sarah's website has an excellent page about Names for The Sea plus her recent blog posts and information on all her other books.

Granta have 50 copies to give to Mumsnetters - to claim yours please go to the book of the month page. We'll post on the thread when all the copies have gone. If you're not lucky enough to bag one of the free books, you can always get your paperback or Kindle version here.

If you get a free copy, we do expect you to come and and tell us what you think. So please feel free to discuss the book here throughout the month and look forward to hearing your thoughts...

fuckwittery Mon 08-Jul-13 21:10:11

applied! Loved Night waking

PestoSwimissimos Tue 09-Jul-13 08:54:12

I've applied too, sounds right up my street smile

<<crosses fingers>>

Lomaamina Fri 19-Jul-13 11:24:15

I just wanted to say thanks! for the email saying I have a copy en route. I loved Sarah Moss' previous book.

I'll be back with the review in due course.

RoooneyMara Fri 19-Jul-13 11:29:09

Where is the book of the month page?

pocketandsweet Fri 19-Jul-13 13:12:59

Looking forward to receiving mine... Especially as we are immigrating in a couple weeks ( not Iceland) but it should be timely

PeterParkerSays Sat 20-Jul-13 16:31:34

My copy arrived today. So chuffed - I never get books on mumsnet smile

It'll be going on holiday with me in mid-August, so I won't be feeding back until after that. Looking forward to it though!

Lomaamina Sat 20-Jul-13 17:11:55

My copy arrived today too! Thanks to Granta and Mumsnet. I'll be back with my review.

PestoSwimissimos Sat 20-Jul-13 22:34:11

Mine arrived today too, tahnk you!

fuckwittery Sun 21-Jul-13 06:17:41

I'm so excited to have got an email -thank you! I'm on hols for another week and cant wait to get home to read it!

gazzalw Mon 22-Jul-13 18:24:10

Hi,already started reading this. Even knowing it's about Iceland is cooling me down in this unbearable lovely hot weather grin! Hooked by the first pages description of the Northern Lights.....

Fully anticipating an engaging and enlightening read although not sure about her criticism of JRR Tolkien hmm....

Thank you for my copy, MNHQ flowers

LadyMilfordHaven Mon 22-Jul-13 18:25:47

i just finished it today at the beach.

I liked it up until the elves chapters then it got dull. it needed to finish before it did.
missed pictures as someone else said on amazon reviews.

HOWEVER she writes beautifully is obviously very very clever and brave and kids very tolerant!!
I kept regaling my kids and twitter feed with Iceland facts and they came thick and fast

LadyMilfordHaven Mon 22-Jul-13 18:28:26

pocket - arent you emigrating?

LadyMilfordHaven Mon 22-Jul-13 18:29:04

watch out for the elves bit it goes ON AND ON - you might want to skip

tinypumpkin Mon 22-Jul-13 20:05:33

I am about half the way through and really loving it! The political part bored me (says a lot about my intellectual interests with reading!) I love Sarah Moss' writing style, it is really engaging. I am finding it hard to put down (when permitted to read). Thanks MN smile

LadyMilfordHaven Mon 22-Jul-13 22:07:11

You wait at the end you're thinking. "I loved this, nowenough !"

NoWomanNoCry Tue 23-Jul-13 12:25:52

Thank you for the free copy. Looking forward to reading it and posting a review on here.

NinaMH Tue 23-Jul-13 18:32:26

A quirky insight into a country I've often wanted to visit.

Reading the first 2 chapters, I was filled with envy and the longing to up sticks and do something adventurous too, but as the reality of being a foreigner in Iceland became less idyllic, the jealousy soon faded.

Anecdotes of maniac drivers and cultural differences are mixed in with stories of Icelandic history and folklore. It was nice to see how her young children integrated into their new life, and the author herself seemed to make a lot of friends through her work, but I couldn't help wondering how her husband coped with the experience from his perspective of a stay-at-home dad. Cultural differences there to be explored, surely?

Still, an interesting read about an intriguing country.

tinypumpkin Tue 23-Jul-13 21:49:13

I am so there now LadyMilfordHaven! smile

LadyMilfordHaven Tue 23-Jul-13 21:49:30

you are elved up?

REVLAI Wed 24-Jul-13 14:08:18

The Names For the Sea is a book which gives an outline of the author's first experience of Iceland and about the country itself. I read the first two chapters of the book and I must say that it does make me want to go on an adventure myself.

tinypumpkin Thu 25-Jul-13 20:06:31

Oh yes ladyMilfordHaven. The last part really let the book down for me. The rest I loved though!

violetwellies Thu 25-Jul-13 22:08:49

LadyMilfordHaven you are just wrong, loved this book, bored people with Iceland facts, liked the politics, and wanted her to stay longer so I could read more. One of the best travel books I have read. Have now loaned it to FiL who has served on ships out amongst those glaciers and that weather, and am looking forward to reading it again.

NoWomanNoCry Fri 26-Jul-13 11:05:36

Thank you for the free copy. To be honest I was not sure whether this book would be my cup of tea but I was so wrong. It was really interesting about Icelandic culture and but also funny at the same time. A good read.

traceofinsanity Sat 27-Jul-13 20:39:23

Thanks for the book mnhq and granta. Not managed to start it yet but can't wait to get into it. I visited Iceland myself a few years ago so looking forward to reminders of some lovely memories smile

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