Good Reads
Books which I have read and recommend.

Topical List -

Non-Fiction including High Adventure
Books on Boats and Boating including design and boatbuilding
Fiction worth reading
Books about History
Books about Natural History and Science
Books by and about Arthur Ransome
Books about Sailing
Books about Scouting
General non-fiction

Non-Fiction High Adventure

The Tecate Journals - seventy days on the Rio Grande
by Bowden, Keith
pub by The Mountaineers, Seattle - 2007     isbn 1594850771 (pb)
271 pages - - adventure.
The author, a Jr. College teacher in Laredo, Texas, travels the length of the Rio Grande (known in Mexico as the Rio Bravo) as it is a border with Mexico. The first part is done by mountain bicycle as the river is so shallow and overgrown that one could not effectively float a canoe or raft. Much of the water is taken off before El Paso to various irrigation projects. Some 180 miles further down he switches to canoe then farther on switches to inflatable raft for a section known to be rough. The final half of the journey is done by canoe. The trip was started late in 2004 and went on for some 70 days, finishing in late Spring of 2005. The various hazards of river travel were dealt with straightforwardly and with a fair amount of courage. On the whole the people he met were friendly. It is a good read. This is probably the first time the whole river was traveled in one trip. The prolog gives a chilling view of the violence on the US/Mexico border.

Poso del mundo; inside the Mexican-American border, from Tijuana to Matamoros
by Demaris, Ovid
pub by Little Brown, 1970 - - LCCN = 70-105353 - - isbn (none) 224 p.- - - Map
A newspaper reporter investigates the border between USA and Mexico. He finds corruption, drugs etc. The title loosely translated means the hole of the world... or the low place of the world. We have more colorful ways of describing that in English. This was long before the narco situation of the early 2000s. Things have not gotten better, but they were never very good.

The Marching Wind
by Clark, Leonard (Leonard Francis)
pub by Funk & Wagnalls, NY, 1954 - - isbn (none this edition ) LCCN = 54009738 - illustrations, photos. - - 368 p.
Clark was an OSS operative during WWII. Shortly after the war, he heard tales from aviators who flew the hump supplying the war against Japan in China, of a mountain which was thought to be taller than Mt. Everest. Clark wanted to take an expedition to the mountain ( Amne Machin ) to determine its height and generally explore. In 1948, when the expedition took place, China was in the midst of a civil war, between the armies of the Republic of China (PRC) led by the Kuomintang (Chiang Kai-shek) and the Communist Party of China (Mao Zedong). The war was not going well for the PRC. Clark convinced the general of the army PRC army which operated in southwestern China that such an expedition might provide information about a possible escape route in the event he and his army needed to flee.
An expedition was put together. It consisted of some regular army troops, some of which were Buddhists and some of which were Muslims as well as a few Mongolians. This mix made victualing interesting as the dietary rules of each group was different. They traveled toward Amne Machin which is on the border with Tibet, and the source of the Yellow River. As might be expected they had some adventures. They encountered a Chinese ambassador to a western country on vacation living in silk tents. They also encountered the rather fierce Ngolok tribal inhabitants of the region and managed to pass peacefully among them. Measurements taken with surveying tools showed that the mountain was probably not as tall as Mt. Everest. The expedition returned and Leonard Clark exited the area through Hong Kong.
Amne Machin Mountains. China. - Qinghai Sheng (China)--Description and travel.
This is a thoroughly fascinating read.
It should be noted that Leonard Clark was an adventurer and went on to adventures in the upper Amazon resulting in his book The rivers ran east (1953) and the Yucatan in Mexico described in Yucatan adventure (1959) neither of which I have read.

Winter in Fireland a Patagonian Sailing Adventure
by Coghlan, Nicholas
pub. by Univ. of Alberta Press, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G-2E1, 2011 -       isbn 978-0-88864-547-0 - some maps. b&w photos - Epilog brings events up to year 2010 - Bibliography p.357-362 - index p.363-385 - 385 p. -- website
This book covers a voyage from Cape Town, South Africa to St Helena to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Mar del Plata, Argentina to Puerto Deseado, Argentina to Puerto Williams, Chile (very near Cape Horn) and on west and north along the west coast of Chile stopping at Puerto Eden and eventually the Island of Chiloe and Puerto Mott.
The first 46 pages establish the setting 25 years before this voyage when Nicholas and Jenny married and moved to Argentina to teach at and English school for several years, hiking and adventuring on their time off.
What is mentioned but not detailed is their sailing trip around the world some 20 years before. The main voyage took place in 2005-2006. The information one gathers from this book is more current than most cruising books I have read. Especially for that this is a very interesting book.

Voyages to paradise. exploring in the wake of Captain Cook
by Gray, William R. 1946-
pub. by National Geographic Society, 1981 -       isbn; 0-897044-284-8     215 p.
This book is a very clear biography of James Cook, from his birth in northern UK of Scottish parents through his short career in commercial sail and his long Royal Navy career.
Cook distinguished himself in Canada during what we call the French and Indian War by doing an excellent job surveying the coast and supporting the invasion of Canada. He went on doing much the same in the Caribbean and came to be noticed by practical navy people in very high places. When a great expedition to the Pacific Ocean to observe the transit of the planet Venus across the face of the Sun on Tahiti he was chosen to head the expedition. Aboard the Endeavor he accomplished that goal and also the second part of his orders... to explore the South Pacific Ocean, create friendly relations with the natives (and plant the flag.) At that time -1769 - it was thought that there must be a continent in the S. Pacific to counterbalance the landmass in the northern hemisphere. Cook was to find if it was there and explore it. He found a number of islands and thoroughly surveyed New Zealand and the eastern coast of Australia, encountering the Great Barrier Reef, surviving grounding on it. On that first voyage Joseph Banks, the great naturalist was along.
As the expedition was wildly successful he was nominated to take a second and larger expedition to fill in more blank spots on the map. Two ships the Resolution and the Adventure were used. Cook was one of the first to have the advantage of Harrisons marine chronometer to help determine longitude. Although skeptical at first he found It to be of great assistance.
More islands and island groups were discovered on this trip. Both ships also sailed far south finding ice but no continent. They also discovered the very remote Easter Island on this expedition. Although there were 2 ships, they became separated after some time. Cook on the Resolution stayed much longer. The Adventure sailed for England (after losing a few of their crew to cannibal Maori in New Zealand.) Upon return to England James Cook was celebrated as the great man he was. He had several visits with King George III, a very high honor.
Cook was ready to settle down with his wife and children. He was given a good shore job. Then a third expedition was planned, this time to explore some of the northern Pacific specifically to find a Northwest passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific north of Canada. James Cook was again pressed into service. This time the ships Resolution and Discovery were not well prepared and Cook found it necessary to constantly make repairs. William Bligh (of Bounty fame, was an officer on this 3rd voyage. Cook revisited some of his better harbors and delivered some livestock to Tahiti. He headed north and discovered Hawaii and was well received. From there they sailed north and actually made it through the Bering Straight before being turned back by ice and the lateness of the season. He met up with Russian traders at Unalaska, an outpost in the Aleutian Islands. They shared maps and information, then Cook headed back to Hawaii. At first he was very well received, arriving in the midst of a religious celebration during which he was taken as a god. They did some repairs, headed out, cracked a mast and returned for repairs. Gods were not supposed to return and relations with the Hawaiians turned sour. James Cook, and some of the marine guard were killed in a skirmish on the beach. There was some difficulty getting his body back for a proper English burial, but in time they were presented with his bones.
Charles Clerke then led the expedition and took it north the next season, did some exploration and headed west to Kamchatka. He became ill and died. A message was sent overland using Russian lines of communication to give a brief report on the expedition. It returned to England Lts. John Gore and James King brought the ships home, returning August 1780. They had been away 4 years. Cooks wife and family were supported by a generous pension, provided as a reward for his valuable service. His children died in various sickness or accidents. His wife lived to old age, dying at age 93, 56 years after her husband died.
James Cook was and excellent seaman, a superb navigator and a very humane explorer, treating the people he met with as much dignity and kindness as he possibly could, given the circumstances.
Another, and somewhat more lighthearted, which traces Capt. James Cooks travels is Blue Latitudes - Boldly going where Captain Cook has gone before by Horwitz, Tony. Of course there is a large body of official writing about Capt. Cook. some of the most detailed is by John C. Beaglehole and historian Michael E. Hoare of New Zealand.

The Family Guareschi - chronicles the past and present
by Guareschi, Giovanni
pub by Farrar straus and Giroux, NY 1970 (orig in Italian in 1968)     isbn (none) - LCCN 70-122823
246 pages - - biography.
Guareschi starts this autobiography with a tirade against the functionaries of the Italian government, who were incapable of getting a certificate of merit for her many years of teaching out to his mother before she died. He backtracks and gives us some history of his WWII experience then marches forward through his life as a family man and writer. Family life occupies much of the book. He is a straight, if old fashioned thinker who points out the follies and vanity of modern life and modern -conveniences-. Jo, their domestic assistant, adds a foil off which many conversations and idea are bounced. As is later revealed Jo is and unwed mother whose mother is raising her child. The latter part of the book is entitled - Stories about Jo - and through that part we are taken on a tour of Jo's life. This is probably the last book that Giovanni Guareschi wrote before he died. It is a fitting monument to his life.

by Hunter, J. (John) A.
pub. by Harper and Brothers, New York, 1952     isbn (none)    LCCN = 52-7287 (this book has been recently reprinted) - - 263 p. - photos in b&w,
A. J. Hunter was one of the Great White Hunters of East Africa. He was born in 1887 on a farm near Shearington in southern Scotland. His family had 300 acres of farm and 3 square miles of grazing land. J.A. grew up enjoying the outdoor life, hunting, trapping, negotiating dangerous bogs etc. He was not properly successful at school. After an involvement with a local young woman his father bought him a ticket to Kenya to go to a cousin who lived there. He provided J.A. with the most powerful rifle the family owned.
J.A. Arrived in Mombassa and made his way to his cousins farm. The cousin was an uncouth man who abused both his wife and his native help. After a few months John struck out on his own. Instead of returning to Scotland humilated, by chance he was offered and took, a job as a railroad guard on the Mombasa-Nairobi line. One day he stopped the train, killed an elephant, and sold the tusks. In a short while he began his career as a professional hunter shooting lions for their hides. He met Hilda Banbury whose father owned a music store in Nairobi. They had a long marriage and had 6 children, 4 boys and 2 girls. They bought a big old house outside Nairobi called Clairmont for their home. Shortly after they were married he tried hauling freight for a living with mules and horses. That failed and he turned to a friend who hired him as a hunting guide for 2 Americans. This hunt started his long career as a white hunter and guide.
He guided, and was hired by the Kenyan government to clear areas of dangerous game (most often lions, elephant or rhino) which were threatening native villages and their agricultural holdings. He worked with Masai and had some great friendships with them. John Hunter was, for his day, remarkably respectful for the native peoples of his part of Africa.
Much of the book involves hunting tales. They are well written and thoughful. The period covered is mostly between WWI and WWII. If you want a flavor of East Africa through this time, or want to read of Africa in a more natural state read this book.

The Lobster Chronicles : life on a very small island
by Greenlaw, Linda
pub. by Hyperion, NY. 2002 -       isbn 0786866772 - 238 pages.
Describes the life of lobster fishermen in Maine, USA.
Masterfully done.

Voyaging - Southward from the Strait of Magellan
by Kent, Rockwell
pub. by Grossett & Dunlop, NY. 1968 (orig. 1924)      isbn __ - LCCN 67-24245 - - 184 p. -- many pictures (woodcuts) drawn by Kent and 3 hand drawn area maps - larger maps on the endpapers.
Rockwell Kent, born 1882 died 1971 - American artist, author, liberal political activist early in his mid-life traveled stayed and wrote about Alaska, Tierra del Fuego, and later Greenland. He lived in Vermont, USA. This adventure began in 1922 when he booked passage on a steamer to Puntas Arenas the southernmost city on continental South America. En route he became friends with one of the mates on the steamer, Ole Ytterock, and hired him to be a companion on this trip. Ole was thereafter called the Mate. In Puntas Arenas he acquired an old lifeboat which over the period of 2 months rebuilt into a yacht which he named Kathleen. Kent and sailed to the west (against the prevailing wind.) He sailed into Admiralty sound. The boat leaked a lot, almost foundering. They made port on Dawson Island and as luck would have it the shipbuilders at Port Harris, in Harris Bay, strengthened the hull while Kent painted a picture of the most fameous boat that this shipyard had ever built. His adventure took him further east and a visit to Mulach (a very rural farm) where he was stuck against foul weather for some weeks. He sailed on and left the Kathleen at Don Antonio. From there he and Ole spent a few days hiking across the peninsula. They were very likely the first non-natives to do so. They arrived at an estancia at Yandrgaia Bay then traveled east to the southernmost town of Ushuaia. There they met a number of people who befriended them. They met Lundberg who had a boat and who took Kent to his home Harberton. Kent and the Mate spent a celebrated Christmas at Harberton. They met up with Ernesto Christopherson who acted as leader/captain of the hired sloop (with ancient inboard motor) for the trip to see Cape Horn. The cape is the southernmost of the Wallaston Island. They made it to the middle of the islands and the weather, which had cleared for a short time, turned stormy and they returned to Harberton. From there Kent returned to Puntas Arenas visiting a number of farms held by ex English families, and sailed from there in a steamer to return to USA. Ole, the Mate returned to where they left the Kathleen, found it sound, but up on shore due to a fierce storm which largely wrecked the village. From there he sailed it back to Puntas Arenas and delivered it to Lundberg to whom it was consigned as payment for services.

Skeletons on the Zahara - A True Story of Survival
by King, Dean
pub. by Little Brown - 2005     isbn 0316835145
320p. - - adventure
An account of an actual shipwreck of an American trading vessel at Cape Bojador on the west African coast about 1815. The crew suffers from incredible thirst is captured enslaved and after further adventure wandering with their captors in the western Sahara desert are ransomed through the intervention of a British consul and much good will from one of the capturers. Not all of the natives come off as savages some are very honorable. Their life-style is explored at length. This is a survival tale. An early version of it was a favorite read of President Abraham Lincoln.

Along the Edge of America
by Jenkins, Peter
pub. by Mariner books - Houghton Mifflin Co - 1995     isbn 0-395-87737-7
319p. - - adventure/travel
The author is better known for his book -A Walk Across America-. He decided to visit the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and to to the journey by boat. He buys a boat and learns how to operate it, then over 2 years travels the Gulf of Mexico from the Dry Tortugas at the end of the Florida Keys to Freeport, Texas. His sprint to the mouth of the Rio Grande is un-documented. He stopped for considerable lengths of time in southern Florida at Goodland, then at a fishing camp on the Wakulla River near the more inland Perry, Florida. His next long stop was inland, up the Alabama River from Mobile Bay, Alabama to Wilcox County where he experience Southern hospitality in its classical sense. The next major stop was New Orleans, followed by Cameron, Louisanna at the western edge of the State. In Texas he stopped at Chambers County on the NE side of Galveston Bay, and again in Freeport. He spent some time in Seadrift, TX and was nearly hijacked near Aransas Bay. After that the trip comes to a rapid close - probably by way of a sprint for the last 160 miles or so to the southern tip of Texas. If you are interested in the adventure and travel parts of the book, skip the first 78 pages, after that it becomes very interesting as Jenkins soaks up the individual life stories of some very interesting people. Interestingly most of his informants are people with deep roots where they live. This is an interesting book which describes a time as much as a place, in the United States of America. -----

Perfect Storm
by Junger, Sebastian
pub. by W.W. Norton - 1997     isbn 1857028449
- - 240 p - maps - photos - historical
The story of a confluence of weather events which made a particularly violent storm off Northeastern USA. It details the disapearance and loss of a swordfishing boat off the Grand Banks and the rescue (later found to be unnecessary) of a cruising sailing yacht farther south on the coast.

Sahara Unveiled
by Langewiesche, William
pub. by Pantheon, NY - 1995     isbn 0-679-42982-4
302p. - - adventure
Langewiesche, an American from California, and correspondent for Atlantic Monthly, travels across the Sahara Desert from north (Algiers) South through In Salah and Tamanrasset into Niger, then to the Niger River, which he travels on going west past Timbuktu then Bamako and ending at Dakar Senegal. Read this along with - The Fearful Void - They were experienced just under 10 years apart and are very different in their approach. Read this book to begin to understand northern Africa. I find it interesting that neither author experienced Libya or eastern Egypt. Then there are good reasons. Langewiesche has strong opinions on the situation of the Tuareg who have become to believe what the French say about their past... much to their modern detriment. There are passages about dying of thirst in the desert which are cautionary tales. This trip was taken before GPS was commonly in use. Being lost in the desert often leads to death.

Down the Nile - alone in a fishermans skiff
by Mahoney, Rosemary
pub. by Little Brown and Company, NY, 2007 -       isbn; 978-0-316-10745-7     Bibliography p.271-273     Acknowledgments p.275     total size 277 p.
This book is much more than a tale of travel down the Nile River in Egypt. It was published in 2007, which I expect means that the actual trip was in 2006 or even a year earlier. This book is a history of travel accounts on the Nile from Herodotus through Napoleons army and many travelers from the 1700s. She particularly quotes Florence Nightingale, more fameous for her nursing, and the French writer Gustave Flaubert.
Rosemary Mahoney rows small boats at home in New England for relaxation. She came up with the idea of rowing down a good part of the Nile, just for the experience.
The narrative begins in Cairo then quickly moves to Aswan, some 423 miles by air (555 miles by surface transportation) up stream, which in this case is - going South. The town of Aswan is located a few miles downstream (North) of the Aswan Dam constructed in the 1960s. It has a population over 250,000 and is 636 ft. above sea level. It is just North (downstream) of the cataracts which by definintion divide the Nile into upper and lower sections. The felucca captains used to sail up through this swfit water using considerable skill, and sail up the Nile for a considerable distance. After the dam it is sailed for just the the challenge sail, past the cataract then turn back to Aswan.
Mahoney spends considerable time attempting to buy a boat to row. She is rebuffed on all sides. People just do not do that, especially females. There were many offers to hire a felucca, there was a fleet of them available. Finally one felucca captain (a Nubian) took her seriously, and lent her his tiny skiff to row about Elephantine Island by Aswan.
After some negotiation and the arrival of a western female friend who lives in Cairo, she rows the little skiff a head of the friendly captains felucca, her friend and a crewmember aboard, often just out of sight of the felucca. They spend the evenings camped out with the felucca and other feluccas which are on more traditional tourist trips. This part of the journey ends in Luxor. At Luxor the felucca sails back to Aswan with her friendly Nubian captain.
She found Luxor to be a veritable den of iniquity. Tourists, especially older European women often coming for carnal company with local young men more than to see the antiquities.
She managed to buy a boat fairly directly, from some fishermen in Luxor and after some gathering of supplies rowed south to Quena on her own. The terrors of this part of her trip came mostly out of her own head. Toward the end she was discovered by a man and 4 of his young children. It gave her a fright and she reacted in fright. Later she came to understand that her reaction was unjustified. The story ends with her waiting for the train in Quena, her quest finished.
There is much more to this book, exploring social lives of the locals she met. Upon invitation she visits the family home of the Nubian captain on Elephantine Island, and met his elderly mother and sister. She later visited before he came home and had interesting conversation with the sister. She also had conversations with others over what in our western society would be considered highly personal matters. There was great curiosity about the -freedom- which westerners have, especially western women.
This is a very good read if one would want to have a look into upper Nile Egypt before the ferment which began in 2012.

Fair Winds and Far Places
by Mann, Zane B. 1924-
pub. by Dillon Press, 500 S. Third St Minneapolis, MN USA 55415 , 1978     isbn - 0-87518-159-7 (LCCN = 78-543) - - 272 p. - autobiographical sailing story - index. color photos
Mr. Zane Mann, after working in investment banking for the better part of a lifetime, and after his children have graduated college and began their own lives, convinces his wife to sell off their posessions, buy a sailboat, and head off to the Caribbean. He lives the good life, which is not without difficulties. After a particularly rough stormy bit his wife decides to chuck it all and go home to mom. Good luck and careful mending on his part salvage the relationship and the lifestyle. In the long run Mrs. Mann comes around and in the end thoroughly enjoys living the cruising life. All the major islands of the Windward and Leeward groups are visited and experienced. Some very interesting stories about Don Street are related, from when he had already established himself as the great authority sailing in this area, but was not so well financed. In the text he mentions that he was sailing in 1972 when President Nixon was elected, giving this book a time stamp, and allows the reader to understand that the descriptions of the places visited were as of that time period. This may be especially helpful when considering the description of Grenada (where we fought a mini-war during the Reagan administration) and the visit to Venezuela, which is now a much different place.
After the first few chapters I was minorly irritated at this -rich guy- living the life of ease, and constant partying while -honest people- struggled. That wore off with the realization that this is the description of a time and place which no longer exist, and is well chronicled in this book. The last chapter gives pointers and lists complications that anyone considering the cruising lifestyle need to surmount. The events in this book cover some 3 years. The back dustjacket of the book mention that the Manns, following the time described in this book toured the canals of Europe and are -now (1978) sailing the Mediterranean Sea.

