Books and Boats

We know you like it, getting away from land-locked, too-tight spaces.  The freedom of being out on the open sea is very refreshing.  No techno-gadgets, no sales mumbo-jumbo, and no commercialized over-sized junk.  So what to do with all that time swaying to and fro?  This is where having a good book on-hand comes in, something to sink your eyes into, something to give your mind a whir...

And this is where we plug some books from "Books for Your Boat," published by   
So let's check our top 3 picks:

Hostage: A Year at Gunpoint with Somali Pirates - 
by Paul and Rachel Chandler with Sarah Edworthy (2011; $16; Mainstream Publishing Co.). Liveaboards Paul and Rachel Chandler, who sail a 38-footer, Lynn Rival, might as well be that cruising couple a few docks over. You know—the pair you’ve known for years. But they have a miraculous adventure story to tell. Hostage is a fascinating, no-frills account of being attacked and held captive by Somali pirates for over a year. This raw, cautionary tale illuminates the reality of life-threatening situations and reveals how the couple survived and existed in bizarre confines. It’s a page-turner worth jumping into from the safety of your own cabin—far, far away from the coast of Somalia.
-Sydney Rey

Gib's Odyssey: A Tale of Faith and Hope on the Intracoastal Waterway - by Walter G. Bradley (2011; Lyons Press, $23). Gib Peters, a man who was diagnosed with A.L.S., or Lou Gehrig’s disease, at the age of 67, is determined to beat death. His true story will have you thanking your lucky stars as he sets off on a singlehanded cruise from Key West to New York to test his character against all odds. Bradley, a neurologist, chronicles Gib’s six-month voyage through the sailor’s emails to friends and family as his mind stays sharp but his body slowly deteriorates. Meanwhile, the hardship and hilarity he encounters aboard his 29-foot powerboat, Ka Ching, easily drowns out the hum of his engines. Gib will have you laughing, crying, and hugging your loved ones a little tighter. But most important, he’ll inspire you to throw off those dock lines and take on life with everything you’ve got, whether via power or sail. -Sydney Rey

Voyages in Desperate Times - by Jule Miller ($25; 2011; Good Old Boat magazine). This recording, a work of historical fiction produced by the magazine under its audio imprint, breathes life into the true tale of the American recreational sailboats and powerboats that were conscripted into the military to patrol for German U-boats in World War II.  Situated on the U.S. East Coast, the fleet, known as the Hooligan Navy, reported year-round on the presence of submarines, picked up victims of ships attacked by U-boats, and engaged U-boats in unevenly matched fights.  Narrator Spencer King capably delivers the tale, in which the author employs a style of framed narration by having a grandfather recount his experiences in the fleet to his granddaughter.  It’s a perfect way to contrast the youth of that era with the youth of today, and sailors particularly will appreciate Miller’s accuracy and attention to detail, undoubtedly a byproduct of his decades as an engineer in the aerospace industry. -Rick Martell