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Fun Reading Recommendation

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
After seeing the movie "Master and Commander," I picked up one of the 20 novels written by Patrick O'Brian. Meaning to read it over the course of a week, I finished it in a night, finding myself unable to put it down. Since then I've read five or six more of the sailing novels. They're a fun, light read, and I heartily recommend them.
post #2 of 27
Warning: these novels contain NO sex. And a lot of very detailed information about old sailing ships. I've read a few myself.
post #3 of 27
Read them in order. I went into mourning when O'Brian died, simply because there won't be any more novels. Now I'm reading the books about the books -- the dictionary, the cookbook, Nelson's navy, etc etc.
post #4 of 27
I am on my SECOND reading of them. I was so sad when I read the 20th one that they were at an end. I do HIGHLY recommend the "Sea of Words" dictionary and a world map as reading aids. I am at number 18 again and don't know if I will restart for a third time or not. They are just wonderful.
post #5 of 27
After I read them, I started in on Cornwell's Sharpe series. Same stuff, just from the army side.

Both are good series. A little too involved for just a light read, but they sure suck you in.

Also, I just finished the Sea Wolf by Jack London, and Moby Dick.

Sea Wolf was the best book I've read in a long time. Moby Dick was tedious, for something that has been called the greatest novel ever by an American writer. I stuck to it though.

Any recommendations out there for a modern true sailing story (other than The Perfect Storm??)
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
I don't know the names of the books, but I've been told that there's an excellent book about the 'round the world single handed race, as well as a good one about the recent Sydney/Tasmania race that went so badly.
post #7 of 27
Thanks Colossus178.

There's a bunch of them out, just trying to avoid the stinkers....
post #8 of 27
Once you've exhausted O'Brien there is also C.S. Forester.

James L. Nelson and Owen Parry are good too.
post #9 of 27
Anyone have 'The Catalans' or 'Joseph Banks'?
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic
Once you've exhausted O'Brien there is also C.S. Forester.

James L. Nelson and Owen Parry are good too.
Do these other guys live up to the O'Brian series or are they just more sailing stories? I am on number 20 now and dreading running out. I think the O'Brian series is fascinating for the information on medicine at the time, the feeling of the reality of the life that was being lived, the relationship between Aubrey and Maturin. Basically, to me the sailing and fighting is just a background.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky
Do these other guys live up to the O'Brian series or are they just more sailing stories? I am on number 20 now and dreading running out. I think the O'Brian series is fascinating for the information on medicine at the time, the feeling of the reality of the life that was being lived, the relationship between Aubrey and Maturin. Basically, to me the sailing and fighting is just a background.
I read all of C.S. Forester before reading O'Brien and haven't read them since, but I'd say they do match up to him. If i remember, books 6 and 7 "Ship of the Line", and "Flying Colors" were my favorites.

Nelson is very good, different because he has set it in America in 1776. It's fun to be able to picture them sailing in Long Island Sound, and other places I have sailed myself.

Parry is not a sailing story at all. It is on land (and sometimes at sea) during the Civil War. It's a sort of a historical spy novel. Very good IMHO. Speaking of which, I'll have to check Amazon, there is probably another out now.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy P
Any recommendations out there for a modern true sailing story (other than The Perfect Storm??)
Fastnet Force 10
post #13 of 27
What no Melville? Moby Dick is a must read. 800 pages 750 of which is square rigger and whaling lore and 50 is plot.
post #14 of 27
I thought "The Testimonies" was pretty much unreadable. I have the fairly new biography of Joseph Banks around somewhere. I'll let you know if it turns up.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by evansilver
I thought "The Testimonies" was pretty much unreadable.
: Wow, I couldn't put it down.
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colossus178
I don't know the names of the books, but I've been told that there's an excellent book about the 'round the world single handed race, as well as a good one about the recent Sydney/Tasmania race that went so badly.
Derek Lundy "God Forsaken Sea" about the Vendee Globe race

"The Way of the Ship" is also excellent

The Long Way" Bernard Moitessier

All incredible sailing books
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy P
Any recommendations out there for a modern true sailing story (other than The Perfect Storm??)
If you can stretch "modern" to mean "in the last 200 years", how about "Two Years Before the Mast" by Richard Henry Dana? A fascinating autobiographical account of a sea voyage to pre-gold-rush California.
post #18 of 27
Gnarlito - I can stretch as far back as I get a good recommendation

Thanks all, looks like a trip to the bookstore tonight, for some more material.