River of Doubt - Theodore Roosevelts darkest journey
by Millard, Candice
pub. by Anchor Books (Random House) , NY, 2005 -       isbn; 978-0-7679-1373-7     Maps p. xii - xiii     black and white photos     Notes and References p.355-393     Bibliography p. 395-402     Acknowledgements p. 403-407     Credits p. 408     Index p. 409-416     total size 416 p.
Millard does masterful work. This book begins with a short biography of Teddy Roosevelt as a person, set in his family and explains what drove him. He was born in 1858. He served as president of USA for the better part of 2 terms. He became President after McKinley was assassinated in 1901 (6 months into McKinleys 2nd term) so Theodore Roosevelt served just 6 months short of 2 full terms as President. He ran again in 1912 as the candidate of the Progressive -Bull Moose- Party which he formed to challenge the Republican Party which would not nominate him. He lost this presidential election. With this in background, to heal the sting of losing, he agreed to travel to South America on the invitation of the Argentinian Museo Social to lecture. He accepted and also planned other travel, and a scientific expedition. Plans were set in place, a team was gathered and supplies purchased.
Upon arrival in South America the scope and direction of the expedition changed dramatically from a more manageable, tame and safe expedition to a true exploration of the river of doubt in extreme southern Brazil, of which was known only where it started and that it fed into the Amazon system somewhere. Brazilian officer Candido Mariano da Silva Rondon, was the co-leader and in fact practical day-to-day leader of the expedition. They got off to a rough start for a number of reasons, including that they were originally prepared for a much tamer expedition. Roosevelt and Rondon got along well. The travel was brutal. The dugout canoes used heavy and awkward in the river which had many rapids and waterfalls. Supplies were short, much was lost. The idea that supplies could be supplemented by hunting was impossible (game to hunt mostly not in evidence and even fishing not very productive.) Theodore Roosevelts son Kermit came along to assist. It was good for him to do so. After some time when things got really rough and Theodore was injured and became infected he needed Kermit to force him to continue living. Almost surprisingly the local natives did not attack and were not seen, although their shadow presence was acutely felt. There was one murder on the trip when one of the helpers shot another over food stealing. He ran away, 3 days later begged to come back, was rebuffed at first and when some were sent back for him he had disappeared.
The expedition ended just in time, as they could not have held out much longer. In short order the Roosevelt and party returned to USA and a heros welcome. He never really recovered total health. He traveled and lectured about the expedition, even in Europe. He died a few at age 60, just a few years after the end of the expedition. It should be noted that Rondon lived an extremely long life and died in old age of natural causes. Millard often goes into background explanation about the natural setting, and gives other background information which while valuable cuts up the narrative some times.
This is an extremely interesting read. In impact compares well with Ernest Shackletons adventures, but in steaming jungle rather then freezing and ice.

Floating Down the Country - a 79 day adventure down the Mississippi from its source at Lake Itasca to New Orleans
by Mohlke, Matthew
pub. by Lone Oak Press. Red Wing. MN - 2001     isbn 1-8883477-49-2
256p. - - adventure
Day-by-day adventure of a canoe trip down the full length of the Mississippi. Interesting to cross reference this trip with many others down the same route at different times in history. As per the authors card -Huck Finn meets Jack Kerouac in a canoe adventure down the Mississippi River. Has website

The Fearful Void
by Moorhouse, Geoffrey
pub. by Three Rivers Press - 1988     isbn 0517571145
288p. - - adventure
The author plans and executes to the limit of his ability a walking trip across the Sahara Desert from west to east including a stop at Timbuktu. He is accompanied by a series of guides who he hires along with a number of camels. The hot season catches him and he does not make his goal to walk to the Nile, and makes it just past Tamanrasset in Algeria. He prepared himself well, learning from various other desert travelers and even how to manage camels, and some of the local version of Arabic language before he set out. His last, and most competent, guide was a Tuareg, who carried a great sword. A great read if you are considering a hike in a hot dry place. A very interesting traveling tale. Also read - Sarah Unveiled - and perhaps - Skeletons on the Zahara - and - Charles de Foucauld Charles of Jesus - to get the full flavor of the Sahara.

Arabia Through the Looking Glass
(republished as Arabia, a journey through the Labyrinth) by Raban, Jonathan
pub. by Eilliam Collins (repub. Touchstone) - 1979 (repub. 1991)     isbn 0671798807 (later ed)
348p. - - travel - current events
The author learns some Arabic and notes Arabs living and visiting in England. He cannot manage to get a visa for Saudi Arabia, and instead travels around the country to Abu dhavi, Bahrain, Dubai, Quatar, Yemin and finally stops in Egypt before returning home to England. He observes the state of life in each country from more than a tourist point of view. The original trip was done about 1978 during one of the oil booms. Often the sky was the limit on spending, but the riches are not equally distributed. Views of Arabia are from the people of its neighbors, and are not all positive. This is a very interesting read revealing a point in time from which there has been much unraveling through 11 Sept. 2001 and current difficulties. Read this to gain an understanding of the underpinnings of the situation in 2009. This is the first of Raban s travel books. It is a little raw. His technique polishes through later publications.

Old Soggy no. 1 - the uninhibited story of Slats Rogers
by Rodgers, Slats. and Stilwell, Hart
pub. by Julian Messner, NY - 1954     later editions in a series on the history of flight - Arno Press, NY 1972     ISBN 0405037791
- 294 p. - other ed.     249 p.
Slats Rodgers was a railroad engineer. He was the first person to build an airplane in Texas. He did so from plans from a popular magazine. The first effort did not fly flat and straight. One wing sogged down hence the title of this biography. It flew a some distance then crashed. This experience did not deter him from trying again, and having better success.
He became quite an adept flier and was legendary among fliers in Texas. He flew stunts for Hollywood productions and became expert in how to crash an airplane and walk away personally unharmed. His method... strap yourself in snugly, carry a very sharp knife to cut the straps loose and fly between something which would shear both wings off and stop the airplane.
He was the first, or one of the first. to fly through an airplane hanger where the doors on both ends were open. He flew payroll and other goods into Mexico when land transportation was too dangerous. He smuggled goods such as watch parts across the US/Mexican border. He smuggled people (Chinese) into USA from Mexico.
He was the father of the crop dusting industry in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
Although larger than life by reputation, he was a real person. Some of old residents of The Valley remember him.
In many places this is a very funny book. A good read.

South - the story of Shackletons last expedition 1914-1917
by Shackleton, Sir Ernest
pub. by Konecky and Konecky, NY, 2004 -       isbn 1-56852-252-5     - 380 pages.
This is a modified version of Sir Ernest Shackletons diary, of his last (and failed) expedition to Antarctica. The intention was to travel straight across Antarctica from the Weddll Sea side to the McMurdo Sound side. While Shackleton sailed (and steamed) on the Endurance south into the South Atlantic and stopped at South Georgia Island before leaving on 5 December 1914 steaming as far south as possible. The Endurance froze into the ice and drifted about until it was crushed on 21 November 1915, 11 months and 16 days after they left their last anchorage. They spent the next 4 months and 19 days towing their lifeboats and sledges - and drifting on the ice - north to the edge of the ice. From launch of the life boats they spend 6 days moving north, finally finding a place to land on Elephant island (a very mountainous, ice covered, island with very little approachable land which was not ice covered. It had been 16 months and 12 days since they had last been on solid ground. It was a miserable existence but at least it was not moving, and would not sink, melt or break apart under them.
Since Elephant Island was never visited Shackleton decided to take one of the lifeboats, the James Caird and sail through the roughest seas on planet Earth to South Georgia Island where there were whaling stations and where he could get a rescue mission started. The James Caird was reinforced with among other things a canvas deck and was then sailed over 500 miles to South Georgia, landing on the west side. Three of the 5 men hiked and mountain climbed over the island in 36 hours to the whaling station in Stromness Bay, arriving after a 36 hour march on 19 May 1916. A number of rescue attempts were attempted before the yelcho got lucky and found the pack ice had drifted off and it could approach the camp at Elephant Island and rescue the rest of the original crew of the Endurance . ALL SURVIVED. Most became involved in WWI and a few did not survive the war. This narrative contains considerable detail on what they ate, how they slept, and how they kept their spirits up.
Then the book shifts to the adventures and narrative of the ship Aurora which was sent to the McMurdo Sound part of Antarctica to establish supply depots for the part of the expedition which was to be coming (by dog sled) from the Weddle Sea side of Antarctica via the South Pole. These people did their task surmounting great difficulties. The Aurora was also frozen in ice and after some damage managed to sail/steam to New Zealand. The ship was repaired and with Shackleton aboard went back to rescue those left behind on the McMurdo Sound side of Antarctica. In January 1917 they were picking up the remaining party and by 9 Feb 1917 the ship was back in Wellington, New Zealand. The party with the Aurora was not as lucky as the party on the Endurance the leader McIntosh and Hayward traveling with him had cut across a bit of frozen-over sea before it was solid enough. A storm blew the ice out and destroyed it. They were never seen again.
The book has a -Final Phase- chapter which describes what became of some of the survivors of the expedition with respect to their action in WWI.. Other appendices describe their scientific work, and the supply depots left behind for the benefit of later explorers.
This is the story of super-human effort, and excellent management in the face of nearly impossible odds. They just do not make people like this in the modern age. I thoroughly expect that future first visitors to the planet Mars might have such adventures. Nothing less than interplanetary travel could match what this expedition managed. Lastly, it should be noted that while both ships had radio equipment, it was not powerful enough to be of any assistance, either receiving or sending. This is unimaginable in the modern age.... to be totally cut off from news of the rest of the world for well in excess of a year.
This is a slow read, if you read it all. As it is essentially a diary there is a lot of what would be unnecessary verbiage, but for the detail it provides... it is priceless.

The Rivers Amazon
by Shoumatoff, Alex
pub. by Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, California, USA , 1978 -       isbn 0-871562103 - LCCN 78-008585     - 258 pages.
A good book to read if you are considering traveling on the Amazon River.

Passion for Life - Adventure against the odds by Sinnett-Jones, David
pub. by iUniverse, Inc. NY - 2004     isbn 0-595-31648-4 pbk
256 pages. B&W pictures, - - biography - adventure
David Sinnett-Jones was born 3 April 1930 in U.K. His mother and father were singers. His childhood was marked with living through WWII in England. He worked for a while as a commercial seaman, spent some time in Canada and did national service in the Army in England. He modified cars to race and eventually was hired by Cooper cars as a race driver. He had an accident (not on the race track) which blinded him in one eye, did other physical damage and ended his racing career. He bought and ran a dairy farm in Wales and began messing around with boats. With a friend he built 2 Spray replicas (of Joshua Slocum's boat) and after sailing to South Africa and back, enbarked on a sail around the world. He participated in the 100th anniversary of Joshua Slocum's similar achievement being at Newport, Rhode Island, USA on 27 June 1998. He sailed back to Wales and sometime later developed a leak from a hard grounding and had to abandon ship off Ireland in 300 ft.of water. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to raise the vessel. Later he built a re-creation of Slocum's Liberdade in plywood, modern design done by Bruce Roberts-Goodson. The first attempt to cross the Atlantic failed with gear failure some 200 miles west of the Azores. He returned to Wales in stages. In 1999 he sailed to Brazil, then re-creating Slocum's own Liberdade adventure sailed on to Massachusetts in USA. He did not make part of the voyage due to ill health. He flew to England, and then re-joined the voyage in northern Virginia, USA. After the Joshua Slocum Society International (JSSI) celebrations he flew home to Wales, was diagnosed with heart problems and lived. (until he died in 15 Nov. 2007 at the age of 74, shortly after this book was published). He was not shy about noting his love-life as it occurred throughout his life resulting a spicier tale and in protraying a well rounded understanding on his life. He was married, had 2 children, and later divorced.

Not All Plain Sailing
by Sinnett-Jones, David - - with Ann Queensberry
pub by Weidenfeld and Nicholson, London, UK 1989     isbn 0-297-79653-4
208 pages - sailing adventure - biography.
In this book Sinnett-Jones describes the building of his steel hulled Spray replica, the Zane Spray (a 36 ft. version designed by Bruce Roberts-Goodson.) Then he sailed from his home port of Aberporth in Wales first to the Azores, then to the island of St. Helena, on the way he sailed through the Zero longitude at the equator - being at the Zero - Zero point, which is an unusual route, and one he paid dearly for in unusually calm and hot weather, a bad thing for a sailboat. From St. Helena he sailed to Cape Town, S. Africa where he visited his daughter Madeleine. The contestants in the BOC around the world race stopped at Durban, S. Africa while he was there. Leaving S. Africa he took a Jeannie Muir who was a great help, especially watch-keeping. He sailed on to western Australia, arriving in time to be among the throng viewing the Americas Cup races - January 1987. From there he sailed to Sydney and staged an arrival so that the Television crew would get good footage of his arrival. He stayed in Australia for some time sailing, enjoying himself and doing repairs. He sailed on to New Zealand visiting and then headed out alone across the S. Pacific around Cape Horn to Stanley in the Falkland Islands. He sailed north to St. Helena, closing the loop of his circumnavigation there. He found that he was the first to do a circumnavigation St. Helena to St. Helena. From there he sailed north to the Azores and then back to Wales. He arrived slightly early and waited in a nearby harbor to arrive back at his home port in Aberporth, Walesk UK. This book was published by a regular publisher (not vanity published as his later biography was) and the spelling and word use is much more standard. It also is more circumspect than his later biography, dwelling on the sailing and regular in-port activities.

Sailing Alone Around the World
by Slocum, Joshua b. 1844 - missing 1909
pub. by The Century Co., NY 1900     isbn 0-
xvi p, 294 pages. maps, few pictures (sketches), - - adventure
Just what the title says. This is the narrative of the first single handed sail around the world. This book is the absolute classic in sailing adventure. Slocum rebuilt the oyster smack Spray which was given to him as a joke by a friend, then after not doing well fishing, sailed around the world, supporting himself giving lectures. He sailed the long way in the days before the Panama Canal he sailed through the Straights of Magellan and avoiding the pirates in the Red Sea, around the southern tip of Africa and the Cape of Good Hope. Joshua Slocum was a ship captain in the age of sail, who became unemployed in the age of steam. Not that he could not navigate a steamship, (which he did on at least one occasion - Voyage of the Destroyer ) but his heart was not in steam navigation. This book has been constantly in print since 1900. Which is a great tribute to its alure and readability. - a very good read, written in a very engaging style.

Voyage of the Destroyer from New York to Brazil by Slocum, Joshua b. 1844 - missing 1909
pub by the century Co. NY? - 1894
Slocum delivers an Erickson destroyer (steam powered warship) from the builder to Brazil (the buyer). While en-route there is a coup and the new government is not so sure it wants it. During the voyage a British naval officer who was among the officers on the crew drew critizism from Slocum when he wrote this book. Slocum was sued for liabel. In subsequent writings he was careful to couch any criticism in positive enough terms so as to avoid liable.
This book is included in Walter Magness Teller's complete works of Joshua Slocum.

Capt. Joshua Slocum - the adventures of Americas best known sailor
by Slocum, Victor
pub. by Sheridan HouseDobbs Ferry, NY, USA - copyright 1950 - this is reprint of the 1972 edition      isbn 0-924486-52-X - - 384 p. - - some maps -- index - - pictures b&w -
This is the biography of Joshua Slocum, the first man to sail alone around the world (July 1, -- 1898) written by his eldest son. Joshua was a master of his craft - a sailors sailor, and a boatbuilder as well. He lived at the end of the age of commercial sail and his best talents became more and more irrelevant as the twentieth century dawned. Slocum could and did captain steam ships, but his heart was not in it. He wrote a book The Voyage of the Destroyer about his delivery of an Erickson designed & built warship from New York to Brazil.
His family life can be divided into 3 parts. First, his rocky relationship with his farmer father. Second, his very successful marriage to his first wife, Virginia, who was a true partner to a ship captain. (She died of fever in S. America on board ship in port.) Third his marriage to his second wife, who sailed with him once, then settled and supplied a home ashore when Joshua was ashore.
Joshua Slocum was born in Nova Scotia, Canada. He later became a citizen of USA. He ran away from home and found work on fishing schooners, later ships and worked his way up to being a ship captain, hired by owners who were impressed with his talents. Later in his career Joshua held part or whole ownership of the ships he captained. At first he sailed the North Atlantic, often between England and USA. Later he sailed in the Pacific, San Francisco, Alaska, Australia (where he met and married Virginia), the Phillipines, Hong Kong and asiatic Russia.
After a shipwreck in S. America he and his sons built a 35 foot long boat, rigged it out and sailed home to USA from Brazil. At this early date it was unheard of to take such a small vessel on that long a trip, especially with a wife and family. For some time the Liberdade was held by the Smithsonian Inst. but eventually it was lost or discarded.
After a period of unemployment a shipcaptain friend gave Joshua a wreck of an oyster smack, the Spray as a joke. Joshua turned the joke around by rebuilding the boat, then sailing this boat (36 ft. long overall) around the world. He wrote up his adventures in Sailing Alone Around the World , a book which has been continuously in print for over 100 years.
Joshua Slocum disappeared when sailing from his home in Massachusetts to the Caribbean where he often wintered in his later years. Victor offers some theories on what happened, the one he finds most plausable is that the Spray was accidentally run down by a large steamer, which did not even feel the collision.
This book includes a lengthy discussion on the design and charactertistics of the Spray, special consideration given to self-steering and stability. Victor quotes the favorable Andrade study. He also sheds some light on how Capt. Slocum did lunars to determine navigational time at sea, and thus navigate with some reasonable precision. (This involved measuring the angle between the moon and another body such as the sun or a star. As the moon appears to travel across the sky much more rapidly than the motion of other bodies measuring the differential can give you time.) This technique became more and more unused with the advent of comparatively inexpensive chronometers and more recently the GPS system.

On the Water - Discovering America in a Rowboat
by Stone, Nathaniel
pub. by Broadwater bks - div of Random House - 2002     isbn 0-7679-0842-2
323 pages. maps, few pictures, - - adventure
The author rows from New York City up the Hudson River - West on the Barge Canal and makes a short portage ending up on the Ohio River, descending to the Mississippi. He goes to the absolute end of the Mississippi then backtracks up to follow the coast East and down the length of Florida to Key West, then north past Miami , Savannah, the great Dismal Swamp, Atlantic City and back to New York. Not satisfied he keeps going to the Cape Cod Canal where he can not pass, as he does not have a motor, so he rows around Cape Cod to Boston and continues North to Eastport Maine, arriving 17 Aug. 2000.

Old Glory - A Voyage Down the Mississippi
by Raban, Jonathan
pub. by Vintage book (reprint) - 1998     isbn 0-37570100-1
(orig pub by Simon and Schuster in 1981) - maps - 409 p - - sailing adventure
Raban buys a 16 foot outboard motorboat and travels the length of the Mississippi from Minnesota to Morgan City Louisanna (where the Mississippi would go if the Corps of Engineers let it have its way.) This is one of his earlier tales of travel in USA. Travel was done in the late 1970s. Being English he offers a non-natives views on what he sees. Raban is an excellent travel writer and is always readable.

Lore of the Wreckers
by Shepard, Birse
pub. by Beacon Press, Boston     pub in Canada by J. Reginald Saunders, Toronto.      isbn -none- LCCN - 61-6221 - - 278 p. - maps on endpages, appendices, bibliography, index,
Wrecking is what is now called Marine Salvage. Nowdays it is the work of specially built strongly built ocean going tugs responding to radioed messages from vessels in distress at sea. The time period covered by this book (roughly 1200 through 1898) marine salvage was called wrecking, and was carried out mostly after a vessel had come to grief on a shore or reef. There is a chapter on the law pertaining to what to do with items found from ships which have lost their cargo either by jettisoning (throwing it overboard) or by actually being wrecked on a shore. Most often it was not -finders keepers-. The area described in this book is the North Atlantic. Some of the older stories come from England and France, but most of the book details wrecking in what is now USA, and actually it probably grew out of the authors knowledge of Key West and the area between the southern tip of Florida, USA, the Bahamas and Cuba.
I picked this book up from a used book sale as a curiosity, and am glad I did. It is an interesting read. The idea of using sailing vessels to salvage other sailing vessels in stormy conditions stretches the mind... especially of one who has had some experience sailing.

