Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Light Reading...

Those who know and love me know I have a flair for the dramatic. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that these are the types of books I can really sink my teeth into. This particular book (pictured) is what I brought aboard my dad's boat for the infamous "Chicago to Mackinac" race. Which is a distance boat race. The longest distance boat race in a fresh water lake. So, while we were beating up-wind in the middle of the lake in sheer darkness, I was reading harrowing excerpts of books (most that I had already read) about, well, Near Death on the High Seas. What can I say? I believe reading about adventure inspires it.

Reading about the foibles, follies and disasters in extreme adventure books not only gets me more excited for our journey (backward, I know), but also reminds me that we will always be at the mercy of the sea and the elements. Sort of a not-so subtle reminder that life at sea isn't always gentle breezes, uninhabited islands and tropical slushy rum drinks...(just *most* of the time).

Some other FANTASTIC adventure sailing books I have read over the past year or two that I *highly* recommend to any sailor or adventure enthusiast are the following, in no particular order:

Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum - a definite classic. Just beautiful and amazing at the same time. There is still so much to learn from this book and it's author.
A Voyage for Madmen by Peter Nichols - the cover reads: "Nine men set out to race each other around the world. Only one came back". Yeah. Intense.
Godforsaken Sea by Derek Lundy - this is the gripping story of the deadly 1996 Vendee Globe race and follows the journeys of all sailors and each of their trials and tribulations in the Southern Ocean. It's a great "pre-read" to the next book on my list.
Close to the Wind by Pete Goss - a true hero's tale. This is the story of the incredible rescue of Peter Dinelli (by Pete Goss)during the 1996 Vendee Globe around the world race. You will find yourself holding your breath. No joke.
Kon Tiki by Thor Heyderhal - this is a real-life Indiana Jones-style adventure. Six men set out to prove that Ancient Peruvians could in fact sail across the Pacific to Polynesia by making a raft to the exact specifications the ancient Peruvians would. What they learn and endure is just amazing. This has been a favorite of mine for years.
Adrift by Steve Callahan - Insane story of survival at sea about a man (Steve Callahan) who was shipwrecked and drifted around the Atlantic in a leaky life raft - for SEVENTY SIX days.

There are so, so, so many more that I could recommend - but these should keep you busy for a while!

All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape.

~ Arthur Christopher Benson ~

Happy reading,

Brittany and Scott


Last Paradise said...

I think I've read all of these... My (non sailor) Mom bought every sailing horror story she could find before we set sail- trying to scare me.... Little did she know that it only made me more curious (and more prepared). I'll have to look in my 'library' and let you know what else I have! I *heart* your stories :)

Chani said...

I wanted you to know that I'm looking through all of your blog off and on. I LOVE reading, so I really appreciate this reading list. I'll put some on my Amazon wishlist. :)

You guys are SO inspiring! I hope my husband and I can get out there and do what you are doing. First though I have to learn to sail.

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