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sledracr

Summer reading ideas

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Heading up for a couple of weeks of COVID-isolation.... uh, I mean, quiet cruising in the San Juans... and thinking about what to put on the reading stack.

Among the possibilities
-- re-starting the Aubrey-Maturin series (I got about 10 books into it, years ago, and bogged down)
-- re-reading the Alexander Kent "Bolitho" series (haven't read it in years)
-- re-reading the Forester "Hornblower" series (I think I read the whole series in high school, that was a long time ago)
-- starting the "Swallows and Amazons" series (have never read it, but heard good things)
-- maybe some of the Cornwell novels ("Wildtrack", "Stormchild", etc)
-- or, maybe just revisiting some old favorites (Chichester, Richard Henry Dana, maybe Rob Mundle's Cook biography, maybe ... dunno).

Not looking for anything super deep that requires a lot of concentration.  Mostly looking for well-written maritime-ish story-telling to enjoy while supervising a sunset.

Any suggestions?

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Do the Hornblower ones in sequence. The texts are all on a web link https://archive.org/details/HoratioHornblowerCompleteNovelsCSForesterPdf/mode/1up so you don't have to over-pack your bag.

Joshua Slocum, of course.

And a fascinating book I'm reading, "Thomas Harriot."  An extraordinary but little-known scientist, navigator and polymath of the mid-1500s, pre-dating Galileo etc...

And "The Last Grain Race" by Eric Newby is a vital read.  Around the world in a 4-masted Finnish barque in the late 30s.  Excellent photos too.

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6 minutes ago, P_Wop said:

Do the Hornblower ones in sequence.

Ah, now there's a dilemma.

Publication sequence, or chronological?

  1. 1950 Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
  2. 1941 "The Hand of Destiny"
  3. 1950 "Hornblower and the Widow McCool" ("Hornblower’s Temptation" ""Hornblower and the Big Decision").
  4. 1952 Lieutenant Hornblower.
  5. 1962 Hornblower and the Hotspur.
  6. 1967 Hornblower and the Crisis, Published in the US as Hornblower During the Crisis (posthumous)
  7. 1953 Hornblower and the Atropos. .
  8. 1937 The Happy Return. Published in the US as Beat to Quarters
  9. 1938 A Ship of the Line.
  10. 1941 "Hornblower's Charitable Offering".
  11. 1938 Flying Colours. .
  12. 1941 "Hornblower and His Majesty".
  13. 1945 The Commodore. Published in the US as Commodore Hornblower
  14. 1946 Lord Hornblower.
  15. 1958 Hornblower in the West Indies. Published in the US as Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies
  16. 1967 "The Last Encounter".  (posthumous)

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2 hours ago, sledracr said:

Ah, now there's a dilemma.

Publication sequence, or chronological?

  1. 1950 Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
  2. 1941 "The Hand of Destiny"
  3. 1950 "Hornblower and the Widow McCool" ("Hornblower’s Temptation" ""Hornblower and the Big Decision").
  4. 1952 Lieutenant Hornblower.
  5. 1962 Hornblower and the Hotspur.
  6. 1967 Hornblower and the Crisis, Published in the US as Hornblower During the Crisis (posthumous)
  7. 1953 Hornblower and the Atropos. .
  8. 1937 The Happy Return. Published in the US as Beat to Quarters
  9. 1938 A Ship of the Line.
  10. 1941 "Hornblower's Charitable Offering".
  11. 1938 Flying Colours. .
  12. 1941 "Hornblower and His Majesty".
  13. 1945 The Commodore. Published in the US as Commodore Hornblower
  14. 1946 Lord Hornblower.
  15. 1958 Hornblower in the West Indies. Published in the US as Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies
  16. 1967 "The Last Encounter".  (posthumous)

The link has them in Hornblower chrono sequence, starting with Mr Midshipman H.  Quite satisfactory. 

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“Philosophy of sailing”- Christian Williams

”Alone together”- Christian Williams

Easy but melodically and well written books. 

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"Fastnet, Force 10"

"The North Water"

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"The Coast of Summer" by Anthony Bailey.
(He has a few other books you'd probably like too -- "The $1000 Dollar Yacht" being the one that comes to mind immediately.)

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5 hours ago, FixinGit said:

“Philosophy of sailing”- Christian Williams

”Alone together”- Christian Williams

Love these books!  (and the author is a great guy)

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3 hours ago, bloodshot said:

"Fastnet, Force 10"

Good idea, recently re-read Roger Vaughn's (short) tale of that race

 

3 hours ago, Mr Moab said:

If you can find it, "The Grand Gesture" 

Another good one!  Recently read "Born to Win", have "Grand Gesture" on the shelf.

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Defending the America's Cup by Robert W. Carrick.  A series of interviews with the 1967 Intrepid crew.  Great insight on how they built a super boat and a super team.  Equal parts history and "how to."  Mosbacher never wrote a memoir, so I find the interviews with him of particular interest.