Facing the Congo - a modern-day journey into the heart of darkness
by Taylor, Jeffrey
pub. by . Three Rivers (random house), New York, 2000     isbn - 0-609-80826-5 - - 261 p. - map p.2 - Black and White photos - Epilogue p.257-260 - Acknowledgements and Prologue. Visions of a River p. xi-xxii
Jeffrey Taylor served as in the Peace Corps in Uzbekistan and was working in Russia when he became dissatisfied with the way his life was going. He became infected with the idea of going to Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), and taking a local canoe down the Congo River from Kisangani downstream to Kinshasa. If he succeded he would be the first since H. M. Stanley did the trip 1875-1877.
After much preparation Taylor flew to Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of the Congo, just across the river from Kinshasa in Zaire (as Democratic Republic of the Congo was then called). In Brazzaville he met with Peace Corps people and took a few weeks to learn rudimentary Lingala the most common language in the region, other than French.
He took a ferry from Brazzaville to Kinshasa and encountered a less than great reception. He described incredible poverty and squalor. The hotel he found was dreadful. Looking for a ride up river to Kisangani he was directed to -the Colonel- (Zaire Army) who ran a pusher tug (pousseur) which pushed barges up river to Kinsangani carrying cargo and a large quantity of people. Taylor was roughly befriended by -the Colonel- and was provided with a ride, over a few weeks, to arrive in Kisangani (The Congo River goes through rapids above there and is not navigable by the same boats which travel from Kinshasa.) Taylor learns much on the trip up. He purchases a 30 ft. dugout canoe and hires Desi, one of the crew as a guide. After buying supplies they leave in secrecy so that none wishing to harm him would be able to easily follow him. There are difficulties, in the Lokele tribe region, but the trip went well enough. Enviornmental councerns (mosquitos, wasps etc.) were seveare. Desi visited relatives, including his wife and child, and soon after became ill. Traveling through the area where his tribe lived was not very hazardous. There were other areas downstream inhabited by less friendly tribes such as the Ngombe tribe which natively spoke another language and who they did encounter and the fierce Bangala tribe further down the river. (The Bangala supplied many of the soldiers in the Zairean Army under President Mobutu.)
In the town of Lisala Jeffrey Taylor hired an armed member of the army to accompany and guard them for travel through more dangerous territory. Desi became more ill and came to crisis. To save his life they tied on to a pousseur (called Colonel Ebeya) with barges. They managed to tie on without it stopping, an interesting feat, near the town of La Gare, near where the Mongala River enters the Congo. Taylor had gone some 470 miles on his trip when he had to quit. He paid the fare for the soldier to return to his post and paid him the full amount agreed on plus a bonus. Desi was also paid off with bonus, and given the canoe and all the equipment left. His condition became much better by use of medicine from some selling medicine on the barges. There were some 4000 people traveling on this barge tow. These barge tows are regular towns on the Congo.
He and some Spaniards he encountered on the Ebeya left river travel at Mbandaka and flew back to Kinshasa and the practical end of the adventure. From there Taylor traveled across the Congo to Brazzaville and flew back home.
Jeffrey Taylor includes a good epilogue finishing off the story and his eventual marriage to his Russian friend and living near Moscow, enjoying the Russian winter.
This is an incredible and detailed true adventure story, from an area where few have ever gone, especially in the last 20 years. Read it for the adventure. Read it for priceless geographical knowlege.

How to Avoid Huge Ships or I never met a ship I liked
by Trimmer, John W.
pub. by Captain John W. Trimmer, Seattle, WA, 1982 (printed by The National Writers Press, Aurora, Colorado -       isbn; 0-88100-019-1     LCCN = 82-61398. -     illustrative charts and Black and White photos   97 p.
Trimmer is a ship captain and professional pilot, meaning a licensed person who takes ships into and out of specific ports. He worked in the Panama Canal and at the time of the writing of this book worked the Port of Seattle and the Pacific NW coast north to Alaska.
The book is organized into chapters
What you should know - Ships and Engines
Maneuvering Large Ships around Small Boats
Lights - Here Trimmer recommends good regular navigation lights which should be able to be seen for a long distance, as well as other lights to call attention to the small boat. In essence, the more light the better.
Crossing Ahead of a Ship - do not do it - the ship is coming much faster than you think, and the big ship can not stop in time, or turn fast enough to dodge you.
The Dance of Death - The hazard of changing course late, meanwhile the other ship/boat changes course so that the danger is not diminished. Much like 2 people approaching on a sidewalk each dodging to miss one another and actually both dodging the same way to a collision.
Why will a Ship hold course Until Close to a Small Boat -
Wake of a Ship and the Bow Wave - Bow waves can be dangerous. (and so can stern waves, which are harder to see.)
Cutting Ships close Astern - do not do it. AND be aware of tugs towing barges on long towlines, sometimes 600 feet behind the tug. Do NOT get between a tug and its tow. Also note the hazards of towing large rafts of logs in the Pacific NW.
Suction Astern of the Ship
Currents - the effect of currents on large ships and how to maintain a course the ship may be headed into the current and look like it is going one direction while it vectored off pointing a slightly different direction to counteract the current.
Winds - the effect of wind on large ships, making them difficult to control
The Vessel Traffic System - explains the VTS where in USA the Coast Guard monitors the movements of ships and boats with radar, making suggestions for safety. It also mentions lanes of separation, much like driving on a highway and how it works.
Crowded Sea Lanes
Diagrams - little maplets showing what the most prudent course for a small boat in 12 different situations. Most of the time the advice is turn away from the big ship at a large enough angle that the pilot understands the intentions of the helmsman of the small boat.
My Last Advice
A Short History fo Pilotage - a bit on the medieval law of Orion (Orleon) on the duties of pilots and how seriously they are taken.
IIlustrations - black and white photos mostly from the bridge of a large ship, often showing what a pilot sees.

All in All - Captain Trimmer realizes that small boats have rights. He recommends prudence on the part of the small boat, as the smaller vessel is much more maneuverable in in much greater peril. It appears that he has not had much time (or any time) in small recreational vessels. He admits that some of his pilot friends own and use small recreational boats. All of his advice is given as if the smaller boat is a motorboat, and has much more control than a sailboat.

Note that this book was written before the common usage of GPS navigation, and radar being more commonly available on small boats. Trimmer, as a harbor pilot, does not address traffic on the ICW (Intercoastal waterway) which lines most of the East coast of USA from southern Texas to Boston, Massachusetts.

An interesting read, with cautionary tales for operators of small boats, especially in harbor conditions.
Good explanation of how a big ship moves and is controlled, and what its limits are.
This book in the various editions which are for sale now seems unreasonably pricey.
I would recommend that the publisher(s) make less expensive editions available, because on the whole, it has very important information for the boating public.

21,500 miles alone in a canoe
by Watson, Don B.
pub. by Don B. Watson, Pendleton, Oregon, USA - 1980     isbn - none -
239p. - - adventure
Watson sailed/motored his decked motorized canoe on the Tennessee River, up to Minnesota where he started down the Mississippi River eventually going to the southern tip of Texas. He also traveled along the coast to Florida. He explored the Arkansas River and also went up the Missouri and across USA to the Pacific coast. He took the inland passage from Seattle to Juneau, Alsaka. Don finds strength in his religious faith.

Shackletons Boat Journey
by Worsley, Frank Arthur - 1872-1943
pub. by W.W. Norton, NY, 1977 -       isbn 0-393-08759-x   many other editions   bw photos - maps on endpapers and S. Georgia Island - 220 pages.
This is Worsleys narrative of the Shackleton expedition of 1914 - 1917. This edition has an itroduction by Edmund Hillary.
Hillary encapsulates the whole expedition in his introduction, which outlines the whole expedition and effectively sets the scene for the more detailed body of the book. Worsley begins his narrative with the abandonment of the Endurance after it is crushed by the ice. The time spent on the ice is described as is the launching of the three boats James Caird 22ft 6 inches long 6 ft beam (later had sides raised 15 inches) - Stancomb Wills 20 ft 8 inches long 5 ft 6 inches beam 27.5 inches deep from inside of keel to top of gunwale - Dudley Docker 22ft long 6 ft beam depth 3 ft. - Sir Ernest Shackleton captained the Caird, Frank Worsley captained the Docker and Hudson captained the Wills during the group sailing from the edge of the more solid ice flow to Elephant Island. The Wills as the smallest boat was often towed by one of the larger ones as it had difficulty keeping up. It was also most in danger of foundering (sinking by being overwhelmed by wave).
As over a year had passed since the Endurance had last had contact with the outside world (the radio did not work at the distance they were from any civilization), and Elephant Island was not on any normally visited route it was clear that they needed to call for rescue the direct way... by having a smaller group sail to a place where a rescue could be organized. And so, the main part of this narrative begins.
The James Caird was modified by adding a canvas deck, a mizzen mast, and strengthened along the keel with a bit of wood from a sledge. It was heavily ballasted (overly so by Worsleys estimation) to make it more stable. Supplies and a Primus single burner stove were loaded. The crew for the sail to S. Georgia Island included Ernest Shackleton, Frank Worsley (who was an excellent navigator and was captain of the Endurance , Tom Crean, H. McNeish, Timothy Mccarty (carpenter), (RN Reserve and/or Merchant seamen) and J. Vincent (a North Sea fisherman).
The voyage from Elephant Island to S. Georgia, some 800 miles is described in detail. An encounter with a huge wave (now called a rogue wave) is described in horrifying detail. Living conditions and how they bore the discomfort is also detailed. The genius of the leadership in keeping spirits up and the joking done in extreme circumstances is described.
The harrowing approach and landing on S. Georgia is detailed, as is the first few days of recovery before setting off across the island to the whaling station begun.

Boats and Boating including design and construction

The Low-Tech Navigator
by Crowley, Tony
pub. by Seafarer Books, Rendlesham, Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK - Sheridan House, Dobbs Ferry, NY, 2004      US isbn 1-57409-191-3    UK isbn 0-95427-503-9 - - 148 p. - diagrams, appendices, bibliography, index,
This Mr. Crowley must be a navigator of the old school. He has amassed a very thorough knowledge of celestial navigation, and a wide variety of tricks of the trade, many of which are well beyond what a day-to-day navigator would know. This book is for those who want to be able to make one's way when the GPS fails. It also contains very practical sections on making navigational tools and equipment, some historical, some hysterical (compass made from toilet tank float!) Inbetween the more serious (but lightly written) parts of this book Crowly writes what appear to be fictional short stories... fun reads... like recess after a bit of class in grade school. All in all, a very fun read.

The Good Little Ship
by Gilpin, Vincent
pub. by Sutter House. Litiz Pennsylvan 1975     isbn 0-915180-01-4
(orig pub 1952 and reprinted 1961) 64p. - Co-published and distributed by Harrowood Books. Box 397. - - boatbuilding
This book includes lines drawings for Presto a 41 ft (overall)10 ft. 6 in. beam ketch which draws 2 ft. 6 in. with the centerboard up. and for the Good Little Ship 35 ft. (overall) 10 ft. 6 in. beam which draws 2 ft. 6 in with the centerboard up. The author owned the Wabun and is intimately familiar with these lightweight shallow draft Presto class cruising sailboats. He was a friend of Commondore Munro who designed them and popularized the design in Florida at the turn of the century. This is a delightful book full of good common sense.

Buehlers Backyard Boatbuilding
by Buehler, George
pub. by McGraw-Hill - 1991     isbn 0-07-158380-7
371p. - - boatbuilding
Buehler espouses a common sense approach to boat design and building. No magic here - just common sense. The author does assume access to lumber in dimensions and quality which may not be available in 2006 or at least not in south Texas. His advice on wood materials is probably more appropriate in the Pacific Northwest and some places in Northeast USA.

Practical Dinghy Cruiser
by Constantine, Paul
pub. Moonshine Publications       isbn 978-1-907938-01-6 - - 166 p. - (contacts) - list of boats covered by the DCA (Dinghy Cruising Association) bulletin
This book was written to introduce Dinghy Cruising and the Dinghy Cruising Association to any person who might be interested in sailing cruising in small open boats. The physical book I have is the first shipped to USA. (information from the author, who is marketing the book) While it is written for the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales etc.) most of the major ideas have general application wherever small boats are sailed, and camped in.

Sailing Boats
by Fox, Uffa
pub. by St Martins Press, NY, 1959 -   -  photos and line drawings/sketch plans   -       isbn none - LCCN = 59-14793     204 pages.
Uffa Fox was a noted small boat designer and sailor. Most of his designs were for small light weight racing craft. What he did not know about racing small craft probably does not need to be known. He sailed across the Atlantic at least 3 times. He lived long enough to be involved in both WWI and WWII. During WWII he designed a boat which could be released from the bottom of a rescuing aircraft to drop to downed air crews to assist in their rescue. He was a personal friend of royalty. He sailed with the Prince of Wales when that prince was quite young, also the Duke of Edinburgh and the late King Feisal of Iraq.
Fox was a keen follower of the Americas Cup races. The last chapter of the book follows the races and the boats of the races up through 1958 with in depth analysis.
This book is an examination of 17 individual designs plus the Americas Cup analysis. Not all designs discussed were his own designs. A few were well designed catamarans. One of these (the prout Shearwater) was the predecessor of the design my father and I built.
A very good read if you want to understand fast sailboats, particularly smaller fast boats.

Uffa Fox a Personal Biography
by Dixon, June
pub. by Angus and Robertson, Brighton, Sussex, England, UK, 1978 -       isbn; 0-207-95827-0     black and white photos - line drawings of Naval Airborne Lifeboat MK.1. - International fourteen Avenger - Flying Fifteen Cowslip H.R.H. Prince Philip - 25ft Hydro Skee Family Cruiser - Day Sailer -     index p. 201 - 206   - -   206 p.
This is a biography of Uffa Fox, from birth in 1898 to death in 1972. He grew up in the Edwardian period immediately after the death of Queen Victoria in 1901. His father was a woodworker who insisted on high quality work. Uffa was a difficult child who often did what he wanted rather than what was asked of him. He never made it through any official maritime design school. In his lifetime he became one of the most celebrated designers of racing sailboats of the era. He was an avid Sea Scout. His work life spanned from shortly before WWI through WWII when he designed and built Naval Airborne Lifeboats to be attached to the underside of a rescue airplane and dropped to downed aviators (mostly in the North Sea). Post WWII he re-started his boatbuilding shops peacetime small yacht building works. Through sailboat racing he became a personal friend of Philip, H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh. They often sailed and raced together. He later taught the royal children how to sail.
Uffa was not an easy person. His fits of anger and rash acts often enough damaged relationships and sometimes acted against his own best interest. He was also what in modern times could be called a party animal. Money flowed through his fingers and he was always in debt to his bankers and creditors. He almost always paid-up eventually, when money came in from he projects he was working on and boats built were paid for.
He was in intrepid Sea Scout leader who on holiday one year took his boys across the English Channel to Le Harve, France and up the Seine almost to Paris. Then returned before the parents of the boys knew they had - gone foreign - and without any official papers.
In his lifetime he married 3 times. Once in this 20s to Alma, a childhood sweetheart and schoolteacher (marriage ended early 1939), a second time to Cherry a lively woman he met, and finally to a wealthy French widow. The first 2 marriages ended poorly. The third, Yvonne, a Parisian, was sustained by Uffas inability to speak French and his wifes inability to speak English.
Fox wrote a book Sailing, Seamanship and Yacht Construction fairly early in his life, with the help of Alma. He came to realize there was more and easier money in writing and wrote several more through his life.
June Dixon, his biographer, knew him personally. A few times late in the book the narrative slips into the first person. From the general tone I am led to believe that June Dixon did not really like Uffa Fox, and from his antics throughout his life, one can understand the reasons.
This is an interesting read. One gets into the mind and life of a famous and temperamental designer, and finds his feet of clay.

The Elements of Boat Strength - for Builders. Designers and Owners
by Gerr, Dave
pub. by International Marine/McGraw-Hill - 2000     isbn 0-07-023159-1
368 p. - - boatbuilding
This book is an in depth study. Includes graphs. charts etc. leading to an understanding of what it takes to build a strong boat.

The Nature of Boats
by Gerr, Dave
pub. by McGraw Hill - 1995     isbn 97800070242333
- - 418 p. - - boatbuilding
This book is an in depth study of boat design and building. - Advanced.

The Compleate Cruiser - the art practice and enjoyment of boating
by Hereshoff, L. Francis
pub. by Sheridan House - 1987     isbn 9780911378672
(originally published 1952 )- 372 p. - - boatbuilding
This book includes a great deal of common sense about cruising boat design - from one of the great designers of the 20th Century.

Voyage to Jamestown Practical Navigation in the Age of Discovery
by Hicks, Robert D.
pub. by Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 2011 -       isbn 978-1,59114-376-5 - some maps. diagrams. b&w photos - Glossary p. 179-185- Bibliography p.187-193 - - Notes p.157-178 - index- 205 p.
This book takes the word - navigation - in the broadest sense. Every element of this imaginary trip is explored. It is compared with a small number of written accounts of sailnigs during the same time period. This is a very informatinally dense book. It is a read which takes a lot of background historical knowledge and a great amount of attending the detail. There are rewards, there is much to be learned. Although the Iberian (Portugese and Spanish) earlier history is acknowledged, this book is about the English and Protestant tradition of the time period (1611).

Boats - Egyptian Bookshelf (series)
by Jones, Dilwyn
pub. by University of Texas Press, Austin      isbn 0292740395 LCCN - 94-061614 - - 96 p. - line drawings, photographs, glossary, appendices, bibliography, index,
This little book contains almost anything a person would want to know about ancient Egyptian boats. It starts our describing their place in Egyptian society, and includes the various types of boats over the various dynasties, then it describes them physically and describes how they were built. It is a thorough little book.

Sea Vagabonds world - boats and sails distant shores islands and lagoons
Moitessier, Bernard
pub by Sheridan House, NY 1998 - translated by William Rodarmor - 216p illustrations, maps     isbn 1-57409-021-6
Bernard Moitessier reveals the tricks of the trade of a long distance voyager. A useful book for one who wants to sail long distances offshore, written by an eminently qualified sailor.

All in the Same Boat
by McCall, Fiona and Howard, Paul
pub. by McClwelland and Stewart, Toronto, Canada, 1988     isbn - 0-7710-5437-8 - - 249 p. - photos - Appendix A. Descruotuib if Lorcha and equipment - Appendix B. Itinerary - Appendix C. Factors in Choosing a Boat
A Canadian family build a boat and with 4 year old and 6 year old children sail to Africa, South America and Panama on their way around the world. Their boat is 29 ft long overall, and is Chinese Lug rigged. It displaces 5 tons. There is much good practical advice in this book. Do note that it was published in 1988 and some things have changed.

Arthur Ransome under sail - Racundra - nancy Blackett - Lottie Blossom - Peter Duck - Selina King - Swallow
by Wardale, Roger
pub. Sigma Leisure, Carmathenshire SA18 3HP in UK - - 2010       isbn 978-1-85058-855-9 - - 256 p. - bibliography - black and white photos
This book was previously published by Jonathan Cape in 1991 under the title Nancy Blackett, Under Sail with Arthur Ransome . It chronicles the sailing life of Arthur Ransme, author of the Swallows and Amazons books. It also describes the various boats and lists owners after Ransome. A simpler version of a biography of Ransome than his autobiography or the excellent biography by Hugh Brogan. - a good read.

How to Build a Tin Canoe - Confessions of an Old Salt
by White, Robb
pub. by Hyperion - 2003     isbn 1-4013-0027-8
- - 228 p. - - boatbuilding - biography
This book is really more autobiography of a fameous US builder of small boats. He lived in Thomasville, Georgia, and Dog Island, Florida, Robb White died May 16, 2006. He was born June 4, 1941. Robb served in the US Navy, earned a teaching degree and taught high school, and worked on towboats, but his love was boatbuilding even though he often had to work at other things to make financial ends meet. It is a very good read. Highly recommended. see the website it will help to sort out Robb White the boatbuilder from Robb White the author of acclaimed young-adult books (his father.)

Fiction worth reading

The Cry of the Heron
by Allan, Dick
pub. by Longfellow Publishers, Farnham, Surrey, UK 2000     isbn 0-9533291-2-7
- maps - 240 p. - boating - historical fiction
A work of fiction. This book describes the inland waterway trade in Southeastern UK (England) between 1777 - 1794. The story is fairly straightforward and involves 2 families of bargemen, one the hero, the other his evil foil. The real reason for this books popularity is that it portrays the barge trade on the River Wey and Thames in great detail, including the operation of the locks, towpaths, weirs etc. and even construction of part of a new canal. The author has a special interest in the preservation of the canals.
The author is an avid sailor and has sailed a small yacht, the Greylag around the world.


The Saint Intervenes
by Charteris, Leslie
pub. by American Reprint Company, Mattinituk, NY, 1976 (orig. pub in 1934 -       isbn; 0-89190-384-4     14 chapters each a story, 274 p.
Charteris has a main character Simon Templar who is also known as The Saint who is a crook in his own right. The character spends time and effort in setting up and foiling other evil doers, mostly in some sort of confidence man racquet. All of the 14 chapters are stories in their own right. This is actually a collection of short stories. They are a good fun read. Light fiction ~ except ~ the language used presumes a good vocabulary on the part of the reader. Perhaps this is because this particular collection was written in the early 1930s. In that the vocabulary is not dumbed down, it is extra delightful. All are set in England in time contemporary to the publication... 1930. I am still wondering what the meaning of the German word zerquetschenreiflichkeit means. Used in chapter XII (12) it seems that the concept is only understood in German.
Charteris wrote many books in the ~The Saint~ series follow the same formula. The Saint identifies some crook who is causing too much trouble for the law abiding public, then takes action, often as a confidence man himself causing the other criminal to bankrupt himself, while our hero makes off with the loot for himself, supporting his lavish lifestyle.
There was a ~The Saint~ Television program series which aired 1962-1969. It was light and fun to watch. I read many of the books in the time when the TV series was aired. Now, 40 years later, the books are still a good fun read.

