Book Reviews

By Rich Armstrong

Five books for spring inspiration.

Fish On, Fish Off

Fish On Fish Off book cover

Ever notice that great anglers' stories tend to be about the conquest and rarely involve the one that got away? Well, Stephen Sautner isn't afraid to laugh at himself. His collection of essays chronicles this self-taught angler's misadventures and odd encounters chasing fish around the world. With titles like "Bowling for Shad," "Fishing Ruined My Life," and "A Bridge Tarpon Too Far," he chases your funny bone while recounting mishaps any honest angler can appreciate. From breaking his only rod on the second cast in Cuba's Bay of Pigs to being chased from an African river by an elephant, Sautner's self-deprecation never overshadows his innate passion for fishing. Read an excerpt from Stephen Sautner's book "Hooked On Fishing? It's All Worth It".

The Tide: The Science and Stories Behind the Greatest Force on Earth

The Tide book cover

A mix of science, history, mythology, and literature are the tools Hugh Aldersey-Williams employs to analyze the hypnotic rhythm of the sea. This is not just a scientific explanation of the unstoppable phenomenon that every boater must take into account. This thoughtful, sweeping chronicle — which globe hops from Canada's Bay of Fundy to Venice, Italy, to Arctic Norway — puts into perspective how the sea has shaped and inspired humankind, both in our ability to adapt to our environment and in the creative works we use to explain our surroundings. From Biblical tales to the D-Day landings in Normandy, the author reveals just how much the tides have shaped us all.

7 Steps To Successful Boat Docking

7 Steps To Successful Boat Docking book cover

Docking a boat, hardly an innate skill, comes with its own unique learning curve. While it's written for novices, even seasoned boaters can benefit from the advice in Captains Ronald and Katherine Giampietro Redmond's new book. This second edition, from a couple who learned as a team over 30 years of boating, features enhanced graphics and text while mapping out step-by-step maneuvers — from the basics to ponder before leaving the dock to returning in calm or challenging conditions. Both skipper and crew will find valuable insight, along with reminders of tips and tricks we sometimes take for granted.

Ocean Of Insight

Ocean Of Insight book cover

Part travelogue, part spiritual journey, this memoir delivers a reflective account of a world-weary environmental advocate's six-year cruise with her husband aboard a 45-foot sloop. Along the way, author Heather Lyn Mann encounters the challenges of the sea, the unique solitude of voyaging, and the joys of embracing foreign cultures, and she comes away with fresh insight about the balance of life and nature. The issue of climate change is woven throughout Mann's chronicle, but she emerges with renewed optimism in how we may all still be able to harmonize with the natural order. Above all, this is an interesting and personal diary of a couple working in tandem to explore their world.

Tugboats Illustrated: History, Technology Seamanship

Tugboats Illustrated: History, Technology Seamanship book cover

The kid within us adores tugboats. What other boat could you call "lovable?" Author Paul Farrell feels the same, and it's apparent in this architect's loving ode to tugs. Featuring extensive photographs, detailed drawings, and diagrams of tugboats, the book explains the history, utility, surprising complexity, and evolution of tugs. Any questions you may have about why tugs look the way they do, why they're so effective at their job, life aboard a tug, or the myriad tasks they can accomplish is answered within these colorful pages. 

— Published: June/July 2017

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