 

Blue Latitudes by Tony Horowitz.  Retraces parts of Cook's voyages and looks at the legacy he, in part, left.  Funny and poignant.  Especially enjoyable if you have traveled to some of the same places.

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those-who-lust.jpg?w=584

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Given the state of the county it might be interesting to re-read Bruce Catton's Civil War History 

  1. Mr. Lincoln's Army (Army of the Potomac Trilogy Book 1)
  2. Glory Road (Army of the Potomac Trilogy Book 2)
  3. A Stillness at Appomattox: (Army of the Potomac Trilogy Book 3)

Or, you can read the history of the politics. 

  1. Coming Fury, Volume 1 (Centennial History of the Civil War)

  2. Terrible Swift Sword (Centennial History of the Civil War Book 2) 

  3. Never Call Retreat (Centennial History of the Civil War Book 3)

Whichever one you read, these books are well written and researched and certainly will change your views of the Civil War.  

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Read Nathaniel Philbrick.  Right now, I recommend "In the Hurricane's Eye"  The story of George Washington, as seen from the water during the revolution.  Get away from the chaos of the "protests" and see what George was all about.

Also, others by Philbrick are great.  I've also read, and recommend, "In the heart of the sea" the non fictional account of the whale ship Essex, as in Moby Dick. and finally Sea of Glory.  An expedition account from the mid 1800's.  All great reads.

 

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Since you are alone (I assume since you say "isolating" on a boat The Long Way should be on this list. 

I also recently read Ellen McArthur's Taking on the World which I enjoyed (as well as The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst, which probably should not be read while isolating on a boat)

There are a ton of books I did not read yet such as Slocums book. 

 

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Both Dick Carter's and Ron Holland's latest books are good.

Fatal Storm, if you want another "Fastnet Force 10" type of thing.

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If you like history, Hornblower and the Aubrey/Maturin series, you might enjoy The Nagle Journal. https://www.amazon.com/Nagle-Journal-Diary-Jacob-Sailor/dp/1555842232 It is the journal/memoir of a Revolutionary War soldier who, after the battle of Brandywine, decides to crew on a privateer out of Philadelphia.  They capture some good prizes but get caught by the British, so he ends up in a Caribbean prison. The French attack so he gets out.  When the British counter attack he gets to choose between going back to prison or serving in His Majesty's navy.  Some forty years later, after trips all over the world, (he was coxswain in the gig that determined where Sydney, Australia was built, for example)  he ends up back in Ohio with relatives and obtains a pension from Congress for his service in the War. Quite a story, and it's true.   

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Great thread, i’m taking notes of the recommendations myself.

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On 7/2/2020 at 6:11 AM, jasonsansfleece said:

N by E  Rockwell Kent

Written in 1930, New York to Greenland, get an illustrated copy if you can.

Absolutely. Also his Voyaging Southward from the Straits of Magellan, reissued recently in paperback by Wesleyan University Press IIRC. It's in the next room over and I'm too softhearted to wake up the dog sleeping at my side to go check. And Kent's illustrations for Moby-Dick are pretty much perfect as well.

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Sapiens...A Brief History of Humankind.  

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Pat Conroy

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On 7/2/2020 at 3:01 PM, Former MDR Vandal 1 said:

Defending the America's Cup by Robert W. Carrick.  A series of interviews with the 1967 Intrepid crew.  Great insight on how they built a super boat and a super team.  Equal parts history and "how to."  Mosbacher never wrote a memoir, so I find the interviews with him of particular interest.

 

Blue Latitudes by Tony Horowitz.  Retraces parts of Cook's voyages and looks at the legacy he, in part, left.  Funny and poignant.  Especially enjoyable if you have traveled to some of the same places.

I'm half way through Blue Latitudes and while enjoying it, his descriptions of these fabled south Pacific islands today is depressing.

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Jack London's Sea Wolf - still trying to figure out if I like it. 

But Jack showed in the book that he knew sailing. 

Don't know if it is open yet, but Jack London State Park, near Glen Ellen, CA 

is a must visit place - some great walking paths too. 

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South.  Shackleton's own account of the Imperial Trans Antarctic Expedition 

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The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow    A.J. Mackinnon  Story of a guy who sails a mirror dinghy from northern England to the Black Sea via the rivers and canals. A great laugh and a ripping yarn.

Love with a Chance of Drowning Torre DeRoche  Story of a girl dragged across the Pacific in a POS yacht by obsessed but completely inexperienced and incompetent BF

 

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For Light reading go no further: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Llewellyn

https://www.amazon.com/Sam-Llewellyn/e/B000AP7TG8%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

He has a Hornblower type series but a lot of "racing" novels:

  • Dead Reckoning, 1987
  • Blood Orange, 1988
  • Death Roll, 1989
  • Dead Eye, 1990
  • Bloodknot, 1991
  • Riptide, 1992
  • Clawhammer, 1993
  • Maelstrom, 1994
  • Black Fish, 2010

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On 7/1/2020 at 8:13 PM, sledracr said:

Ah, now there's a dilemma.