The Saint and the Hapsburg Necklace
by Charteris, Leslie - Short, Christopher (actual author)
pub. by Magna Print Books, Lancanshire, England -       isbn; 0-86009-223-2     347 p.
This book is set in 1938 and was published 1968, probably written shortly before it was published. This is notable because it portrays Vienna, Austria as the world was beginning to experience what soon would be World War II. Simon Templar is staying in a businessmans hotel in Vienna and his curiosity brings him into a situation with a beautiful young woman. As the story develops she is the keeper of the Hapsburg Necklace, which is hidden in her ancestral castle. The castle is occupied by Nazi SS who know of the necklace and would like to have it. The story winds and twists around the recovery of the necklace and there are sufficient plot twists and turns to make an interesting tale.
During the later part of Leslie Charteris life there were others who wrote books which were published under his name. Like a Renaissance master, Charteris had a look at the work done make improvements as necessary and release it as a finshed work. I am sure that this is one of those. The plot has a few more twists and turns than a classic Charteris work. It is a lot of fun, and a good fast read.

Salvage for the Saint
by Charteris, Leslie - Peter Blossom and John Kruse (actual collaborative authors)
pub. by Crime Club - Doubleday, Garden City, NY - 1983 -       isbn; 0- none shown - LCN 83-5233     181 p.
Another book written by two writers Peter Blossom and John Kruse in collaboration with Leslie Charteris. This one starts out with a powerboat race off the Isle of Wight in England, on the English Channel. A boat suspiciously explodes and burns. The widow of the boat owner had asked for help from Simon Templar. On the case he follows the widow across France in search of a large yacht which her husband owned and which he (the husband) had never mentioned to his wife. Adventures ensue. The large motor yacht is found. A hunt for a treasure in gold bars that the husband stole is sought. Complicating matters are the husbands partners in crime who, unlike the husband were caught and did jail time. The husband had managed to escape. The partners are ruthless in their efforts to get their share (all of) the gold. Through several plot twists and police intervention the story comes to a satisfactory conclusion, at least for The Saint and the widow.


The Silver Chalice: A Story of the Cup of the Last Supper
by Costain, Thomas B.
pub. by Hodder and Stoughton - 1953     isbn 0802471048
- - 527 p - historical fiction
The story of the Last Supper of Christ and the Apostles followed by the story of the Silver Chalice which was used at the Last Supper - the Grail. A well written book. A best seller in its time.


Treasure of Kahn
by Cussler, Clive with Dirk Cussler
pub. by Penguin Audio - 2006     isbn 0-14-305895-9
- - 14 CD Disks - hours and hours - - fiction
A work of fiction, or should I say fantesy. The tale starts with a flashback from WWII in China, and from that a flashback to the time in the 1200s when the Kahn of China attempted to invade Japan. Then to the present when a NUMA team is aboard a Russian research vessel on Lake Baikal in Siberia. The action travels to Mongolia where much of the action takes place, but Hawaii, the Arabian Gulf, and the coast of China also figure. At its core the story revolves around Mongolian history and modern day oil. The writing is not of as high a quality of a few of the other Cussler novels I have read, or listeded to. More than half of this helped occupy time on a long drive across Texas. This is mind candy. Taken as a whole an overload. It could easily have been edited to half its length and still have been a credible novel.

Tough Cookie
by Davidson, Diane Mott
pub. by Bantam Books, NY. 2000     isbn - 0-553-10723-2 - - 294 p. - Index to recipes
This is a fairly lighweight and very readable mystery. Davidson has an engaging style and the action moves along at a reasonable pace. The background for this bit of fiction is in the ski valleys of Colorado. Since I have been on snow skis only once in my life, and have almost nil knowledge of the sport the background was new and novel to me. There is enough complexity to the plot to sustain interest. The characters are developed enough to sustain the story. In short, it is a good read for relaxation. The author has published at least 10 such mysteries.

House of Niccolo series
by Dunnet, Dorothy
    1. Niccolo Rising (1986)
pub by Knopf, NY 1986     ISBN-10: 0394531078
470 p. - maps - Fiction

    2. Spring of the Ram (1987)
    3. Race of Scorpions (1989)
    4. Scales of Gold (1991)

Well researched historical fiction covering the period 1460-1480, and spanning area from Bruges in the Netherlands to Venice to the eastern edges of the Byzantine empire on the Black Sea and on to Timbuktu in the Sahara. The books protagonist is a Flemish textile merchant who does well and parlays a modest organization to being a participant among the great mercantile empires of the late medieval and early renaissance.
These are difficult reads, very dense, but rewarding. Not all parts of the stories end happily.

Fishermans Bend - a Jane Bunker mystery
by Greenlaw, Linda
pub. by Hyperion, NY. 2008 -       isbn 13-978-1-4013-2235-9 - 245 pages.
Linda Greenlaw is the captain of her lobsterboat. She also captained a swordfishing boat, and has written non-fiction books on commercial fishing. She has published a previous book of fiction (Slipknot). She has a degree in English from Colby College in Waterville, Maine. She is well prepared to write non-fiction and fiction on fishing and coastal affairs in northeastern USA.
This mystery, a work of fiction, is delighful, well written and an all around - good read -. It develops its plot well, and comes to a reasonable and satisfying conclusion.
The protagonist, Jane Bunker, was born in Maine, but from an early age lived in Florida, grew up around boat people and commercial fishermen. She worked in law enforcement there, grew tired of it and moved to Maine. As an insurance investigator and also county sheriffs deputy she does her job - thinks like a law enforcement and manages living in a very small town. The characterizations of locals rings true. This is a satisfying book.


My Home Sweet Home translation of Corrierno delle Famiglie
by Guareschi, Giovanni
pub. by Farrar Straus and Giroux, NY 1966 (Italian version copyright 1954)     isbn (none) LCCN = 66-25133 - - 214 p. - biography - illustrated with some pen and ink sketches.
This is the earlier autobiographical book by Guareschi. Originally published in 1954, the later autobiographical book was first published in 1968. About half of the stories (chapters) in this book are repeated in the later book (The Family Guareschi - chronicles the past and present). As in the later work (which I read first) one gets a look inside Guareschi's family life. Some of the bitterness about unwanted progress evidant in the later work is absent in these stories. One also learns a thing or two about life in Italy. For instance. There are taxes on firewood cut from one's own property brought into Milan, and that there are regular road blocks which may randomly stop and insepect cars and trucks before they enter the city.... in 1954. It is an interesting read, enjoyable with its philosophical ramblings and discussions between family members, and the peek into the minds of the Guareschi family.

Little World of Don Camillo
by Guareschi, Giovanni
pub. by Pellegrini and Cudahy, NY 1950     isbn (none) - 205 p. illustrated with some pen and ink sketches.
This is thoroughly delightful fiction, translated from the original Italian, about a parish priest in northern Italy who deals lovingly with his parishoners... some of whom are Italian communists. There is some mention of the post WWII Marshal Plan - an interesting historical tidbit. Read this book and the others of the series. They will amuse you and make you happy. Remember to read the author's biographical forward. It is very revealing.

Don Camillo and his flock
by Guareschi, Giovanni
pub. by Pellegrini and Cudahy, NY 1952     isbn (none) LCCN = 52-9359 - - 250 p. illustrated with some pen and ink sketches.
This is another thoroughly delightful fiction, translated from the original Italian, about a parish priest in the Po valley innorthern Italy. Several of the stores near the end concern events during a major flood on the Po which inundated the town. Read this book and the others of the series. Again, these stories will amuse you and make you happy.

Don Camillos Dilema
by Guareschi, Giovanni
pub. by Victor Gollancz Ltd., London 1968 (first pub Farrar Strauss in 1954     isbn (none) LCCN = 54-__ - - 255 p. illustrated with some pen and ink sketches.
This is another thoroughly delightful fiction, translated from the original Italian, about a parish priest in the Po valley innorthern Italy. Don Camillo deals with a headless ghost, and a pre-war activist who held people who he despised at gunpoint forcing them to drink a glass of castor oil... also Communist Mayor Peppone gets his school graduation document by exam. Among many other short stories artfully strung togher in this volume.

Don Camillo takes the Devil by the Tail
by Guareschi, Giovanni
pub. by Farrar Strauss and Cudahy NY in 1957     isbn (none) LCCN = 57-8937 - - 218 p. illustrated with some pen and ink sketches.
Don Camillo, the parish priest and Peppone, the communist ex-mayor continue their complicated relationship and the people of the village are well served. This book starts more slowly and warms as one reads. Sometimes Don Camillo and Peppone are at odds, and at other times they cooperate for the good of the people. Every now and then there is some enlightening philosophy. It becomes quite engaging and ends with a heartwarming story. - a recommended good read.

Don Camillo Meets the Flower Children - a comic novel
by Guareschi, Giovanni
pub. by Farrar Straus and Giroux, NY 1969     isbn (none) LCCN = 70-96146 - - 245 p. illustrated with some pen and ink sketches.
Don Camillo's renegade niece travels with a motorcycle gang from the big town. Her father died when she was very young and she developed a very independent streak, laced with motorcycle gang mentality. She is actually leader material. Don Camillo takes her in hand and has the robust bell ringer's wife subdue her and hold her hostage to modify her behavior. In the short run it does not work, but in the long run he half succeeds. The title of this work in the UK edition is Don Camillo Meets Hell's Angels which is much more descritpive This is the last Don Camillo book he wrote. Guareschi died of a heart attack several months after this book was first published in Italian.

Comrade Don Camillo
by Guareschi, Giovanni
pub. by Pocket Books, NY 1965 (first pub Farrar Strauss in 1964     isbn (none) LCCN = 64-__ - - 167 p. illustrated with some pen and ink sketches.
Peppone, the communist ex-mayor wins the lottery and later was elected to the Italian senat. He is delegated by the communists to tour Russia (Soviet Union) and bring 10 loyal communists along for the trip. Don Camillo convinces Peppone to bring him along under an assumed identity. The bishop, with some servious reservations OKs the trip. Don Camillo has a very interesting tour of the Soviet Union. Through the Guareschi's eyes one sees the inner workings of the Soviet state. Don Camillo manages to continue to be a Catholic priest and even do some ministering, to great positive effect. He manages to corrupt some of the Italian communist contingent, trapping them into seeing who they are, and what Soviet communism really is. This is a thoroughly interesting as well as entertaining book. Human beings act like human beings. A bit of WWII history is revealed (Italians fighting in Russia.) The -note from the author- at the end is particularly interesting. It appears that J. Roncalli (later to become Pope John XXIII) while apostolic nuncio, gave a copy of -the little world of Don Camillo- to Vincent Auriol who was then the socialist president of France. Auriol remembered the gift publically after Pope John XXIII died in June 1963.

Duncan and Clotilda - an extravaganza with a long digression
by Guareschi, Giovanni, 1908-1968.
pub by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York 1968 - - isbn (none) LCCN = 68-24598 - - 216 p.
The wildest of Guareschi's books which I have read. Duncan is a rather spoiled young man and Clotilda is equally spoiled. They clash. The story twists with a digression to illucidate the biography of the narrator of the story, then the story of Duncan and Clotilda continues. Improbable events are legion. This is a book where styalistically Candide meets Baron von Munchausen. Read it and see if you can keep up with the story. The end is almost OHenry-esque.

The House that Nino Built
by Guareschi, Giovanni
pub. by Farrar Straus & Young., New York 1953     isbn (none) LCCN = 53-11210 - - 238 p. illustrated with some pen and ink sketches.
This is actually auto biography. Giovanni (Nino) enlightens us about his life with his wife Margherita, daughter the Dutchess, and son Albertino. He lets it all hang out. A great part of the book involves building a new house out of town, and other adventures in Milan, which seems to be the nearest big city. Their family dynamics are completely disclosed. The wife who often treats Nino as an adversary, the daughter who often supports the father in disputes, and the son who often supports mom. Told from Ninos position ... it is what being a husband is all about. - lived in Italy, where family disputes are often overheard by neighbors, and commented on by same.

by Harrigan, Stephen
pub. by Alfred A. Knopf (Borzoi Book), NY. 1980     isbn - (none) LCCN = 79-21083 - - 260 p. - a first novel for this author, set in Corpus Christi and Port Aransas, Texas
A fairly straight forward first novel which revolves around the capture and training of 2 Atlantic Bottle-nosed dolphin (wrongly sometimes called porpoise). The protagonist, Jeff Dowling, is a native of the area. He is related by friendship to the monied and elderly mover and shaker of the area who decides to add a Dolphin Circus to the attractions in Port Aransas. The primary dolphin trainer is a -hired gun- sort. A love interest develops with a naturalist working on a dissertation on dolphins who is opposed to dolphins being taken from the wild. Tension mounts as a national level dolphin trainer (exploiter?) attempts to buy the animals after they have been trained for the local Dolphin Circus. This novel fairly presents the background of the time and the area, which, for one who visited the area often enough is refreshingly accurate. I can only guess about the accuracy concerning dolphins. Tursiops truncatus. The story starts slowly, but by the time one is one third of the way through the action picks up. It is a worthwhile read.

Legends of the Fall
by Harrison, Jim
pub. by Delacorte Press, NY - copyright 1978       isbn 0-440-05461-3 - - 276 p. -
This volume contains realy 3 stories, and the volume title is the last presented in the book.
The first story Revenge is about an ex-military helicopter pilot who has friends, one of which is a Mexican drug lord. The Drug lords beautiful wife comes on to the pilot and they have an affair. After many warnings the couple having the affair suffers for their adultry. Astoundingly, neither are murdered. The pilots revenge in turn for the drug lords revenge takes up the latter part of the story.
The second story The Man who gave up his name is about a successful man, with family, who, after the children are off to college has his midlife crisis, divorces his wife, liquidates his assets and goes off to live a simpler life, cooking.
the third story Legends of the Fall begins just before WWI and continues on through the end of Prohibition in 1933. There is an epilog which ties up loose ends to the end of the lives of the major characters. In short, a wealthy rancher in Montana, who was a mining engineer, had 3 sons, who volunteered into the Canadian army early in WWI. One dies in France, and the eldest Tristan goes mad with revenge and is unusually good at killing the enemy, taking scalps. He escapes a mental hospital before he can be medically discharged and finds his way to his grandfather in Cornwall. The grandfather takes him on his schooner and while moving cargo from England to the Americas deposits Tristan with his mother in Boston. Tristan marries his long suffering bethrothed and returns with her and mom to the ranch in Montana. A year later he meets up with his grandfather in Havana and takes over the schooner. After several years of working the schooner as a trading vessel he returns to Montana. By this time his marriage is over, and he marries a local girl. They have children. He uses his schooner on the west coast of USA to bring in illegal whiskey. This causes him to run afoul of the Irish who have that trade locked up. He liquidates them. Tristan returns to the Montana ranch and after some long time the Irish send 2 to exact revenge on Tristan, and his family deals with them. End of story. Epilog petty much says they lived on to mostly natural deaths. On through this tale a faithful Cheyenne (indian) retainer gives a native American flavor. This story tries to be a great American novel, as War and Peace does for Russia. It fails due to its brevity and undevelopment of characters other than the protagonist(s).
These are quick and easy reads. Well written and enjoyable for a passtime but do not leave a lasting impression.
They were originally published individually in Esquire magazine.

The Padre Puzzle - a mystery novel
by Harry, David
pub. by Hotray, LLC, 2009 -       isbn 13-9781453606797 or 1453606793 - 289 pages.
This mystery is very readable, proceeds well, but the ending chapters seem rushed... then that is in the story-line. The protagonist is an older Texas Ranger on disability who is sent to South Padre Island for rehab on his shoulder which had been injured in a shooting. Though on leave he gets involved in a murder and eventually is put on active duty. The situation involves multi-jurestictional problems with all possible agencies... Homeland Securtiy, Coast Guard, local city and county police etc.
This is an enjoyable read. I recommend it.

Tintin - written and illustrated by Herge - pseudonym for - Georges Prosper Remi (b. 1907 – d. 1983)

The Adventures of Tintin - The Secret of the Unicorn
by Herge
pub. by Little Brown, NY. 1974 (first pub. 1943) (orig. 1948 in France pub. by Casterman, Paris)      isbn 0-316-35832-0 - - 62 p.
This is one of a series of world famous childrens books done in comic book style. Tintin is a reporter who solves mysteries. Tintin buys a model boat which is highly sought by 2 others. Secreted in the boat is a note which reveals 1/3 of a clue needed to recover a pirate treasure. Tintins friend Captain Hadock is prominent in this book, as are the humorous police detective Thompson brothers. This book does not really resolve the mystery it is continued in a following book Red Rackhams Treasure which is not available in my local library.

The Adventures of Tintin - Destination Moon
The Adventures of Tintin - Explorers on the Moon
by Herge
pub. by Little Brown, NY. 1976 (Destination Moon first pub. 1954 - - Explorers on the Moon first pub. 1954) . (orig. 1954 in France pub. by Casterman, Paris)       isbn 0-316-35845-2 and 0-316-35846-0       each book had - - 62 p.
These 2 books actually comprise a single story. It begins with Tintin and Captain Haddock being mysteriously invited by Prof. Calculus to a remote lab and launch facility in Syldavia. In a super secret situation they discover that a rocket is being prepared to voyage to the moon. The rocket in question looks much like the V2 rockets of WWII, and the earliest NASA rockets. The description of the technology involved is truly amazing and Herge must have done his homework to have gotten it so correct in a 1954 publication. There is a shadow group attempting to hijack the rocket in flight and the tension with these people adds to the story. Explorers on the Moon begins shortly after liftoff and tells the story of the landing on the moon, exploration of the Moon, and return to Earth. It should be noted that Herge anticipated carrying a vehicle to the moon to facilitate exploration. All in all a delightful story, more amazing in that much of what it described was in the future, a future that was remarkably prescient.

The Adventures of Tintin - The Crab with the Golden Claws
by Herge
pub. by Little Brown, NY. 1974 (first pub in 1941) (orig. 1953 in France pub. by Casterman, Paris)      isbn 0-316-35833-9 - - 62 p.
Tintin is shown details of a counterfeit coin case by the Thompson & Thompson detectives and discovers a deeper mystery involving opium smuggling. He escapes imprisonment on a steamship and meets Capt Haddock (may be the first time Capt. Haddock appears in Tintin stories.) He ends up in northern Africa, interacts with western governmental control there and eventually foils the smugglers.

The Adventures of Tintin - The Broken Ear
by Herge
pub. by Little Brown, NY. 1978 (first pub in 1937) (orig. 1945 in France pub. by Casterman, Paris)      isbn 0-316-35850-9 - - 62 p.
A small fetish statue from S. America is stolen from the museum. Tintin investigates and takes a steamer to S. America. He is following what might be the thief, and is followed by 2 thugs who want the fetish. Tintin gets involved with a S. American revolution and escapes. Then canoes down a river to the tribe which created the fetish. He eventually returns home without it and finds replicas of the fetish for sale in many stores. A local factory is making them wholesale. The original is found, and so is what is secreted inside it which is what was sought by all the - bad guys -. The museum gets it back, worse for wear, sans what was secreted inside.

The Adventures of Tintin - The Shooting Star
by Herge
pub. by Little Brown, NY. 1978 (first pub in 1942) (orig. 1946 in France pub. by Casterman, Paris)      isbn 0-316-35851-7 - - 62 p.
A shooting star falls to earth in the arctic ocean. Tintin is along on a scientific expedition to retrieve samples, in competition with another expedition. The meteorite has formed an island poking above the surface. It has very unusual properties causing explosive growth of life forms living/growing on the island. The island disappears under the sea and a small sample is brought back.

The Adventures of Tintin - The Black Island
by Herge
pub. by Little Brown, NY. 1975 (first pub in 1938) (orig. 1956 in France pub. by Casterman, Paris)      isbn 0-316-35835-5 - - 62 p.
Tintin encounters a small airplane in mysterious circumstances. He follows up on it and after a series of adventures is led to the Black Island in Scotland which is said to have a monster. Tintin can not hire a boat, so buys one and goes to the island. He finds it guarded by a huge ape, which is guarding a counterfeiting ring.

      3 Complete adventures in 1 volume
The Adventures of Tintin - Tintin in America
The Adventures of Tintin - Cigars of the Pharaoh
The Adventures of Tintin - The Blue Lotus

by Herge
pub. by Little Brown, NY. 1977 (orig. 1954 in France pub. by Casterman, Paris)       isbn 0-316-35940-8     each book had - - 192 p.

