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Thread: Books

  1. #1
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    2014 was a good year for hurricanes and reading. Some of the latter was out of this world.

    “Lee Shore Blues” by the one-and-only ‘barn door’ Peter Heiberg scorched furrows in my laugh lines, reading it was an unforgettable experience. Aside from being a memorable and highly recommended read, LSB has a great bibliography. One of my favorites from that list so far is “The Curve of Time” by M. Blanchet.

    Then, while sailing home, I really enjoyed “If by Sea: The Forging of the American Navy” by G. Daughan, followed immediately by the engrossing WWII trilogy by Rick Atkinson (“Army at Dawn,” “The Day of Battle,” and “The Guns at Last Light”). These books have pictures but they aren’t anything like the ones in LSB (B&W versus very colorful). In any case, these reads don’t pull any punches – folly, blood, and guts galore – but I came away with a much better, and I hope deeper, understanding of what we (individuals and nations) did and do in war.

    But the inspiration for starting this thread is “The Martian” by Andy Weir. This is, hands down, the most amazing single-handed experience I've ever read. Hint: Mark Watney earned about 500 Foxxfyre awards.

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18007564-the-martian

  2. #2
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    I particularly enjoyed "An Army at Dawn" inasmuch as I lived in the prewar Army as an Army Brat and my father took part in the North African "involvement" depicted by Atkinson. I had not known of the National Guard's poor performance. I also found his conclusion that the Army's performance improved after they had learned "to hate the enemy" very interesting. My approach as a commander in combat, was to call upon the troops to use their brains effectively. Don't do things the same way, day after day, etc.
    Needless to say, I found Peter's "book list" to be a treasure.

  3. #3
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    "The Curve of Time" looks good and I'll have to give it a read!
    I enjoyed "The Martian" and "Lee Shore Blues" this year as well. Never thought of the two as being related by 'single handling' until you pointed it out.
    Just finished "In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette", which is a good one... and have been reading a lot of John Kretschmer stuff, which is like sailing candy, pretty tasty, but generally light weight.

  4. #4
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    Probably everyone knows this already but a great source of out of print books (and in print books as well) is www.addall.com. This is a site for used book stores to list their stock on and it is truly formidable. Having said that I just attempted to find Ann Davison's first book on the site and couldn't find it. Ann was the first woman to single hand across the Atlantic but her first book was even a better story than that. The bibliography that accompanies Lee Shore Blues only includes the books that I currently have on my bookshelves. Unfortunately books have a way of going walk about. I would like to re-reread Ann's first book (whose name is lost somewhere in the canyons of oldtimers disease) as well as John Caldwell's Desperate Voyage (somewhat in the same vein as the Tristan Jones books. He (TJ) was the worlds biggest liar apparently but that boy knew his way around a typewriter.)
    For none marine related books I can't recommend George Macdonald Frasers Flashman series of books highly enough. I never thought I would enjoy historical fiction but I don't know when I've laughed so hard. Definitely not everyones cup of tea. I've never met anyone with internal genitalia who liked him. Go figure. He wrote one non fiction book that Ken might enjoy about the Burma campaign. My stepfather was there and loved the book. I wasn't there but also liked the book.
    Last edited by peter00; 01-07-2015 at 03:29 PM.

  5. #5
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    Peter
    What is the title of the Burma book? I would most definitely be interested. A long-ago Army Engineer predecessor of mine (knew his daughter) had been the engineer of Merrill's Marauders in that campaign. He never really recovered from ailments incurred in that operation. Pretty primative as viewed in this day and age of immediate helicopter removal of wounded and air resupply of food and ammo. They really had it rough! Jungle warfare is pretty formidable in any event, since
    everything is encountered so close up.

  6. #6
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    Peter,
    Ann Davidson's "My Ship Is So Small" is available (hard bound) at Barnes & Noble and Amazon, I think. There ought to be both hard and soft bound editions around, though. You might also enjoy her "Last Voyage" and other books, although they are not about singlehanding. --Pat

  7. #7
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    Pat, I think it was Last Voyage that I was thinking of (My ship is so Small is about the Atlantic crossing if I'm not mistaken). I think the reason I liked 'Last Voyage' so much was I was rebuilding a Bristol channel Pilot Cutter in Cornwall and part of their book was about rebuilding a Brixham trawler. My subsequent adventures were somewhat happier than theirs (not to blow the story). Ken, I will come up with the title for you, I probably have the book somewhere. My stepfather was a very modest man and he didn't like to talk about it but it was an incredibly tough campaign (he would not knowingly buy a Japanese product until the day he died).
    Last edited by peter00; 01-08-2015 at 05:15 PM.

  8. #8
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    Ken, the book I'm thinking of is "Quartered Safe Out Here" by George Macdonald Fraser. Should be available from Amazon or from www.addall.com Cheers,

  9. #9
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    pogen is offline Sailing canoe "Kūʻaupaʻa"
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    "The Pyrates" by George Macdonald Fraser is also a good read. Yarrr.

  10. #10
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    Sailing a Serious Ocean - by John Kretschmer; has anyone read it?

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