The Distressed Mullet Summer Reading List Part II
So many books, so little time. When we started thinking about summer water-related reading, we realized we had lots of suggestions. So here’s Part II of our recommended reading list to help you get inspired, educated and empowered!
The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific by Paul Theroux
Paul Theroux has long been one of my favorite authors, not just for his fiction like Mosquito Coast (y’all might remember the movie with Harrison Ford) but for his travel writing. In Happy Isles, he explores 51 islands in the Pacific by kayak, detailing his paddling adventure and the people he encounters along the way. This is definitely a classic.
Similar locale to Happy Isles, but the author explores the Pacific via sailboat and he retraces the voyages of Captain Cook, the British explorer who discovered Hawaii. Part sailing sojourn, part history lesson. If you love the Pacific, this is a must-read.
Two By Duff
On Celtic Tides by Chris Duff
I stumbled onto this one in a used bookstore. It is an amazing read about circumnavigating Ireland in a sea kayak, a total of 1,200 miles. Duff’s descriptions of the cold seas, the amazing coastline as he saw it from the water, and the experiences he had on land are inspiring and captivating, and great to read when it’s hot and you’re wishing for colder temperatures!
Southern Exposure also by Chris Duff
On Celtic Tides will leave you wanting more, and so it’s a good thing there’s Southern Exposure! In this one, Duff goes to the Southern Hemisphere and paddles around New Zealand’s South Island. This is some of the best outdoor writing you will ever find.
Storms of Nature, Storms of Protest
Also a classic. The tale of the commercial swordfish boat, the Andrea Gail and her crew as it struggles against “The Storm of the Century” in 1991. It offers insight into the men and women who make their living on the sea, the commercial fishing industry as a whole and the dangers it presents to those who make their living in it. It also explains weather patterns and how they can combine into deadly forces. Dramatic, informative and insightful.
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
The true and captivating story of the 1936 US Olympic crew team, comprised of the University of Washington oarsmen who competed in the Berlin games during the rise of the Third Reich. Battling the odds against more polished and storied East Coast collegiate teams and then against Hitler’s German team, this is a Great Depression era story of determination, grit, teamwork and character that will leave you in awe.
Not Your English Teacher’s Moby Dick
Where the Sea Breaks Its back by Corey Ford
Another good one to read when the weather is hot and you dream of cooler climes. The story of Arctic explorer Georg Whlhelm Steller, the European naturalist who was a part of the Russian Alaska expedition in 1741. Expedition planning, key discoveries, shipwreck and grueling conditions combine for an enthralling story.
The gut-wrench true tale of the crew of a 19th Century whaling vessel that attempted to limp back up the coast of South America after being damaged by an 80-foot sperm whale. Pieces of the story provided the inspiration for Melville’s Moby Dick. Fascinating.
Preaching to the Choir
Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans by Dr. Sylvia Earle
While it could be considered a memoir by “Her Deepness” Dr. Earle provides warning as well as optimism for the survival of our oceans, and indeed our planet. It documents this underwater trailblazer’s three-plus decades of underwater exploration, innovations and advocacy. If you love the water, especially salt water, and the creatures that live in it, and if you are looking for inspiration, add this to your library.
Check out Part I of our summer reading list!
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