Tintin in America (first pub. 1932
Tintin comes to America to clean up the Chicago mob. He finds a main mobster and a rival association of mobsters. He chases after the head of the association across USA through Indian territory, and eventually back to Chicago.

Cigars of the Pharaoh (first pub. 1934)
Tintin is on vacation in the Mediterranean and assists prof. Sophocles Sarcophagus with a search for Egyptian antiquities. This draws him into a search for what is going on with some illegal activities. He travels in Arabia, escapes a firing squad and flies east, crash landing in India. He finds that opium is being smuggled in cigars.

The Blue Lotus (first pub serially 1935)
Tintin is guest at an Indian Rajas palace. The Raja has a son who has been poisoned by Rajaija juice ... the poison of madness. He receives what he perceives as an invitation to Shanghai and before the whole message is told the messenger is darted with Rajaijah juice. He takes a steamer to Shanghai and finds the Japanese (evil) controlling some of the area and Western powers (also somewhat evil) controlling their area. Eventually he foils a Japanese plot and returns to India with an antidote for the Rajaija juice poison. This story is set in 1931 and was serially published 1934-1935, before the Japanese atrocities in China were well known.

The Adventures of Tintin - King Ottokars Sceptre
by Herge
pub. by Little Brown, NY. 1975 (first pub. 1939) . (orig. 1947 in France pub. by Casterman, Paris)      isbn 0-316-35831-2 - - 62 p.
This is one of a series of world famous childrens books done in comic book style. Tintin is a reporter who solves mysteries. This one takes him to the imaginary eastern european nation of Syldavia and its neighboring kingdom Bordura. This story is resolved at the end of this book. Tintin, his dog Snowy and his 2 English police detectives, the Thompsons fly back to England in a Clipper (airplane which lands on water.)

The Adventures of Tintin - The Seven Crystal Balls
by Herge
pub. by Little Brown, NY. 1975 (serial pub. finished 1947) . (orig. 1948 in France pub. by Casterman, Paris)      isbn 0-316-35840-1 - - 62 p.
This is one of a series of world famous childrens books done in comic book style. Tintin is a reporter who solves mysteries. Seven members of an expedition which brought an Inca mummy back to England are attacked with crystal globes, which when smashed release a gas which puts them into a coma. This book does not really resolve the mystery it is continued in a following book Prisoners of the Sun. Which is set in Peru and which is not available in my local library.


Hillerman, Tony
      the Navajo Tribal Police Mystery stories:
            The Blessing Way (1970) ISBN 0-06-011896-2
            Dance Hall of the Dead (1973) ISBN 0-06-011898-9
            Listening Woman (1978) ISBN 0-06-011901-2
            People Of Darkness (1980) ISBN 0-06-011907-1
            The Dark Wind (1982) ISBN 0-06-014936-1
            Ghostway (1984) ISBN 0-06-015396-2
            Skinwalkers (1986) ISBN 0-06-015695-3
            A Thief of Time (1988) ISBN 0-06-015938-3
            Talking God (1989) ISBN 0-06-016118-3
            Coyote Waits (1990) ISBN 0-06-016370-4
            Sacred Clowns (1993) ISBN 0-06-016767-X
            Fallen Man (1996) ISBN 0-06-017773-X
            First Eagle (1998) ISBN 0-06-017581-8
            Hunting Badger (1999) ISBN 0-06-019289-5
            The Wailing Wind (2002) ISBN 0-06-019444-8
            The Sinister Pig (2003) ISBN 0-06-019443-X
            Skeleton Man (2004) ISBN 0-06-056344-3
            The Shape Shifter (2006) ISBN 978-0-06-056345-5

Read Tony Hillermans mysteries for fun, to learn about Navajo culture, to be thoroughly engaged, and to feel good at the end. Not all end happily, but they all end satisfactoraly. These books are good reads.
Not set in Navajo reservation
            Fly on the Wall (1971) ISBN 0-06-011897-0
            Finding Moon
(1995) ISBN 0-06-017772-1
            Seldom Disappointed: A Memoir by Tony Hillerman (2001) ISBN 0-06-019445-6
            The Great Taos Bank Robbery and other tales ... (1973) ISBN 0-8263-0306-4

-------------------- Ransome Revisited
by Mace, Elisabeth
pub. by Andre Deutsch Ltd , London, UK, 1975 -       isbn; 0-233-96656-0     LCCN =     140 pages
This is a work of fiction set in a bleak apocalyptic future in England and Scotland. The first third of the book is a rough read. It sets up the setting for the action part which occurs in the last two thirds of the book. It starts out with a boy, Leven (short for eleven as they are only known as numbers and get names later in life) and his mentally challenged older brother Thirty at a boarding school. Upon graduation they are sent out to a distant worksite, in their case a slate mine. There they are to learn to be adults and perhaps be given a name. Leven meets up with a number of others and learns the hard facts of life. The overseer is a large robust and mildly cruel man. The co-workers are a mixed group. The living conditions are meager. One of the people at the mine is a half daft girl, Susanna who discovered an abandoned house, and in that house a copy of Arthur Ransomes book Swallowdale. Reading that book opens up a incomprehensible world of children who do things other than work, and have choice in their activities. She also learns some practical skills from the book. A girl and her young sister who have runaway from further south arrive and are hidden and helped. Then after a mine disaster Leven, Thirty, Susanna, and the young girl runaway to the a mythical Colony where people are nicer and life may be easier. The young girl wants to go to what is to her a real, but perhaps mythical Scotland. They travel, have adventures of a hunted group, and each arrives at a moderately satisfactory conclusion, but still living in the dire apocalyptic world.
Nowhere in the story is it revealed what happened to cause life to be reduced from previous civilization to what appears to be an almost immediate post medieval life. There are ruins all about. There is barter trade for necessities and small groups producing necessities including food and such things as slate building materials. The content of the education at the schools is not mentioned, but must have been limited to literacy and basic arithmetic. Little is taught/known about geography or history.
This tale was probably meant to illustrate how Arthur Ransome put enough practical knowledge into his Swallowdale that it could be practically used to improve conditions and broaden the knowledge of a reading person who had little knowledge. It is a tough read through the first third of the book, but improves later. There are some incongruities such as having a motor powered boat... but the society as a whole not seemingly having the wherewithal to produce either gasoline or diesel fuel... or for that matter produce advanced machinery. Puzzling. If you want to read everything about or influenced by Arthur Ransome, this is another book for you.


by Michener, James A.
pub. by Random House - 1978     isbn 0812970438
- - 888 p - - historical fiction
Classic James Michener long historical fiction traces the Chesapeake area of Eastern USA from pre-European contact up to fairly recent times. Revolutionary War, Slavery, Civil War times are covered, as is the fishing and boating activity of this area.


The Black Joke
by Mowat, Farley
pub. by McClelland and Stewart - 1973     isbn 0-7710-6649-x
(first published in 1963 by Little Brown) - - 218p - - fiction
A work of fiction. About fishermen in Newfoundland and on the tiny French Islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, the last French possessions in N. America, which figured prominently in the liquor smuggling trade during Prohibition in USA. Some good description of the area and the the watercraft there. This story is set in the 1930s during the liquor smuggling. Classified young adult, but a good read anyway.


Hateship, friendship, courtship, loveship, marriage, stories
by Munro, Alice
pub. by Alfred K. Knopf, ( a Borzoi Book), NY, 2001 -       isbn; 0-375-41300-6     9 stories, 326 p - text of stories in 323 p.
Alice Munro is a Canadian fiction writer who exclusively writes short stories. She is highly celebrated, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013. She lives in, and sets her stories in, western Canada from Vancouver and Victoria to Toronto. This book is one of her later collections. She has at least 10 previous published collections of short stories.
Of the 9 short stories 8 of them are told from a womans point of view. The last The Bear came over the mountain is written from a mans view. It is also a haunting tale of the onset of alzheimers disease.
Most of the stories are more like short novels in that they span long periods of time, sometimes tens of years with parts threaded together. All are very realistic portrayals of everyday life and interior thoughts of those included. Nothing fancy here, just life as it is lived, as people live together and apart and deal with one another. The stories often describe the innermost thoughts of their characters, revealing their humanity, for good or for ill. Many of the stories have a bit of a twist at the end, not as sharp as those of the author OHenry, but a twist nonetheless.
This book was a slow read for me. Perhaps because it explores the female psyche - a place which mystifies most of us males.


The Milagro Beanfield War
by Nichols, John
pub. by Henry Holt - 1974     isbn 0-805063749
(first published in 1974 by Holt Reinhart and Winston) - - 456p - - fiction
A work of fiction. This book describes the clash of cultures between modern subsistance farmers and land developers in northern New Mexico. It is full of humor and describes the Taos. New Mexico area of the early 1970s - remember it is a work of fiction. This is the first of a trilogy of books on the area. I believe it is the best of the three. It was made into a movie in 1988 produced and directed by Robert Redford. This movie is a good translation from the book. Read the book / see the movie.

The Magic Journey
by Nichols, John
pub. by Henry Holt - 1978     isbn 0-
- - ___p - - fiction
The second book in the Trilogy A work of fiction. About the Taos, New Mexico area.

Nirvana Blues
by Nichols, John
pub. by Henry Holt - 1981     isbn 0-
- - ___p - - fiction
The third book in the Trilogy A work of fiction. About the Taos, New Mexico area.
Concerns the hippie invasion of the Taos area.


Peters, Ellis (pseud. for Edith Pargeter)
The Brother Cadfael Mysteries set in Medieval England
            A Morbid Taste for Bones (written in 1977, set in 1137)
            One Corpse Too Many (1979, set in August 1138)
            Monk's Hood (1980, set in December 1138)
            Saint Peter's Fair (1981, set in July 1139)
            The Leper of Saint Giles (1981, set in October 1139)
            The Virgin in the Ice (1982, set in November 1139)
            The Sanctuary Sparrow (1983, set in the Spring of 1140)
            The Devil's Novice (1983, set in September 1140)
            Dead Man's Ransom (1984, set in February 1141)
            The Pilgrim of Hate (1984, set in May 1141)
            An Excellent Mystery (1985, set in August 1141)
            The Raven in the Foregate (1986, set in December 1141)
            The Rose Rent (1986, set in June 1142)
            The Hermit of Eyton Forest (1988, set in October 1142)
            The Confession of Brother Haluin (1988, set in December 1142)
            The Heretics Apprentice (1990, set in June 1143)
            The Potters Field (1990, set in August 1143)
            The Summer of the Danes (1991, set in April 1144)
            The Holy Thief (1992, set in August 1144)
            Brother Cadfaels Penance (1994, set in November 1145)
Some of the books in this series were made into television mysteries by BBC. On the whole it was a good effort by BBC.
The books themselves are very good reads. They have satisfactory endings and enhance the human spirit.


by Putegnat, Michael
pub. by Synergy Books, Austin, Texas - 2007     isbn 1-933538-19-8
- 353 p. - - fiction
A work of fiction. This book is a murder mystery. It is mostly set in coastal South Texas. Port Mansfield, Port Isabel, and Weslaco, Texas are prominently featured. The action does extend to Austin, Galveston, New York and Washington, DC in this tale of oil, South Texas ranching, big money and environmental concern. Historical facts are interwoven giving it more local flair. A short bit of offshore sailing up the Texas coast adds boating flavor. There are some interesting plot twists and turns in the last part of the book which give an OHenry flavor. The chapters are very short, which gives reading this a feeling of immediacy. On the whole a satisfying read. I believe this is the authors first work of fiction. The author is a South Texas native, and claims that his family has been here for 5 generations. I am told that his name is French. For more information on him see

---------------- The Alchemyst - the secrets of the immortal Nicholas Flamel
by Scott, Michael
pub. by Delacourt, Random House, NY 2007     isbn 978-0-385-73357-1
- maps - 375 p. plus 13 pages of the next title in the series - fantasy/fiction
A fantasy involving 2 historical characters known to have dabbled in the occult, Nicholas Flamel and Dr. John Dee. Flamel being the hero and lead of a set of teenage fraternal twins and Dee being the evil one in league with powerful beings from the earths past. It is set in southern California, San Francisco and Ojai. The action progresses quickly and it is artfully written. It is set in current times with references to the children using wikipedia on the internet. It does not end however, just segways into the following title -The Magican- and a shift of setting to Paris, France. It is somewhat like the Harry Potter books. Time will tell if the series continues the quality of writing through the various volumes.

The Magician - the secrets of the immortal Nicholas Flamel
by Scott, Michael
pub. by Delacourt, Random House, NY 2008     isbn 978-0-385-73358-8
- maps - 464 p. plus 8 pages of the next title in the series (which will be titled The Sorceress) - fantasy/fiction
A fantasy involving 3 historical characters known to have dabbled in the occult, Nicholas Flamel, Dr. John Dee and Niccolo Machiavelli. Flamel being the hero and lead of a set of teenage fraternal twins and Dee being the evil one in league with powerful beings from the earths past in this sequel he teams up with Machiavelli who lives in Paris. It is set in modern day Paris, France and dips into the underground sewers and catacombs, which really exist under Paris. Again it does not end, just segways into the following title -The Sorceress- and a shift of setting to London, England. It is somewhat like the Harry Potter books. This volume continues to be a fast and compelling read.


Havanna Bay
by Smith, Martin Cruz
pub. by Books on Tape - Random House - 1999     isbn 0-7366-5186-1
- - 10 CD Disks - 67 minutes. - - fiction
A work of fiction. Russian investigator Arkady Renko travels to Cuba to investigate the death of a friend. There is hostility to Russians in post cold war Cuba. It is read by Edward Lewis, who entertains wonderfully interpreting Russian and Cuban Spanish accents. It is also quite a tour of Cuba after the Soviets pulled out from the purported view of a Russian.

Stalin's Ghost - an Arkady Renko novel
by Smith, Martin Cruz
pub. by Books on Tape - Simon and Schuster - 2007     isbn 0-7435-5597-x
- - 5 CD Disks - about 5 hours. - - fiction
A work of fiction. Russian investigator Arkady Renko is sent to investigate a sighting of Stalin in the Moscow subway. The investigation leads outside Moscow and comes to involve black market trading of non-military items during the Chechin war. This work is a nice diversion to listen to on a long drive across Texas.

Gorky Park
by Smith, Martin Cruz
pub. Random House, 1981 -       isbn 0-394-5748-2 - - 367 p.
This is the first book (mystery) in Martin Cruz Smiths novels which have Arkady Renko as the protagonist. Renko is a homicide investigator in Moscow, Soviet Union. He investigates a triple homicide which is discovered in Gorky Park, which were covered with snow, and had been perpetrated weeks or months previously. He navigates through the investigation often challenging the KGB (which investigates crime involving foreigners, while Renko's job is to investigate cases only involving citizens of the Soviet Union. Many twists and turns throughout. The author did extensive research in the Soviet Union and his depictions of their system of justice are probably fairly accurate.
I read this series out of order, but even so found them to be an engaging read. They do proceed from one to another and probably would make most sense read in order that they were written with this one first, then Polar Star (1989) (The Arkady Renko Series #2) Red Square (1992) (The Arkady Renko Series #3) Havana Bay (1999) (The Arkady Renko Series #4) Wolves Eat Dogs (2004) (The Arkady Renko Series #5) Stalin's Ghost (2007) (The Arkady Renko Series #6) Three Stations (2010) (The Arkady Renko Series #7)

Polar Star
by Smith, Martin Cruz
pub. Random House, NY 1989 -       isbn 0-394-57819-8 - - 386 p.
In this Martin Cruz Smith mystery Arkady Renko, having escaped a prison/insane asylum in Moscow traveled east through Siberia and after working at a number of jobs finds himself employed on the slime line in a factory ship in the Bering Sea. During this period of history American fishing vessels (catchers) net fish in waters which are in USAs offshore area and bring their catch to Soviet factory ships for processing. It is an uneasy partnership, but one which works for both parties.

Red Square
by Smith, Martin Cruz
pub. Random House, NY 1992 -       isbn 0-679-41688-9 - - 370 p.
This is one of Cruz Smiths mysteries where his chief investigator is Arkady Renko. It is well written and a good read. The action begins in Moscow when a underworld banker is killed by a bomb exploding in his car, destroying not only him but also all his records. Renko follows leads and when one of his bosses is killed he is officially taken off the case, but he persists and gets permission to follow leads in Germany. He works in Germany without official police authority, and manages to make progress anyway. A lady he loves is an added wrinkle and becomes part of the investigation. The use of the work of a real Soviet artist, Kazimir Malevich, in the story adds a lot to the realism in the story. The final part of this story takes place back in Moscow, as government is changing in what may be setting up to be a violent confrontation in Red Square between the old guard and reformers.
The time period covers from 6 August 1991 through 21 August 1991.
This puts it during the great change of government in 1991. The book was copyrighted in 1992. It ends quite abruptly. I have the feeling the author had a story and had it end when he did not know how history would play out. So instead of guessing he ended it. He tied up all the plot threads well enough so the end is satisfying. Martin Cruz Smith does a lot of research on the places he uses in his novels. This makes them very good reads.

The Lure of the Bush (also pub as The Barrakee Mystery
by Upfield, Arthur W. (1888 - 1964)
re-pub. by Doubleday NY - 1965 isbn (none) LCCN = 65-16189
238 p. - a book in the Napoleon (Bony) Bonaparte series of mystery novels
Perhaps the first of the series - A ranking Aborigine is murdered on a station - The owners support the investigation, but the lady of the house has a secret - a "white boy" is actually a half cast. raised as what he is not. A flood down the Darling River adds spice to the action.
American mystery writer Tony Hillerman got the idea of using native investigators from Arthur Upfield, and gave him credit for putting the idea into Hillermans head for Hillermans series of Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn (Navajo American Indian) mysteries. Both authors works are good reads. Try one - you should enjoy them.

The Bone is Pointed
by Upfield, Arthur W.
pub. by Angus and Robertson, Sydney - 1938 (first U.S. publication by Doubleday in 1947) isbn (none) LCCN = 47-000921 - modern Scribner edition ISBN: 0684850575
- 288 p. - maps on endpapers - a book in the Napoleon (Bony) Bonaparte series of mystery novels
Upfield tells a fine tale with proper twists. His investigator is a man whose mother was an Australian Aborigine and father was white. He stands out as a very educated person in the Western sense as well as fully educated in his mothers ways. He is very at home camping in the outback, and equally so in polite company drinking tea. This mystery is set in outback Australia and reveals much about the way remote farms exist and work. It also reveals much about Aboriginal ways. This background information gives life to the story and makes it much more interesting.

No Footprints in the Bush (also pub as Bushranger of the Skies)
by Upfield, Arthur W.
pub. in USA by Collier Macmillan, NY - orig 1940 in Australia isbn 0-02-025940-9
- 185 p. - a book in the Napoleon (Bony) Bonaparte series of mystery novels
A renegade son sets up his own empire in the vast outback. He attacks his father and anyone who gets in his way, often using an airplane and thrown bombs (note date of first publication). Bony finds sanctuary in a aboriginal holy place.

The Bachelors of Broken Hill
by Upfield, Arthur W.
pub. in USA by Scribners - 1950 isbn 0-684-18246-7
- 254 p. - a book in the Napoleon (Bony) Bonaparte series of mystery novels
In the mining town of Broken Hill a series of poisonings causes the involvement of Bony. Many twists in this plot are reveled at the end. This mystery does not involve much Aboriginal know-how in its solution.

The New Shoe
by Upfield, Arthur W.
pub. by University Extension, University of California, San Diego - orig. 1951 isbn (none) LCCN = 0-89163-021x
- 241 p. - a book in the Napoleon (Bony) Bonaparte series of mystery novels
Bony is sent to investigate the murder of a person whose body is found in a lighthouse. One is exposed to vacation area action as well as woodcutters in back country. A childhood group features in this novel. This mystery does not involve much Aboriginal know-how in its solution. This edition has a brief biography of Arthur W. Upfield at the beginning and an annotated list of all his books at the end.

Murder Must Wait
by Upfield, Arthur W.
pub. by The Detective Book Club - 1953 isbn (none) LCCN = - -
- 169 p. - a book in the Napoleon (Bony) Bonaparte series of mystery novels
An interesting mystery. Babies are disappearing. A small town shows its leaders foibles. Bony works with an assistant who is introduced as his niece. A murder of one of the women whose baby goes missing brings Bony into the investigation. A bit of aborigional mystacism is revealed near the end, as is the misguided operation of a mental health worker.

Man of Two Tribes
by Upfield, Arthur W.
pub. by Collier Macmillan - orig . 1956 isbn 0-02-025959-6
- 215 p. - a book in the Napoleon (Bony) Bonaparte series of mystery novels
An exonerated murderer disappears from a train running across the Nullarbor plain. Bony heads out with camels posing as a dingo hunter, revealing camel handling and navigation in a very hostile place. A collection of freed and/or parolled murders is found imprisoned in a cave complex in a very remote place in the Nullarbor. Escape is managed and much is learned about this fascinating and human hostile place.

Bushman Who Came Back (also pub. as Bony Buys a Woman)
by Upfield, Arthur W.
pub. by Crime Club / Doubleday - orig . 1957 LCCN 57-7913
- 191 p. - a book in the Napoleon (Bony) Bonaparte series of mystery novels
A cook is murdered and her daughter kidnapped. All evidance points to an aboriginal, but it does not make much sense. Bony tracks the man to an island in a dry lake shortly before the lake suddenly fills due to a flood from rain many miles away. The murderer is of course a different person. Bony deals with a local aboriginal leader and buys a bride for the her lover.

The Torn Branch (also pub. as Bony and the Black Virgin
by Upfield, Arthur W.
pub. by Collier Macmillan - orig . 1959 isbn
- 156 p. - a book in the Napoleon (Bony) Bonaparte series of mystery novels
An unidentified man is found murdered and the hired hand missing on a sheep station where a terrible drought reduced the station to poverty. The hired hand is found dead and the plot twists. Rain is brought by the local Aborigines doing their magic, but it is too late for the sheep at the smaller station. The dry lake is filled. A liason between lovers of different races causes a double suicide due to their feeling that their relationship is forbidden.

Valley of Smugglers
by Upfield, Arthur W.
pub. by Detective Book Club - orig. Doubleday, 1961 isbn (none)
- 173 p. - a book in the Napoleon (Bony) Bonaparte series of mystery novels
Bony investigates the murder of a government agent who was acting undercover. He goes undercover himself to an isolated valley inhabited by Irish immigrants. Or their descendants. These people are wildly independent and wildly anti-government. They refuse to pay taxes and go out of their way to avoid paying, even the tax on television sets. They do have a well hidden and large distillery which is illegal, and is used to bring in extra income to the group, smuggling the illegal drink out to sell. Bony lives among them for weeks (months) and grows to admire their family centeredness, honesty (among themselves) and sense of fair play. They celebrate their Irishness, and the memory of the outlaw Ned Kelly (who is much like Jesse James in U.S. history). They despise the Irish who work as police and for the government, viewing them a traitors. This is a view into an immigrant society who keeps to themselves for well over 100 years after setting up their group. The end is thoroughly satisfying.

The White Savage
by Upfield, Arthur W.
pub. by Crime Club, Doubleday - 1961 LCCN = 61-9563
- 190 p. - a book in the Napoleon (Bony) Bonaparte series of mystery novels
A rapist and murderer, who was a bright child and student - a natural leader - goes bad and finally commits murder. He was the lead among the group of children with whom he grew up. All matured to fine people... except Marvin. He holes up on his parents place at the edge of the Indian Ocean at the western edge of Australia. Bony is sent to find and apprehend him. Bony adopts a fake personna and stays on a neighboring farm. The local aborigine trackers are of the highest quality, and introduce another aboriginal concept - of the Kedic - a man who is inherently evil and to be destroyed. As per Upfields way, there is good description of this new and different part of Australia. The tides, and weather of the seacoast are a major part of this mystery.

This Thing of Darkness
by Thompson, Harry
pub. by Headline Book Pub., London - 2005     isbn 0-7553-0281-8
- 750p. - maps, extensive bibliography of non-fiction sources - historical fiction
A fictionalized biography of Robert Fitzroy, who commanded the Beagle and to a lesser extent of Charles Darwin. While this is a work of fiction it is very well researched. This book begins with the suicide of Captain Stokes, who was given the task of surveying in the Straits of Magellan. Fitzroy was given command of the Beagle and succeeded him in subsequent survey work. Fitzroy captures a 4 of the natives of Tierra del Fuego and brings them to England to introduce them to civilization and re-introduce them to Tierra del Fuego on a later survey trip to help pacify and civilize the natives. Jemmy Button, a historical character who actually was this person has his story told as a subtext in this book. There is a return to England, fitting out for the next survey work, and Charles Darwin joins the crew as Naturalist. Fitzroy and Darwin form an early friendship and commence with the business of surveying the Falkland Islands, the Straits of Magellan etc. Darwin explores ashore in Argentina and later Chile. The description of Argentina under General Rosas is chilling. Darwin also discovers large dinosaur skeletons and has them shipped back to England on a returning ship. As time progresses and Darwin does a natural history survey of Chile and the Andes he begins to believe that Genesis in the Bible is not to be taken literally. Here he begins to separate his way of thinking from Fitzroy, and their friendship is strained. By the end of the voyage, and after the friendship breaks down totally. The Beagle does its historic visit to the Galapagos in September 1835, sails on to New Zealand and back to England arriving in October 1836. The story does not end there.... It continues to the end of Fitzroys life detailing his frustrations with the end of his career sailing for the navy. It took him a very long time (years) to finish the charts of areas surveyed. In 1841 Fitzroy stood for election to parliament representing Durham and won the position. The description of the actual election with Conservative, Liberal and Radical candidates is quite revealing of the times. The election was wide-open, noisy and barely controlled. He became governor of New Zealand in 1844-45. His governorship failed because the resources he had at hand were not great enough to do the job, and the goals of the New Zealand Comany were at odds with the reality of the colony. He returned to England. In 1860 his work with the study of weather, creation of synoptic charts and weather prediction on the basis of telegraphed weather observations from wherever telegraph lines went (in Europe mostly). He was a correspondent and friend of Captain Matthew F. Maury of the US Navy Weather Forecasting Department. Government penny pinching and depression drove him to suicide in 1865. Fitzroys relationship to Darwin deteriorated more after the voyage of the Beagle and the publication of Darwins report being at some odds with Fitzroys. They became bitter enemies. This is an a great read, albeit a long one. In the postscript the author notes where he fictionalized the story to make it flow better, leaving one to believe that the historical facts covered in the rest of the story are correct.

The Shack - a novel
by Young, William Paul
pub. Windblown Media, 4680 Calle Norte, Newbury Park, CA 91320 - 2007 -       isbn 978-0-9647292-3-0 - - 248 p. - Notes
Paul Young wrote this in collaboration with Wayne Jacobson and Brad Cummings.
In a radio interview Young said that he originally wrote this for his children (he has 6 and at this writing the youngest is an adult.) The story is of a family where the dad takes the family (2 girls and 1 boy) on a camping trip in a well used park in NW USA. While rescuing 2 children from a canoe mishap the youngest girl is kidnapped and killed. There is great sadness. Then God (called Papa) invites the dad to the shack where the bloody clothes of the abducted girl were found. God appears. Each of the persons of God in the Christian Trinity interact with the dad.
This book is a vehicle for a discussion of the relationship of God and man from a Christian (but not demoninational and not churchy) perspective. In dialog fashion it is more readable than a dry text. For anyone who paid attention to their religious education class, and took one which discussed the adult version of religious concepts, there are no surprises. For those who have not, this book may have some use.
The underlying story is strong, and not a comfortable read for sensitive people
A friend of mine introduced me to this book and suggested I read it. I did so out of friendship. It is not something I would have picked up on my own. The author has a website at


The Bounty - The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty
by Alexander, Caroline
pub. by Viking - 2003     isbn 0-670-03133-x
maps. b&w illustrations -- 491 pages. - - history
A tour de force of the Mutiny on the Bounty story. Examines the players - sometimes 2 generations back and follows these peoples lives after the court marshal or escape. There are a few surprises here. It was a very worth while -listen- in my case. It is a large book. Bligh does not come out the heavy and Fletcher Christian does not come off unscathed in fact recent interpersonal difficulties on Pitcairn Island have roots back to the original settlement.

The Bounty - The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty
by Alexander, Caroline
pub. by Penguin Audiobooks - 2003     isbn 1-14-280030-9
10 cassettes (unabridged). - - history
The history of the Bounty incident. Very well done. Incredibly complete including the wreck of the Pandora which was sent to bring the mutineers back to justice from Tahiti to England. Includes the court trial in England and the careers of all for the rest of their lives.

Charles de Foucauld - Charles of Jesus
by Antier, Jean-Jacques
pub. by Ignatius Press. San Francisco - 1977     isbn 0-89870-756-0
359p. indexed. - - history
Biography of Charles de Foucauld French Army Officer who served in N Africa. He later became intensely religious and set up a hermitage in Tamanrasset in mountains of central Algeria. He was involved in French colonialization of N Africa and outside the of this biography one can glean a lot of information on European influence in north Africa. De Foucauld was eventually killed by a group who thought that they could re-take north Africa from the French while they were distracted by WWI. His hermitage still exists in Tamanrasset.

The Big Rich - the rise and fall of the greatest Texas fortunes
by Burrough, Brian
pub. by Penguin Press, NY, 2009      isbn 978-1-59420-199-8 LCCN - 2008027043 - - 466 p. - photographs, bibliography notes, index,
This book was recommended by a friend, and I am glad he did. It is the fascinating story of the big oil families in Texas - H.L. Hunt - Sid Richardson - Clint. Murchison - Roy Cullen, and their children. It begins just before the Spindletop gusher (describing what happened in fine detail) and continues on nearly to the present day. As the families branched out from oil the story follows their efforts. If one wishes to understand politics and big money in USA, and the hubris of the people who held this wealth, this is the book to read. In the end, they all came to grief, but it should be noted that the surviving families still have more wealth than the this writer and most likely the readers of these words. These men were the richest in the world... and they managed to squander their wealth through unwise use of that wealth. H.L. Hunt was the least -splashy- but had the wierdest family life, having married, concurrently, 3 women and having 3 complete families, complicating the lives and finances of his heirs, of which he had many. Hunts attempt to corner the Silver market is discussed. Murchisons sports (Dallas Cowboys) efforts are explored. A comparatively minor player, Glenn McCarthy, built the Shamrock Hotel in Houston, to be the end-all of hotels. That adventure in finance and public relations is a study on how to spend more money than one could ever re-coup. In all, a fascinating book, about larger than life people

Crooked cucumber : the life and Zen teaching of Shunryu Suzuki
by Chadwick, David, 1945-
Pub by Broadway Books, , NY - c1999.     isbn 0767901045 - - 432 p. : illustrated
S. Suzuki was called Crooked Cucumber by his master because at times he was not an ideal monk candidate. This biography begins in Japan when Suzuki was young, and includes detail on being a monk in Japan during WWII. Later he moved to USA and set up a "church" in southern California. It is a positive biography, and gives good insights to the Zen way of life. Interestingly enough, he was married.

Mayordomo - chronicle of an acequia in northern New Mexico
by Crawford, Stanley
pub. by University of New Mexico Press 1988     isbn 0-826309992
231p. - - history
A delightful non-fiction book which won a Western Writers Award. The writer was elected to the office of mayordomo or ditch master of an acequia or irrigation ditch in northern New Mexico. This book describes the cycle of 1 year as a mayordomo. (ditchmaster). It is filled with humanity and insight on how ancient democratic structures function in a rural enviornment. - It is a very good read.

Coronado s children - tales of lost mines and buried treasures of the Southwest
by Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. - illustrated by Ben Carlton Mead.
pub by Grosset and Dunlap NY - Southwest Press, Dallas, Texas c1930.
367 p. illustrated some maps, glossary of terms, footnotes
The title aptly describes this book. The concept of the seekers of fortune being Coronado s children is apt, as Coronado was the first European seeker of fortune and all subsequent seekers follow in his footsteps. I was amazed at the sheer number of claims of buried treasure, of Comanche and Apache involvement and of people who found treasure and after going for supplies, assistance etc. could not re-find their earlier find. Includes a chapter on Laffite the pirate.

The Longhorns
by Dobie, J. Frank Univ. of Texas press -- 1990 - orig copyright 1934 ?     isbn 0-292-74627-X
index, b/w pictures - 388 p. - - history
A history of the -breed- of mostly wild cattle inhabiting Texas before it became a republic, and which were harvested in great abundance shortly after the U.S. Civil War. It is also a history of the storied cattle drives from south Texas to Kansas, and even to Montana. A fair amount of description of south Texas brush country, and ranch operation is included. J. Frank Dobie was born and raised on a south Texas ranch. He was a great Texas writer and folklorist.

An American Original: The Life of J. Frank Dobie
pub by Univ. of Texas press - 1978 -     isbn 0-
biography. Tinkle was a friend of Dobies. This biography also covers Dobies problems with UT Austin, including the fact that he was more politically liberal (or less conservative) than the leadership of the Univrsity

Blue Latitudes - Boldly going where Captain Cook has gone before
by Horwitz, Tony
pub. by Henry Holt and Co. NY - 2002     isbn 0-8050-6541-5
index bibliography maps on endpages - 480p. - - history
The author follows Captain Cook and asks how he is remembered in places where he visited and lived in his youth. Interestingly in some places he receives little response and in others hostility. The book examines Cook and his life and works. In some places this is a lighthearted read then you realize that you have learned something fairly painlessly.

She Captains - Heroines and hellions of the Sea
by Druett, Joan
pub. by Simon and Shuster. NY - 2000     isbn 0-684-85690-5
index, pictures, sources - 304p. - - history
Druett researched women as captains, and found them from 500 BC to past 1900 AD. The stories are lively.

Rough Medicine: Surgeons at Sea in the Age of Sail
by Druett, Joan
pub by Routledge     - ISBN-10: 0415924529
224 p. - - history
Druett describes and chronicles surgeons at sea, mostly all in whaling ships. English whalers were required to have surgeons aboard, many signed on after medical school for adventure and to earn a nest egg to start their later medical practices. Medicines are described in some detail. It is a wonder any survived. The use of mercury and mercury compounds was amazingly common. In some ways this is also a history of medical practice of the early 1800s. - a very good read.

Old Indio last of he Karankawa and other short stories
by Hathcock, Steve
pub. Padre Island Trading Company, 104 W. Pompany St., South Padre Island, Texas 78597 - copyright 2010     comb bound   isbn (none) - OCLC (Worldcat) number 701236095 - - 140 p.
Steve Hathcock lists Kay Lay as his editor and has a special acknowledgement to Amy Lindstrom.
This book is a stitched together grouping of 26 stories which are independent chapters each a story mostly about Padre Island, on the southern part of the Gulf of Mexico coast of Texas. They are roughly in chronological order, with the exception of the first chapter which strides from early Karankawa tribe history down to the death of - Indian Joe, aka Emil Guerro - who died some time before 1960, but even the year of his death is unknown.
Hathcock does a total of 21 chapters of informal history of the Island and the more interesting inhabitants.
The last 5 chapters are generally about treasure hunting including techinque on using metal detectors.
An interesting book of local history, where the stories may be simple truth, or truth embroidered. If you are considering a visit to South Padre Island a first read of this book will make it a more interesting experience.

Viking Gods
by Haworth-Maden, Clare. editor
one of the Ancient Cultures series - and much of this material was previously published in Viking Mythology pub. by Chartwell Books,Edison, NJ, USA 1998, (c) Quantum Bks Ltd., London -       isbn; 0-7858-1081-1     highly illustrated in color and Black and White   Glossary of Gods and Goddesses p. 49 -63 - -     this book has 64 p.
Highly illustrated book includes a history - creation myth - of Viking/Teutonic religion. It offers short stories on each of the gods/goddesses relating them to their position in the whole of Nordic myth. It also has a glossary of them at the end of the book, identifying each with a short sentence or two. Early on one can see why Christianity became popular after traditional Teutonic/Nordic religion. Christianity is much simpler, and more positive. This book is a good introduction to northern European myth.

Prisoner of the Indies - the adventures of Miles Philips as told by Geoffrey Household
by Household, Geoffrey
pub. by Little Brown and Co., Boston, 1967 -   -  maps on endpapers   -       isbn none - LCCN = 68-11111     About this book note on pages 204 - 208     -   208 pages.
Household uses various sources, largely Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries pub 1589, by Richard Hakluyt as a primary source to tell the tale of Miles Philips. Philips went to sea in 1567 at age 13 on the Jesus of Lubeck, Robert Barrett, Master and John Hawkins as head of the fleet. He ended up captured at San Juan de Ulna (near Veracruz) in Mexico. He was taken to Mexico City and put to work for a wealthy Spaniard there. Subsequently he ran afoul of the Inquisition (as an English heritic) and managed to get off with 3 years of servitude in a monastery. He then learned the silk weaving trade and eventually escaped through various adventures to Spain on a Spanish merchant ship. From there he narrowly escaped being again apprehended by the Inquisition and managed to ship out on a galley in the Mediterranean and jumped ship in a port where he saw an English merchantman which took him back to England. After boarding and that ship sailing his adventures were not over. They were attacked by a Moorish galley but managed to not only repulse the attack but also capture the galley and free the galley slaves (who rowed the boat, most of whom were Spaniards) to allow them to return to Spain.
Miles Philips was well received by his old friend John Hawkins who was by that time a high government official, and Philips was questioned about Spanish strengths, as it was shortly before the Armada attack on England. (Which happened in 1588.) Miles lived a good full life eventually marrying a Spanish lady and in 1603 wrote a letter to his sons describing his adventures and explaining why he did not get directly involved during the defense against the Armada... fear of capture again...
This book was written and published for the juvenile market. It is fairly well written and introduces the reader into the history of the time in a fair and reasonable... and very readable ... manner. I recommend it for a good light historical read.

Iacocca an autobiography
          by Iacocca, Lee
pub. by Bantam., New York, 1984     isbn - 0-553050672 - - 352 p. - photos - index
Iacocca on Iacocca - a lively biography by a straight talker.

Where have all the leaders gone ?
by Iacocca, Lee
pub. by Scribner., New York, 2007     isbn - 1-4165-3247-7 - - 274 p. - index
Iacocca is a plain spoken writer. This book, published in 2007, was put together with a look at the then upcomming election. Iacocca is totally disgusted with the George W. Bush presidency and offers some things to look for when choosing a leader. His list of things a true leader needs includes Curiosity, Creativity, Communication, Character, Courage, Conviction, Charisma, Competence and Common Sense. All leaders must have these qualities, but none are strong in all areas.
The author has had close contact with a wide variety of world leaders, and writes of his discussions with several. One of the most interesting conversations was that with Fidel Castro.
Even though the election is over, and the primary reason for this book being written may have passed (the presidential election of 2009 being over) it is still a valuable read.

Bismark and his times
by Kent, George O.
pub. by Southern Illinois Univ Pr. - 1978     isbn 0-8093-0859-0
184p. indexed. extensive bibibliography - - history
Biography and times of Otto von Bismark. If you ever wonder why your German forefathers left Germany during the great migration of the 1870s here lies some of the answer. To build the German nation out of a group of principalities and stave off what was Austria and Russia Bismark warred threatned war and did a wide variety of underhanded deals. In the end he was successful in uniting Germany into a unified country at a cost. This is an academic book. It reads like one. Read it f you have interest in the time period and/or the development of modern Europe.

Revelation of the Magi - the lost tale of the Wise Mens Journey to Bethlehem
translated by Landau, Brent
pub. by Harper Collins Publishers, NY, 2010 - Introduction p. 1-34 - - The English Translation of the Revelation of the Magi p.35-98 - - Acknowledgements p. 99 - 101 - - Appendix - the Magi Legend from the Opus Imperfectum in Matthaeum - - p. 103-105 - - Art Credits - - Notes p. 109-149 - - Selected Bibliography p 152-157 isbn 978-0-06-194703-2 bw photos of artwork - copies of the original in Syriac on endpapers - 157 pages
This story as presented is a translation of an ancient text found in the Vatican Library, written in Syriac. This language is practically Aramaic, the language Jesus probably spoke on a daily basis. Syriac was used as a liturgical language in several Eastern churches. ...