I've also read a couple of other books lately you might enjoy - A Short History of Nearly Everything (which is just that, from a physical world point of view) and Guns, Germs and Steel, which offers up an explanation as to why civilization progressed and developed as it did.

I enjoyed them both, for a broad view of things, and for the little nuggets of info/wisdom they contained. Guns, Germs and Steel got a little repetitive in spots, but was still worth the time.
post #19 of 27
Thanks, Jimmy!
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeLau
Derek Lundy "God Forsaken Sea" about the Vendee Globe race

"The Way of the Ship" is also excellent

The Long Way" Bernard Moitessier

All incredible sailing books
I just finished "God Forsaken Sea." The sailing they describe doesn't inspire me to buy a boat and sail around the world. These guys single-handedly sail a boat at breakneck speed through storms even more violent than a hurricane. It's amazing what technology can do.

I'll have to read the book by Moitessier, to get a different perspective.

It's a good read for anyone (like me) who's never been sailing and has no idea what it's like to be in a boat during a storm. The descriptions of the sea conditions - the power of the waves, their size, speed, and shape, the effects of the wind - offer a feeling of what it's like to be on a huge ocean in a little boat.
post #21 of 27

Great reads...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeLau
Derek Lundy "God Forsaken Sea" about the Vendee Globe race

"The Way of the Ship" is also excellent

The Long Way" Bernard Moitessier

All incredible sailing books
If you are a sailor or an adventurer who seeks the rush, these books are a must read. "The Long Way" by Moitessier is one of my favorites. He not only recounts in writing his experience as a sailor, but goes into the psychic of transcendental thought of a very lonely existence on the open ocean.

Also try "A Viking Voyage" by Carter. Replica of Viking ship and sailing it to the new world.

Captain Joshua Slocum "Sailing Alone Around The World" The Captain who started it all...
post #22 of 27
The Way of the Ship is excellent. I just finished it, after these recommedations.

Now I'm looking for Godforesaken Sea, and Two Years befoe the Mast.

I've taken up my old reading habits again. Wife watches tv all evening, and I grab a book, and read whenever I can.

Robert Jordan's latest just came out, and I finished it yesterday. Anyone have any recommendations along the lines of escapist fantasy?? This Wheel of Time series has dragged on way too long, but once I start, I have to finish. Supposedly the next one will be the final book in that series.

I've read Green Angel Tower, and that series. Any other ones you can recommend?
post #23 of 27
Wow, I'd forgotten about "Two Years Before the Mast" - great book.

One of my favorite sailing books is "Around the World Alone" by Joshua Slocum. He was basically the first guy to just sail around the world in a small boat just for the sake of doing it.

Another author that has a series of British Naval novels is Dewy Lambdin. Bit more sexy and less realistic perhaps than O'Brien but pretty good too.

PS. I hated Master and Commander.
post #24 of 27
Crank - The movie, I assume??
post #25 of 27
Back to fun reading recs: I've just started reading Cormac McCarthy. Went right through the Border Trilogy in about two weeks. Hard to put down, and the world described -- the life of real cowboys around the time of WW II -- is just as exotic and long gone as Nelson's navy.
post #26 of 27
Kenneth Roberts, a fine Maine historical writer has a number of maritime/war (War of 1812) novels. Read anything by Linda Greenlaw, or better yet, hang out in a wharf bar in Portland, Me.
post #27 of 27
Yes I was referring to the movie. It blew.
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