Publication sequence, or chronological?

  1. 1950 Mr. Midshipman Hornblower

And, BTW, Happy Birthday Horatio Hornblower. 

In Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, when he was being interviewed by his first Captain on Justinian, his birthdate was given as July 4th, 1776.

A little humour from C.S.Forester.

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1421: The Year China Discovered America by Gavin Menzes is a great one.  Theorizes that Chinese traveled the world long before Columbus.  Highly criticized by scholars, but really gets you thinking, regardless.

Francis Chichester: A Biography by Anita Leslie is another good one.

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On 7/2/2020 at 9:24 AM, DavidC59 said:

"The Coast of Summer" by Anthony Bailey.
(He has a few other books you'd probably like too -- "The $1000 Dollar Yacht" being the one that comes to mind immediately.)

Seconding The Coast Of Summer.  I had the pleasure of dining with Mr. Bailey a few times, and I spent my summers in Stonington.  A number of the people featured in the book are my family.  Really great book to put you in the mood for summer cruising.

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Some nonfiction suggestions:

  • The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans by David Abulafia 

  • Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms,and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories by Simon Wincheste

  • Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires by Simon Winchester 

  • Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel
  • Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves by James Nestor 
  • The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean by Susan Casey 
  • Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan 
  • Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II by Robert Kurson 
  • The Shipwreck Hunter by David L Mearns 
  • The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down by Colin Woodward 
  • The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates by Peter T Leeson 
  • Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky 
  • Enemy of All Mankind: A True Story of Piracy, Power, and History's First Global Manhunt by Steven Johnson 
  • The Weather Machine: A Journey Inside the Forecast by Andrew Blum
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On 7/3/2020 at 1:27 AM, FixinGit said:

Great thread, i’m taking notes of the recommendations myself.

Absolutely! 

I don't think anyone mentioned Hemingway yet. The Old Man and the Sea and his short stories are awesome.

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On 7/3/2020 at 4:39 PM, AJ Oliver said:

Jack London's Sea Wolf - still trying to figure out if I like it. 

But Jack showed in the book that he knew sailing. 

Don't know if it is open yet, but Jack London State Park, near Glen Ellen, CA 

is a must visit place - some great walking paths too. 

Tales of the Fish Patrol has always been my favorite Jack London... game agents in sailing luggers trying to regulate fishermen in the SF Bay and estuary. He shows a surprising degree of environmental knowledge and there's a lot of great small-boat sailing including rescues.

FB- Doug

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Skip Novak's books about Drum and Fazisi. 

 

 

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Well, since you're not making a long long passage, and I don't think I've seen it above,

"A Voyage for Madmen" by Peter Nichols.   the Golden Globe race ---9 starters, 1 finisher (Robin Knox-Johnston).  Plus that Crowhurst guy...

 

And I second "Shadow Divers", from our newbie above (welcome by the way, and don't take some of us too seriously). 

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On ‎7‎/‎5‎/‎2020 at 10:16 AM, Oneofthenatives said:

Some nonfiction suggestions:

Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms,and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories by Simon Winchester
Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires by Simon Winchester
Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel
Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves by James Nestor
The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean by Susan Casey
Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan
Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II by Robert Kurson
The Shipwreck Hunter by David L Mearns
The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down by Colin Woodward
The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates by Peter T Leeson
Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky
Enemy of All Mankind: A True Story of Piracy, Power, and History's First Global Manhunt by Steven Johnson
The Weather Machine: A Journey Inside the Forecast by Andrew Blum

 

Great list - these are well-loved, heck, I've enjoyed pretty much everything from WInchester, Kurlansky, Kurson.  And I **love** "Longitude, although one must ignore a bit of deviation from history in the telling of the story.  I really enjoyed her "Galileo's Daughter" but some of the others kinda bogged down for me (I really wanted to like "The Planets" but it just didn't grab me.  So it goes)

I'll look at the rest. Thanks!

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On 7/2/2020 at 7:27 PM, Peenstone said:

Read Nathaniel Philbrick.  Right now, I recommend "In the Hurricane's Eye"  The story of George Washington, as seen from the water during the revolution.  Get away from the chaos of the "protests" and see what George was all about.

Also, others by Philbrick are great.  I've also read, and recommend, "In the heart of the sea" the non fictional account of the whale ship Essex, as in Moby Dick. and finally Sea of Glory.  An expedition account from the mid 1800's.  All great reads.

 

"The Mayflower" by Philbrick ain't chopped liver, either

FB- Doug

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Here's two that are amazing.  East is a big bird,   and Swimming to Antartica .

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