The Secret Lives of Lawrence of Arabia
by Knightly, Philip and Simpson, Colin
pub. by McGraw Hill, NY - (orig. Thomas Nelson and Sond, London) copyright 1969       isbn (none) - - 334 p. - bibliography - index
This biography of T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia - - also known as T. E. Shaw when he was in the Royal Air Force) had the benefit of being written after a number of documents came available after their being covered by the British governments - Secrets Act - and other impediments were passed. It clearly depicts his early life, and how his father (an inheritor of an Irish baronetc) became estranged from his wife (in Ireland), and set up a household in England with the governess of the children by his legal wife. The fact that T.E. and his 4 brothers of that - family - were by law illegitimate caused T.E. much mental suffering. Of course he rose above he rose above his situation and went on to live a very celebrated life. br> When in college at Oxford he came under the influence of David George Hogarth. Hogarth was an orientalist and the keeper of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. He was one of those private individuals who made it part of his life work to be of service to the British Empire. Over time he recruited T.E. Lawrence to join him in the quest of enriching and defending the Empire. Under Hogarth Lawrence visited the middle east and published a book on - Crusader Castles -. Another time he spent time at the archeological dig at Carchemish in Asia Minor. Many of the archeological digs were fronts for the basic spying activity and intelligence gathering which empire needs to further its needs and defend its interests.
When WWI broke out, and Turkey, which at that time controlled its own empire stretching from what is currently Turkey, SE to include Persia (Iran) and SW including what is now Iraq, Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine (including Isreal) up to but not including Egypt, became the enemy of England and the western Allies. Lawrence was among a group of -political officers- which operated in the shadows getting things done to support the war effort. He was wildly successful and managed to cajole and drive the Arabians, mostly through connections with the Sharif of Mecca, to take the area including Damascus, Syria. In doing this he led the Arabs to understand what was not to be. This bothered him for years later. What bothered him more was that the French eventually got Syria. Lawrence really did not like the French. Lawrence proposed that the Zionists (Jewish who wished to establish a Jewish state) could work with the Arabs and displace the French. As we know, this did not happen. The peace conference in Paris was a huge disappointment.
After things set and territory divided Lawrence basically became depressed and more than a little mentally unstable. He browbeat Winston Churchill and the head of the RAF (Air Force) to allow him to enter as an enlisted man under a pseudonym T.E. Shaw. It did not work out as he was discovered and the popular press made his life there impossible. Lawrence hired a person to be a friend and also serve certain needs he had, including sometime physical chastisement, which some figment of his imagination demanded. He exhibited some very unstable behavior. Was removed from the RAF and joined the Army tank corps. That was even worse, and he left that service. After some time he begged his way back into the RAF and was successful for many years as a clerk and later greatly assisted the design of fast light crash boats used to rescue flying boats which crashed upon takeoff or landing. He was also successful in causing a number of reforms to military life, this done through informal channels made up of very influential people he knew and corresponded with, not the least was G. B. Shaw's wife. Mrs. Shaw (old enough to be his mother) was in many ways his closest friend. She and her husband were major editors of his book -The Seven Pillars of Wisdom-.
T.E. Lawrence died 6 days after a motorcycle accident which occurred on 13 May 1935 only 10 weeks after he retired from the RAF. There were many conspiracy theories, but in fact his death was a simple accident.
Read this book if you want to understand Lawrence of Arabia. It covers all the bases, and the research behind it is rather complete.

The Seven Pillars of Wisdom
by Lawrence, T. E. (1888 - 1935)
pub. by Anchor books - 1991 (many editions available)     isbn 0-385-41895-7
(paperback ed.)(orig pub Doubleday - 1926) - 670+ p. indexed. - - history
WWI in Arabia. Palestine. Syria. This is the longer version of the story. the shorter version being Revolt in the Desert which I have not read.

A World lit only by fire - The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance - Portrait of an Age
by Manchester, William
pub. by Little. Brown Co. - 1992     isbn 0316545317
index - 320p. - - history
Another very readable work on Western history. This one covering the end of the Medieval and beginning of the Renaissance. Manchester is not an expert in this time period. His expertise is in more modern history nontheless his approach is fresh and very readable This was another terrible time for the western world which civilization lived through. If you read this book start at the very beginning and read the preface forward etc. before launching into the rest of the book.
Read this after reading Barbara Tuchman - A Distant Mirror.

Admiral of the ocean sea : a life of Christopher Columbus
by Morrison, Samuel Eliot
pub by Northeastern University Press, Boston, 1983, 1970   (Originally published: Boston : Little, Brown, 1942.)     isbn 0930350375 (pbk.) xxvi, 680 p. maps, ill. (1 fold.)
One of the great biographies of Christopher Columbus. Later historians have some issues with it, but it is a well written Columbus biography. This book is beautifully produced.

The Ropemakers of Plymouth; a history of the Plymouth Cordage Company 1824-1949
by Morison, Samuel Eliot 1887-1976
pub. by Houghton Mifflin., Boston, 1950 -   -  -       isbn none - LCCN = 50-014847     About this book note on pages 204 - 208     -   177 pages.
Morrison tells the story of the Plymouth Cordage Company - rope makers for maritime customers, and other customers including lariats for cowboys. This is a much more rewarding read then you might expect. It was recommended to me by the man who interpreted the rope walk at Mystic Seaport.

John Paul Jones - a sailors biography
by Morrison, Samuel Eliot
pub. by Northeastern Univ. Press, Boston, 1985   (orig. pub. by Little Brown, 1959)    isbn 0-930350-70-7    LCCN = 84-14838 - - 453 p. - maps, appendices, bibliography, index,
This Pullitzer Prize winning biography is a good read. Morrison brings John Paul (later added Jones to his name) to life. John Paul was born July 6, 1747 in Arbigland, in the parish of Kirkbean, Scotland, the son of a farmer and the daughter of a farmer who was the houskeeper for the local landholder Mr. Craik. He had a satisfying childhood and went to sea at the age of 13, with his parents blessing. He spent the rest of his life as a seafarer. In 1763 he did a voyage as a Mate on a slaver, and left what he called that "abominable trade" in disgust. In 1768 he returned home to Scotland from Kingston, Jamaica. During that voyage the master and part owner and the mate fell ill and died. John Paul assumed command and brought the ship home. The owners were pleased, and at the age of 21 John Paul was made master of the 60 ton merchant brig. John.
After various sailings he ended up in Virginia in 1773. His brother, who had lived in Virginia had died and John Paul settled his effects. John Paul had fallen in love with "liberty" in America, and as the American Revolution began found himself involved. He was eventually given a command, and had difficulty navigating the political waters which naval commanders had to deal with to get and keep commands. He had a few successful skirmishes with English shipping of the American coast, and in what is now eastern Canada. Eventually he sailed to France to get a ship to raid English shipping. The French who had become allies with the revolting Americans supplied ships and other support. Benjamin Franklin was hard at work in Paris doing what was needed to foster that support. John Paul Jones commanded a flotilla which raided merchant shipping and made a couple of attacks on English soil which were gallantly done and done largely over the complaints of his Jr officers and crew which wanted to take other vessels where they could recieve prize money for the captures. His most fameous battle when he was master of the Bonhomme Richard with the British Serapis (sometimes called the Battle off Flamborough Head - on the East coast of England, in the North Sea) took place on 23 Sept. 1779. The Serapis was a new and powerful naval vessel, copper bottomed, mounting 50 guns. The battle was fought in light winds. The grappled (became tied to one another) and slugged it out until both were fairly wrecked. After the battle the Bonhomme Richard sank. John Paul Jones moved his flag to the Serapis and sailed to neutral Texel in Holland. Eventually he escaped back into France after a major re-fit. The battle with the Serapis made him the hero of the day... year... and he recieved many accolades, including being made a Chevalier of France, a huge honor. He did not get what he really wanted... to be offered a suitable strong vessel to continue contributing to the war. He was given a ship the Ariel to sail back to America with supplies for Washingtons army, in which he had to survive a horrendous storm in the Bay of Biscay. He also nearly captured the British privateer Triumph with 20 guns, but as Jones was cargo laden the privateer slipped away after having been raked with cannon fire. On 18 Feb. 1781 he arrived safely in Philadelphia harbor.
Jones did not manage to get another significant vessel from Congress and returned to France to arrange the payment for vessels captured from the French Govt. This took nearly 2 years. After that he was casting about for a job and was hired by Catherine the Great of Russia to be a Rear Admiral (one of 3 as it turned out) with the Black Sea fleet. He served under General Potemken He fought 2 major battles against the Turks at Liman, (liman a term meaning estuary) at the mouth of the Dnieper River on the north coast of the Black Sea. The commands were divided, and although Jones got along with the Russian sailors and Cossacks who were assigned to ship-board duty, he did not get along with the other foreign admirals - one Polish and the other Spanish. Eventually he left with the idea of an offer to serve Russia in the Balitc in the war against Sweden. This never happened. He was caught up in an unfortunate incident (being set-up by enemies as having had a forced affair with an under-aged female... charges he vehemently denied, and which his legal team showed were false.) Jones had not been physically well for some time. He moved to France, and sickness and friendlessness took him. He was living there through the early part of the French Revolution, and did not like what he saw. He died 9 July 1792 in Paris at the age of 45.
Jones had many affairs of the heart, but never really flirted with marriage. He was a difficult man to serve under, often being bitingly criticical then forgiving. He re-rigged most of the ships under his command. In an effort to help him be more successful with his management style his friend Benjamin Franklin wrote him a letter with this advice.
".... hereafter, if you should observe an occasion to give your officers and friends a little more praise than is their due, and confess more fault than you can justly be charged with, you will only become the sooner for it, a great captain. Criticizing and censuring almost every one you have to do with, will diminish friends, increase enemies, and thereby hurt your affairs."
Good advice at any age.
This book serves not only as a biography of John Paul Jones, it also is a good history of naval affairs, ship handling, pay, privateers etc., and the affairs of state in Europe during the last 30 years of the 1700s. A good and fair read.

Westviking - the ancient Norse in Greenland and North America
by Mowat, Farley
pub. by McClelland and Stewartr Ltd. Toronto-Montreal, 1965 (also pub Little Brown - Atlantic Monthly in USA)     isbn - none - LCCN - 65-20746 - - 494 p. - history - maps - extensive Appendices - index
This book is a re-telling of a number of Norse (Viking) sagas melded together into a single narrative with a fair amount of interpretation by the author. As all the various sagas no not totally agree it was not a trivial task. There is a 20 page forward setting up the story (stories) then the body of the story occupies pages 24 - 295. An epilogue spans p 296 - 303. The first Appendix begins page 307 describing the source material. There are other appendices on the weather (climate change) during that time period (which should be read by all who think that climate change is a new phenomina). Others cover sea-level change, Norse geographical concepts, their ships (knorr and knorrir as vs. longships etc.), Norse navigation, maps, the Dorset (N. Amer natives whose civilization did not make it to the modern age), the Westmen (Celts), and some later expeditions.
A fair amount has been discovered and written about since this book was published. It is amazing that Mowat did as well as he did given what was known when he did his research. It is evident that Farley Mowat did not really like the Vikings. They were portrayed as a violent lot, not always brave, constantly squabbling in deadly ways with one another. Their dealings with the native North Americans were almost always disasterous, and most often the N. American natives were on the losing side.
The melded narrative is a good read. The appendices are exhausive, and some exhausting to read. I read nearly the whole book before I discovered the definition of the word hop which essentially means a sort of lagoon formed when a river comes to the sea, forming a bit of sheltered water behind a bar at the mouth of the river.

A Life of Mark Twain
by Powers, Ron
pub. by Pocket Books (div of Simon and Schuster), NY, 2007 (originally pub. by Free Press in 2006) -       isbn 978-14165-2599-8 - b&w photos - notes p.629-682 - bibliograpny p. 683-689 - Acknowledgments p.691-693 - index p. 695-719 - book has 719 pages.
This book is an excellent biography of Mark Twain ( Samuel Langhorn Clemens ). It is also is a tour of the history of the times of his life - from 30 November 1835 to 21 April 1910. He was born when Halleys comet visitied, and died when it next visited. He outlived most of his children and his wife. He was a friend of the great men of literature of his time also of top political leaders, both in USA an Europe.
This is a great ponderous book. It covers a vast amount of time... a long lifespan... and also encompasses the USA from one side to the other and around the world. I highly recommend reading this book.

Saving Paradise - How Christianity traded love of this world for crucifixion and empire
by Nakashima Brock, Rita and Parker, Rebecca Ann
pub. by Beacon Press, Boston, USA - 2008      isbn 978-0-8070-6754-3 - - 552 p. - - extensive notes p. 425 - 515 -- index p.517 - 552 - - pictures b&w -
During the first 900 years of Christianity religious art did not depict the crucified Jesus. There were no crucifixes and literature did not dwell on the suffering death of Christ. Instead early Christianity celebrated the creation of the Christian community and the prospect of living in heaven, including withing the Christian community living in as close to heaven on earth as could be managed. After Constantine and as Christianity became enmeshed with ruling an the empire of the west (Rome), the idea of suffering and the price paid for sin, and how it could be expiated by personal suffering took hold.
The authors say much about the excesses of the time of Charlemagne and after. They also cross the Atlantic and have much to say about how the Pilgrims in New England preached and lived. The last chapter brings their ideas up to date near the publication date (2008).
This book is chock full of very interesting tidbits of history, both in the first millennium and later times. I believe I learned more about history than theology. It challenges what one experienced and experiences as a Christian in the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st.

A Portolan Atlas of the Mediterranean Sea and Western European Waters (with a World Map)
by Oliva, Juan (attributed)
pub. by Library of Congress, Washington, DC, 1987 -       isbn 0-8444-0572-8 - Color reproductions of portolan charts - Introduction p. 5-9 by John A Wolter, Chief Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress - References p. 10 - Description of Atlas and individual maps p. 11-13 - has 4 portolanos and 1 world map - book has 23 pages.
Beautifully done, is in 8.5 x 11 inch format. Maps span 2 pages to roughly 11x17 inches. They are in color and the writing is readable. The Introduction is mostly descriptive of this fascimile. It is estimated that the originals were made between 1589 and 1610. This is a beautiful effort.

Spains Men of the Sea - Daily Life on the Indies Fleets in the Sixteenth Century
by Perez-Mallaina, Pablo E. - - - translated by Carla Rahn Phillips
pub. by Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore 1998 -   -  maps   -       isbn 0-8018-5746-5     Notes on pages 247 - 279     index on pages 281 - 289 -   290 pages.
Perez-Mallaina has written -the- book on all the people who were involved with the Spanish fleets which sailed from Spain to the New World, from the lowest cabin-boy to the Admirals who headed up the fleet and all stations of life in between. Where they came from, what they ate, what they wore, what their legal situation was etc. It is exceedingly revealing of the times, of the inequalities within the systems of the time. The differences between crews and expectations of the accompanying warships and the merchant ships is discussed.
Methods of navigation and the position of the pilots and navigators was discussed. It shows how the Spanish systems were different from the English systems and how at the situation of the people of the sea differed from the Medieval where the sailors had legal power and the beginning of the next century when they began to be just muscle.
This is an exceedingly important read if you wish to understand the great maritime affairs of the 1500s.

So Noble a Captain - the Life and Times of Ferdinand Magellan
by Parr, Charles McKew
pub. by Thomas Y. Crowell Co. - 1953     LCCN 53-7525 (this book is pre-isbn)
index - pictures, maps, generous bibliography, apendix 425p. - - history - biography
I wish I had read this book 30 years ago. It is very readable and very detailed. It sets up the story by preceding Ferdinand Magellans birth by over 100 years setting the dynastic stage in Portugal. This is important because Magellans relations with his king were very rocky at best. Side voyages are explored, as are many which are normally not even footnotes in more popular historical writing. Find out who was Cristobal de Haro. Who really ran Spain (Fonseca). Who was Jakob Fugger. Who did Sebastian Cabot really sail for, and learn of his southern failure. How were the kingdoms of Portugal, and Spain financed. Read this book. You will learn more than expected, and enjoy the trip.

The Speedwell Voyage - A tale of piracy and mutiny in the eighteenth century
by Poolman, Kenneth
pub. by Naval Institute Press - 1999     isbn 1-55750-693-0
190p. indexed. - - history
History of a freebooting trip around the world including a stop at Juan Fernandez Is. and raiding Spanish towns and vessels in the Pacific along S. American and N. American coasts. George Shelvocke was one of the major leaders.

Bad Land - an American Romance
by Raban, Jonathan
pub. by Vintage books - 1997     isbn 0679759069
_p. - - American history
The Montana territory was opened for homesteading 1910 - 1925 as the last of a number of large parcels of land opened for settlement. (the Dakotas were earlier). The railroads and the government offered 320 acres to those who would settle and improve the land (farm). Purported advances in agriculture promised agricultural yields in an area too dry to support farming activity. The comming of the dustbowl and the great depression of the late 1920s and 1930s bankrupted most of the farms and the land reverted to a ranching lifestyle. Raban does an excellent job telling the tale in such a way that one enjoys the read.

Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton - the secret agent who made the pilgrimage to Mecca discovered the Kama Sutra and ...
by Rice, Edward
pub. by Charles Scribners. NY - 1990     isbn 0-684-19137-7
522p. Index. illus. maps - - history
Richard Burton joined the Indian Army (the East India Co. Army) and served in what is now Afganistan. He visited Mecca posing as a Muslim. With John Speke attempted to find the source of the Nile and had may other adventures.
This is an amazing book to read in light of current (post 2001) world events.

Selkirks Island
by Souhami, Diana
pub. by Weidenfeld and Nicholson. London - 2001     isbn 0-297-64385-1
246p. index. illus. - - history
The story of Alexanser Selkirk who was marooned on the Juan Fernandez Is. off the coast of Chile in 1704. Perhaps not scholarly but readable and thorough. It has good endnotes.

The Prince of the Marshes and other occupational hazards of a year in Iraq
by Stewart, Rory
pub. by Harcourt, New York, 2006     isbn 0-15-101235-0 - - 397 p. - photos in b&w, Iraq timeline from 3000 BC to Dec. 2005, quotes from Machiavelli and Sumerian proverbs head the chapters
This reads fast enough, but is a tough read as it deals with unpleasant situations which one can not ignore. Rory Stewart is from Scotland. He is experienced in attempting to re-establish civil order after conflict. (Had worked in Bosnia after the conflict there.) He also traveled in the Middle East and speaks Farsi (Persian) and only a smattering of Arabic. The British Foreign office asked him to be the deputy governate coordinator of Maysan, a province in southern Iraq whose capitol is Amara. It is north (upstream) of Basara. It is perhaps the poorest province of Iraq. It is one of the provinces where the marsh arabs live. Maysan province was controlled by British military. This is during the time that Bremmer was running Iraq. The book is a narrative which seems to be drawn from a diary. It begins on Oct. 3, 2003 and essentially ends on June 28, 2004 when the governmental handover from foreign control to Iraqui control. There is an afterword from a later visit to the area through 2006.
Rory arrives, sets up and begins to establish some sort of order. About 2 months after he begins the official CPA (Coalition Provisional Authority) governate coordinator, Molly Phee (an American), arrives and they both work attempting to get some projects going, Begin employing many in re-building projects, get a police system up and going, The big project was to assemble a local Council to create the beginnings of representative government. Over 10 political parties create themselves after the fall of Sadam Hussein and they all have wildly different agendas and followers. The situation is chaotic and dangerous. For instance the first police chief lasts less than a month before he is shot and killed.
The Prince of the Marshes is a very powerful sheik whose clan was very opposed to Saddam Hussein and fought against him. As such he was welcomed by the Coalition government. He was however an old school type of leader who was a mixed blessing to the Coalition.
In March 2004 Rory Stewart was transfered to Nasiriyah the capitol of Dhi Qar. Italian military were assigned to control this area. The situation in this area was significantly different from Maysan. Variant methods were used to create the beginnings of civil order there. The Italian military were much less efficient in protecting the CPA compound in Dhi Qar than the British were in Maysan.
Some 6 or 8 weeks before the handover of the government to the Iraquis extreme violence erupted, mostly from the Sadarists. By the time of the transfer of power all order had broken down in both provinces (and very probably the others in Iraq also.) The afterword which was written nearly a year later noted that most of the work done by the CPA was forgotten.
Read this book to get a flavor of what it is like when governments fail to exist and competing power groups can not agree. It is chilling. Nonetheless, in the long run, things seem to be coming together, and a governmental organization is forming.

The book makes no reference to the end of British government in Keynya and the handover to the locals. I wonder if it would be fair to make some comparisons. That book has yet to be written.
Read this book after reading - Desert Queen - The extraordinary life of Gertrude Bell - and get a better understanding of the Iraq history, area and people. I find it interesting that Stewart never mentions Gertrude Bell, but does mention other British in Iraq during the mandate after WWI.

In Search of Robinson Crusoe
by Sverin, Tim
pub. by Basic Books - 2003     isbn 0-465-07689-x
or 0-465-07699-8 - - 333p. - - history
Tracks the Robinson Crusoe story to islands other than Juan Fernandez off the coast of Chile. Has a very interesting bits of information on the Moskito coast in Central America and other islands in the Caribbean.

With Lawrence in Arabia New enlarged edition
by Thomas, Lowell
pub. by Doubleday - 1967     isbn LCCN 66-24339
(orig pub Century Co. - 1924) - 320p. - - history
World War I in Arabia and what is now Israel and Syria. This edition came out about the time of the Lawrence of Arabia movie and has an extra Forward written showing 40 years of perspective on the events. Count Lukner - the Sea Devil
by Thomas, Lowell
pub. by Doubleday - 1927     isbn LCCN
(orig pub Garden City Pub, Garden City, NY - 1927) - 324 p. several other editions. recently pub by Kessinger Pub. Doran isbn 978-0766147706
- 324 p. illus. - - history
World War I sea raider Sea Adler a sailing ship, captained by Felix von Lukner raided commercial shipping in the Atlantic and Pacific. Although many ships were taken and sunk not so much as a pet kitten died. Lukner was later awarded a medal for humane warfare after the war.

