Seasalt Words: Mel Connell’s Top 5 Reads

From an epic coastal journey to an iconic fishermen's fable, our Brand Manager shares the books she loves best

Reading has always been very important to me. I connect to the world through the words of others and to myself, through writing poetry and prose. At times like these especially I love to escape into another world through the power of stories.

1. The Salt Path, Raynor Winn

The Salt Path, Raynor Winn

This book resonates so strongly with me on many levels. Growing up in Cornwall I recognise most of the places Winn describes. It conjures up fond memories of different chapters of my life; walking the coast path with friends and family, camping in remote Cornish beauty spots and the many strangers I encountered. I also love the human aspect of the novel. Winn explores the notion of the fragility of life as we know it changing in a heart beat through their unfortunate circumstances. It also made me consider homelessness in a completely different light. What a beautiful read and an amazing true story.

Here’s a short excerpt:

There’s a sound to breaking waves when they’re close, a sound like nothing else. The background roar is unmistakable, overlaid by the swash of the landing wave and then the sucking noise of the backwash as it retreats. It was dark, barely a speck of light, but even without seeing it I recognised the strength of the swash and knew it must be close. I tried to be logical. We’d camped well above the high-tide line; the beach shelved away below us and beyond that was the water level: it couldn’t reach us; we were fine. I put my head back on the rolled-up jumper and thought about sleep. No, we weren’t fine, we were far from fine. The swash and suck wasn’t coming from below, it was right outside. Scrambling through the green-black light in the tent, I tore open the flaps. Moonlight cut across the cliff tops leaving the beach in complete darkness, but lit the waves as they broke into a mess of foam, the swash already running over the sand shelf ending only a metre from the tent. I shook the sleeping bag next to me.

‘Moth, Moth, the water, it’s coming.’

My other favourites:

2. The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt

3. The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway

4. Women Who Run with the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes

5. Gods and Kings, Dana Thomas

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