SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Thread: Read any good books lately? Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below

  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-13-2002 10:10 AM
Read any good books lately?

In scanning through all the responses, don''t think I saw Joshua Slocum''s "Sailing Alone Around the World" mentioned. Written a 100 years ago and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. Very good read for folks interested in sailing IMO.
12-13-2002 07:44 AM
Read any good books lately?

Just finished "Jesse Martin LionHeart" read it in one sitting. VERY enjoyable if you have ever sailed solo for a distance.
12-10-2002 02:46 PM
Read any good books lately?

I was surprised to see no mention of Ernest Gann''s book "Song of the Siren"

Gann has to be one of the most enjoyable writers I''ve come across as of late. He and his adventures, especially his way of portraying them, are the stuff legends are made of. A very enjoyable read, and I''ve recommended it to sailors and non-sailors alike, all with a very similar review after reading it.

As for some of the others, Alfred Lansing''s "Endurance" was quite good - about Shackleton''s voyage (Which by the way, if you have or have had a chance to see the traveling museum exhibit, it''s very worthwhile. The original photographs are quite impressive in their quality, not to mention content)

And I like Fatal Storm as well, as I see several people mentioned.

There''s another book of short story survival stories called "Rough Water" that has some pretty amazing stuff in it from some pretty amazing people. Worth picking up in my opinion.


Rob Welling
Sarasota, FL

P.S. If you have any questions about the books, just drop me an e-mail
12-09-2002 05:41 PM
Read any good books lately?

If you''re into history - no-nonsense nonfiction, but in the vein of Hornblower and Aubrey, try "The Nagle Journal", I believe from the University of Chicago Press.
It''s the actual journal of John Nagle, who starts out at the Battle of Brandywine in the American Revolution, ships out aboard two different privateers from Philadelphia, gets captured and released a number of times in British/French Caribbean island-trading, then does a stint in the British Navy. He''s on the first crew that''s sent with prisoners to found Sydney and settle Australia, among other things. He ends up in Ohio with relatives, getting by with a pension from Congress for his time soldiering. Matter-of fact style and a wholly different seaman''s point of view make for interesting reading, while the editor provides some background facts and information to flesh out the details.
12-09-2002 11:28 AM
Read any good books lately?

I dont think i have ever met a Pardey groupie who has actually sailed offshore.
12-09-2002 09:17 AM
Read any good books lately?

John, that''s an excellent list - or at least the volumes I recognize. Morrison''s account of WWII seems to be written by a seaman as much as an historian and are superb, IMO. Letcher''s book deserves to be reprinted - how it escapes this while the Pardey''s ''go simple'' mantra is so popular suggests there are still publishers who haven''t saturated or perhaps even understand the market. (And I''m another non-Pardey fan, tho'' one who surely respects their accomplishments).

I bashed ''older writers from former times'' in a post or two recently, but I fully agree with your depiction of Hiscock''s writings. I feel the same way about Hal Roth''s _After 50,000 Miles_, which I recently reread for the umpteenth time. And despite its 20 yr old age, I think Ross Norgrove''s _The Cruising Life_ is the best single introduction to the many details of sailing boats across oceans yet printed - it captures the gritty reality and the many important (and some, critical) choices a sailor must make, but he doesn''t leave out the romance and adventure of it all, either. What a role model.

12-09-2002 06:21 AM
Read any good books lately?

Calder''s book "Boatowners mechanical and electrical manual" is a very useful book.

Steve Dashews cruising encyclopedia has tons of good ideas in them. Some of his ideas are expensive but a lot are very practical and all but free. He writes well.

I have found Jimmy Cornel''s books to be poorly written and hard to get through. He has a lot of valuable stuff to say but really needs a good editor.

"In the Heart of the Sea" is a great book about the sinking of the Essex by a whale in the south pacific. This true story inspired Melvile to write "Moby Dick", which is another "must read" in my opinion.

I think that all of Eric Hiscocks books are still great reading although some of the technology is dated. He had a charming style. "Cruising Under Sail" is full of good ideas but, more important, I think he teaches how to analyze problems for yourself.

"The Yankee Stargazer" is out of print but I got a copy on the internet. It is the story of Nathaniel Bowditch. Bowditch wrote the original "American Practical Navigator" around the time of the American revolution. He was an incredible intellect who taught himself latin, french, and greek as well as making his fortune in the shipping trade out of Salem, Mass.

"Self Steering for Saling Craft" by John Letcher is a wonderful book that is now out of print. John was a graduate student at Cal Tech when he built a 22 ft plywood boat and sailed it to Hawaii and back. He has a real gift for taking the complex physics of hydrodynamics and aerodynamics and boiling them down to something that is easy for a non-engineer to understand.

The two volume set "The European Discovery of America" by Morrison is an excellent read. His biography of Columbus is also very good. It''s called "Admiral of the Ocean Seas". Morrison had a great enthusiasm for the adventures of the sea and it comes through in everything he wrote. He also wrote a multivolume naval history of WWII. I have not read that.

I have learned things from the Pardey''s books but don''t really agree with their minimalist approach to voyaging. Contrary to their view I have found the electronics on my boat to be among the most reliable of gear and the engine an essential piece of safety gear. I am also not a fan of oak buckets instead of a proper head.

This turned out to be longer than I expected. Once I realized that all my book shelves are in this room I had a lot of suggestions staring at me from the shelves.

12-07-2002 03:32 PM
Read any good books lately?

"Godforsaken Sea" is another good read, as is "Fastnet, Force 10".
12-07-2002 03:31 PM
Read any good books lately?

I''ve read "A Fatal Storm", "Knockdown", and "The Proving Ground".

Of the three, I liked "The Proving Ground" the least.

While if provided lots of in depth time on a few stories (Sword of Orion, Sayonara) it completely overlooked certain aspects of the race, like the other three people that died and the corrected time winner.

Still a good read, but it doesn''t provide as complet a picture as the other two.
12-07-2002 02:07 PM
Read any good books lately?

One I ran across recently, totally by accident, is "The (Saga) of Simon Richardson" - (I think the word was saga). If you have read any of Tristan Jones'' works, you will enjoy this true account of a unique young man who let no obstacle stop him.
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome