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More on boating books
I write boating books -- technical, storm-related, and historical -- so do my best to keep up with new titles. There aren't as many as there used to be, back when we had a boating book club (the Dolphin Book Club, part of Book of the Month), but all the same a number of new ones appear each year.
Like many who have been contributing to this thread, I love the classics -- Slocum, of course, and anything by Conrad, Carleton Mitchell, Miles Smeeton, and Earl Bruce. My favorite this year is Beth Leonard's Blue Horizons: Dispatches from Distant Seas. Not a technical manual like her previous books, it's a wonderful, glowing collection of her columns from Blue Water Sailing about life on board. She brings her readers into the cockpit and cabin to meet not just good sailors but interesting, quirky, and very real people.
Other recent books that I've especially liked are the ultimate one-volume reference, The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea, where (among other things) you get the last word on why a seagoing toilet's a "head" and why a sail's hoisted by a "halyard." The range of the 2,600-plus entries – from A (Aaron Manby, the first iron steamship) to Y (yuloh, a Chinese term for “oar”) – is extraordinary.
I'm a fan also of Christopher Pastore's Temple to the Wind, part biography of Nat Herreshoff and part history of the great monster America's Cup defender Reliance. And then there’sDallas Murphy's Rounding the Horn. Some people go to Cape Horn to double it. A few go down there to travel about, visit the towns, and meet the locals. Murphy, an experienced sailor and professional writer, took the last path. As he sails out to the rock, Murphy interweaves his own experiences with the Horn’s bloody 500-year history.
Last edited by johnsail; 01-06-2007 at 01:29 PM.