A Distant Mirror - the calamitous 14th Century
by Tuchman, Barbara W.
pub. by Knopf (a Borzoi Book) - 1978     isbn 0394400267
maps. pictures. index - 720p. - - history
A very readable work of history. Written from a French perspective it is refreshing as most of the historical work we Americans read is from an English or American perspective. It covers one of the more horrific centuries in western history and shows how civilization muddled through despite its problems.
Barbara Tuchman is a masterful writer. She got a Pullitzer for one of her other works. The quality of her writing in this work is just as high as in the one which won her the Pulitzer. This is one of my all time favorite reads, one which I often recommend to others.

The Guns of August
by Tuchman, Barbara W.
pub. by Ballantine Bks - 1994 (orig. copyright 1962)     isbn 0-345-38623-x
maps. pictures. index - 511p. - - history
A fascinating work on the first 100 days of World War 1. Includes the lead-up to the war and miscalculations on all sides. All participants knew they did not have the resources to fight a long war, and expected it to be over in short order. Then none wanted to lose either. A good read. Tuchman has an easy reading style. This book won a Pulitzer Prize.

The Zimmermann Telegram - the astouding historic espionange operation that propelled America into World War 1
by Tuchman, Barbara W.
pub. by Ballantine - orig 1958 (this book 9th printing 1991)     isbn 0-345-34240-2
pictures. index - 243p. - - history
A fascinating look at Woodrow Wilsons attempt for USA to remain neutral during World War 1, and the German proposal to get Mexico to war with USA, and invite Japan to help them. (Even though Japan was on the Allies side during WW1.) It explores how a codebreaking unit covers its abilities during a war, and yet effectively uses the information it uncovers.

The Devils Highway - a true story
by Urrea, Luis Alberto
pub. by Little, Brown, NY,      isbn 0-316-77671-1 - - 239 p. - - maps - -Acknowlegments - - Index -- Reading Group Guide -- Suggestions for further reading
This book was lent to me by a friend who thought I would profit from reading it. I did.
It is the story of 26 men and boys who attempted to enter the USA through the Arizona desert, guided by a coyote. This happened in May 2001. They lost their way in the desert and 14 perished in horrible deaths of heat and thirst. The organization which they hired to guide them to USA took a fair amount of money for the service. It was a well organized ring. Most of the men were from the Veracruz area of Mexico, a lush part of the country where it rains and finding water is not a problem. The desert they encountered on foot was entirely foreign to their experience.
The Border Patrol, and other law enforcement on the USA side is handled with some sympathy, as are the walkers themselves. The coyote group, particularly the upper echelons are not. The surviving men were repatriated to Mexico. The identified bodies were also repatriated. The Mexican Consular authorities do their jobs as well as they could. The lone surviving coyote found on the USA side pled guilty and is serving a very long sentence.
This book includes a good description of the desert between Yuma AZ and ElPaso TX. It also describes in some detail what happens to unprepared hikers, even those from USA who are out for a picnic and get lost.
This is an exceptionally well researched book. Written in a very readable and sympathetic manner. Read it if you wish to know what the illegal immigrant situation is really like.

Desert Queen - The extraordinary life of Gertrude Bell - Adventurer. Advisor to Kings. Ally of Lawrence of Arabia
by Wallach, Jan
pub. by Anchor/Random House - 1999     isbn 0-385-49575-7
(orig pub Doubleday 1996) - 419p. indexed. - - history
Fascinating history of an interesting life and of the living history of Arabia Mesopotamia Syria and Iraq. Gertrude Bell was the English official who drew the map of modern Iraq and caused 3 administrative areas which were previously (before WWI) Turkish to be defined as a modern country and separate from Arabia and Syria.

Spanish Sea - The Gulf of Mexico in North American Discovery 1500--1685
by Weddle, Robert S.
pub. by Texas A and M University Press - 1985     isbn 0-89096-211-1
index - 300+p. - - history
This book is not an easy read. It is slow stylistically but it is incredibly detailed and well documented. If you have any serious interest in this part of the world in this time period. Read this book.

St. Augustine
by Wills, Gary
pub. by Penguin Putnam - 1999     isbn --
4 CDs. - - history
An interesting look at a Father of the Church and Christianity in north Africa shortly after the major pagan persecutions. It shows that the Early Christians were a contentious lot.

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
by Winchester, Simon
pub by : HarperCollins, NY- 1998     isbn -- 0060175966
242 p. : illustrated
The amazing history of one of the contributers to the original effort at making the Oxford English Dictionary, who happened to be in an insane asylum.

Natural History - Science

Elizabeth Blackburn and the story of telomeres - deciphering the ends of DNA
by Brady, Catherine.
pub. by MIT Press Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2007     isbn - 978-0-262-02622-2 - - 392 p. - notes (extensive footnotes at end of book) - extensive bibliography - index - black and white photos, some chemical diagrams
Read this book if you have any interest in the real day-to-day workings of science. It is a WOW experience. It begins fairly straightfordly as a biography of a living eminent scientist - a biochemist. She was born in Hobart, Tasmania (Australia) in 1948. Her father was an MD. She went to school in Australia and did post-doctoral work in England at Cambridge. There she met her future husband John Sedat. She and her husband continued studies at Yale, in USA, and eventually moved to California, working first at Berkley and later at Univ. of California San Francisco (UCSF) where her lab is now. She serves and has served on many committees including those deciding who gets grants from the NIH (US Nat. Inst. Health). She was on the presidential committee Do note that Elizabeth Blackburn won a Nobel in Science, with 2 colleagues in 2009, shortly after this book was published. Some chapters are straight biographical, and some describe her scientific work in some detail. Many of those details went far beyond my understanding, but do illustrate the world in which biochemists who work with DNA, often at a molecular level, experience and study on a daily basis. Here also one is exposed to the ins and outs of lab work in a University setting. The internal politics of higher education and of the world of science where publishing and getting ones name on or mentioned in a major publication is essential for survival. Successful grant writing is discussed. The tensions of working in an academic lab and sharing with corporate for-profit labs is discussed at some length. Issues of ownership of information and ideas in the corporate world vs. more freely sharing among researchers in public institutions are explored. Then there is the gender issue. Serious science has been largely an -old boy- network. The place of women, especially married women with children is difficult, but as demonstrated by Blackburn, not impossible. I have heard several of her lectures which are available in Youtube. Blackburn is a charming person, and a good lecturer. When she was quite young she had elocution lessons, and no doubt they helped make her the powerful person she is.
She was appointed to President George W. Bushs Council on Bioethics and was basically let go from that appointment as her personal scientific ethics were ad odds with the posturing of the political leader of that body. She became a celebrated person in the scientific community for standing up to the pressure and not backing down on distortions to fact which were creeping into the final published report.
This book was a difficult read for me. It challenged the limits of my knowledge of chemistry... and stretched them. Nonetheless it was very worthwhile.

Some lectures online
Dr. Blackburn delivering more formal seminar lectures.

Elizabeth Blackburn talking about science and herself

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
by Dillard, Annie
pub. by Harper's Magazine Press - 1974     isbn 0-06-095302-0
paperback edition by Bantam 1975. there are other editions. - _p. - - nature
Pulitzer Prize winner for general non-fiction in 1975. Natural and philosophical explorations which follow natural events during a year lived in a cabin at Tinker Creek. This is excellent writing very well worth reading.

Islands at the Edge of Time - A Journey to Americas Barrier Islands
by Hansen, Gunnar
pub. by Islands Press - a Shearwater Book - 1993     isbn 1-55963-252-6 pbk
map, illustrations - recommended reading - 222p. - - nature
Gunnar Hansen traveled from Boca Chica, at the southern tip of Texas around the Gulf of Mexico through Louisiana to Florida and north to North Carolina. He writes on the science, both physical as well as biological of the islands, including the various theories on how they formed. In some parts the science is detailed, in other places his writing is more on a laymans level. Especially on the Atlantic coast side he delves into the social situation as some areas are being rapidly developed for recreational use. His writing on the situation in Louisiana, done long before Hurricane Katrina, predicted the damage done by that storm. This is a readable and interesting book for those who have any interest in coastal South and SE USA. The author is better known for his role as the actor who played leatherface in the original Texas Chainsaw movie. He is a man of many dimensions.

Indian Tipi - its history, construction, and use
by Laubin, Reginald and Gladys
pub. by Univ of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK, 1957 - 1977     isbn - 0-8061-2236-6 - - 350 p. photos, drawings, some in color. - index - bibliography - hist. of tipi by Stanley Vestal
One of the first, if not the first, practical books on the tipi. How to make a tipi, and how to comfortably live in one. It explores the different styles by the major American Indian Tribes which used tipis.
A must read book if you are considering making or using a tipi.


Tipis Tepees Teepees - history and design of the cloth tipi
by Holley, Linda A.
pub. by gibbs Smith Pub. Salt Lake City, UT     isbn - 978-1-58685-511-6 (or 1-58685-511-5) - - 240 p. photos, drawings, some in color. - glossery - list of tipi makers - list of suppliers - index - bibliography
A very practical book on how to make a tipi..
Another (and recently written) must read book if you are considering making or using a tipi.

Slipping into Paradise why I live in New Zealand
by Moussaieff Masson, Jeffrey
pub. by Ballentine - 2004     isbn = 0345466144 (HC)
248 p. - color illustrations - maps
Moussaieff Masson is a writer and psychologist. He visits and becomes enamored with New Zealand. He travels around both islands describing the sights and people. He has much to say about the people and government. Read this... then think a lot, before you decide to attempt to emmigrate to NZ. Its a beautiful place with lots of nice people, but not a place where just anyone would want to live for the rest of their lives.

In Trouble Again - A journey between the Orinoco and the Amazon
by OHanlon, Redmond
pub. by Random House - 1988     isbn 0-0679-72714-0
paperback edition by Vintage - 1990. there are other editions. - 273 p. map, index, excellent bibliography - - nature
OHanlon takes a very small expedition up the Rio Negro and Rio Casiquiare and Rio Baria in southern Venezuela on the border with Brazil to the foot of the highlands of Neblina, then back down the Baria and further up the Casquiare and overland to visit a Yanomami village. The fierce Yanomami live up to their fierce reputation, but he is charming enough to come home to tell the tale. OHanlon tells all including the gritty details of canoe expedition, the personnel and their issues as well as describing he flora and fauna in detail.

by OHanlon, Redmond
pub. by Alfred A. Knopf, NY - 2005     isbn 1-400042755
- 339 p. map, index, excellent bibliography - - nature
Redmond travels on a trawler in the North Sea in winter looking for hurricane force winds. He finds what he looks for, and experiences it. Also aboard is a fisheries naturalist who explains the nature of the fishery, and the natural science of the various fish. A very readable tour of the North Sea and north eastern Atlantic fishery.

No Mercy: A Journey Into the Heart of the Congo
by OHanlon, Redmond
pub by Vintage; Vintage Departures Ed - 1998
480 p. - index, excellent bibliography - - nature - - ISBN - 0679737324
Perhaps the darkest of OHanlon s adventures. Redmond heads off into the physically and politically dangerous Congo looking for a possible living dinosaur. What is revealed about the social situation is more surprising than the stuff on the natural world.

Into the Heart of Borneo
by OHanlon, Redmond
Vintage; Vintage Departures Ed - 1987
208 p. - index, excellent bibliography - - nature - - ISBN - 0394755405
The first of OHanlon s adventures. The most light hearted of them, still heavy on the science and the adventure.

~ ~ ~ Natural History and Environment ~ ~ ~

Life on Matagorda Island
by McAlister, Wayne H.
pub. by Texas A and M Univ. Press - 2004     isbn 1-58544-338-7
Notes drawings maps. Index - 244p. - - nature
An extremely readable book. A personal recollection of a college professor and wife who after retiring from teaching took up a job with the National Wildlife Service on Matagorda Island living there some 10 years. Anything that lives on this island, animal or vegetable, even down the the mosquitos (sometimes a plague) and sand fleas is discussed. If you have any interest in the natural history - ecology - or even history of the barrier islands and the bays behind them on the Texas coast read this book. You will not be disappointed.

Cache Lake Country - Life in the North Woods
by Rowlands, John J.
pub. The Countrtyman Press, Woodstock, NY - copyright 1998 (orig pub. by Norton & Co 1947)     isbn isbn 978-0-88150-421-7 - - 272 p. map, pen and ink illustrations by Henry B. Kane.
Rowlands is an accomplished outdoorsman in the central Canadian wilderness. He builds a cabin and as an observer for a timber company lives the -simple life- in the north woods. For neighbors and friends he has an older Cree indian and a young nature photographer/artist, each of whom live in their own cabins a couple of miles away. The book establishes the setting then goes through a year of living, describing how life is lived and describing the philosophy of how life is lived in this remote location. There is much description of how to live and thrive in the north woods, and how to be as self sufficient as possible. There are detailed descriptions of how to make several useful things, and how to cook some favorites. This is a delightful and satisfying book. In some ways it might compare with Annie Dillards - Pilgrim at Tinker Creek -

Beautiful Swimmers - Watermen. Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay
by Warner, William E.
pub. by Penguin (orig. pub. Little Brown - 1977     isbn 1-14-00-4405-1
paperback - drawings. maps - 256p. - - nature
Pulitzer prize winner in 1977 and very deservedly so. Follows the life cycle of the blue crab whose scientific name translates from the Latin as beautiful swimmer. This is excellent writing very well worth reading.

by Brown Jr. , Tom
pub. by Berkley Books. - 1978     isbn 0-425-10133-9
229p. - - outdoors
The first book where Tom Brown describes how he learned to track and live outdoors from his friends Apache grandfather. He lives in the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

Case files of the Tracker - true stories from Americas greatest outdoorsman
by Brown Jr., Tom
pub. by Berkley Books. NY 2003     isbn 0-425-18755-1
190p. - - outdoors
Five case stories of tracking lost people, plus an introduction. Not all end happily.

Bring on the Empty Horses
by Niven, David
pub. by E.P. Putnams Sons. NY 1975     isbn 0-399-11542 - - LCCN= 75-17646
369 p. - - biography
David Niven, the actor, wrights a hilarious autobiography. A fun read.

Arthur Ransome - works and works about Ransome

The Autobiography of Arthur Ransome
by Ransome, Arthur
pub. by Century Publishing - 1985     isbn 0-7126-0726-9
(first by Jonathan Cape 1976- index - 368p. - - ransome
Arthur Ransome. author of the Swallows and Amazons and other childrens books involving sailing and childhood adventure lived a very interesting life himself. He was in Russia when the revolution broke out and found himself thrust into being a foreign cor He met knew most of the revolutionaries but was himself a-political. He married Evangenia Trotskys secretary and had many sailing adventures with her in the Baltic. Read this book along with Hugh Brogans excellent biography of Ransome to get to know the complete man.

The life of Arthur Ransome
by Brogan, Hugh
pub. J. Cape, London - 1984     isbn 0-224020102 - - 456 p. B&W photos - Index - bibliography
This is the standard biography of Arthur Ransome. It fills in and fills out Arthur Ransomes autobiography. It is fairly good at details of Ransomes early life (before going to Russia) and after he returned to live in England. It is instructive to compare this well researched biography with Ransomes own autobiography. For incredible detail on his time in Russia read Roland Chambers The Last Englishman - which gives incredible detail on Ransome in Russia.

The Last Englishman - the double life of Arthur Ransome
by Chambers, Roland
pub. Faber & Faber Ltd. London - 2009 -       isbn 978-0-571-22262-9 - - 390 p. B&W photos - Notes on sources - Bibliography - Index
Chambers has written a definitive biography of Arthur Ransome in Russia. Ransome arrived in Russia when it was still being run by the tsar and shortly before the Russian Revolution started. He managed to befriend or at least interact with most of the leaders of the revolution including Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Karl Radek and many others. Ransome was often debriefed, and sometimes fetched and held until debriefing by English MI5 organization. He actually worked for MI6 for some time. He met fell in love with and eventually married Evegenia Shelepina who was Trotskys secretary.
Exhaustive study of not only Ransomes own notes, but those at the English foreign office, recently released documents from the Soviet archives and various other contacts papers allowed Chambers to get a much better picture of Ransomes activities. Chambers also fills in historical details which is of great assistance for those of us who are not expert in Russian history or the events on the Eastern Front during WWI.
This biography of Arthur Ransome fills in the gaps left by Ransoms autobiography and the excellent biography by Hugh Brogan (which covers his early life and his life back in England after Russia in much greater detail.)
This is a -must read- for anyone wanting to understand the background of the author of the Swallows and Amazons series of very popular childrens books.

Captain Flint's Trunk
by Hardymet, Christina
pub. by Jopnathan Cape, London - 1984     isbn - new revised and enlarged edition - pub by Frances Lincoln Ltd, London - 2006 - isbn 978-071122692-0
243+ p. - - ransome
Good writing about the background to Arthur Ransoms childrens works.

In the footsteps of the Swallows and Amazons - 19 illustrated walks in Arthur Ransome country
by Kendall-Price, Claire
pub. by Wildcat Publishing. England - 1993     isbn 0-9521186-0-2
112p. - - ransome
Describes 19 trails - walks - in the Lake District of England where Arthur Ransome lived and set many of his books.

Nancy Blackett - under sail with Arthur Ransome
by Wardale, Roger
pub. by Jonathan Cape, London 1991     isbn 0-224-02773-5 - - 272 p. - biography - illustrated with photos, some pen and ink sketches, a few maps - index
Wardale, an avid Ransome fan and author of several books on Ransome, explores each of the boats owned and sailed by Arthur Ransome. The book is more or less in chronological order (after a brief introductory bit on the rescue of Nancy Blackett one of the boats Ransome had built for his use.)
In order the boats are Slug, Racundra, the Swallow, Mavis aka Amazon , Peter Duck a dingy given to the Altounyans , Welcome a 17 ft. una-rigged boat used to explore the Broads , Coch-y-bonddhu a dingy,
Nancy Blackett (was called Spindrift then Electron) a 9 ton cutter purchased by Ransome in 1935 this boat was the model for the Goblin in We didn't mean to go to sea,
Selina King another cutter, which he had built in 1938 was 35 ft overall sold in 1946,
Peter Duck a ketch 28ft 3 in long - beam 9 ft drew 3ft 6 in built in 1946,
Lotttie Blossom a sloop 27 ft long - beam 7ft 5in drew 4ft 3 in built in 1952.
There was a second Swallow dingy which Ransome used as a dingy with Selina King one of his larger cruising boats.
Wardale sprinkles the tales of Arthur and Evgenia sailing their various boats with bits from Ransome's writing showing where experiences in his real life reflected in his writing. This is a satisfying book for any fan of Arthur Ransome's writings.

Arthur Ransome under sail - Racundra - nancy Blackett - Lottie Blossom - Peter Duck - Selina King - Swallow
by Wardale, Roger
pub. Sigma Leisure, Carmathenshire SA18 3HP in UK - - 2010       isbn 978-1-85058-855-9 - - 256 p. - bibliography - black and white photos
This book was previously published by Jonathan Cape in 1991 under the title Nancy Blackett, Under Sail with Arthur Ransome . It chronicles the sailing life of Arthur Ransme, author of the Swallows and Amazons books. It also describes the various boats and lists owners after Ransome. A simpler version of a biography of Ransome than his autobiography or the excellent biography by Hugh Brogan. - a good read.

Chimes from a Wooden Bell - A hundred years in the life of a Euro-Armenian family
by Altounyan, Taqui
pub. by I.B. Tauris and Co., London, NY - 1990     isbn 1-85043-239-2 - - 189p.
- - ransome
A biographical work by Taqui Altounyan who was very probably the model for -Titty- in Arthur Ransoms Swallows and Amazons. It also details Armenian life in the Ottomon Empire and later. Some of it describes Aleppo, Syria where her father had a significant medical practice, and the Lake District of England, where her father met and married Dora Collingwood, who was also Arthur Ransomes sweetheart. Ransome remained a family friend of the Altounyans for life. It reveals some of Arthur Ransoms biography that is otherwise unknown to this level of detail. A fascinating book if read with a historical eye.


A Song for Satawal
by Brower, Kenneth
Harper and Row, NY - 1983     isbn 0-06-015093-9
218 p. - - sailing adventure and anthropology
Brower travels to the island of Yap and examines modern conditions, then sails in a traditional canoe, examining methods of navigation and general details of life. A thought provoking book.
(Brower is also author of The Starship and the Canoe which I also recommend a a good read.)

Sailing back in Time A nostalgic voyage on Canadas west coast
by Coffey, Maria and Dag Goering
Whitecap books N.Vancouver BC Canada 2002     isbn 1-55285-338-1
208 p. b&w photos, maps, lines and sailplan of China Moon - - sailing
The last voyage of China Moon sailed by owners Allen Farrell and Shari Farrell. A sailing history of Straight of Georgia area on the Western coast of Canada.
Farrell shows his age always wishing things were as they were in a golden age some 50 or 60 years ago. Farrell designed and built China Moon, a beautiful Chinese junk. Over the years he had built some 11 other boats - all by hand, without the aid of power tools.

Catboat Summers
by Conway, John E.
Sheridan House, 145 Palisade St., Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522 - copyright 2003     isbn 1-57409-171-9
214 p. b&w photos, boat name is Buckrammer - - sailing
A perfectly delightful read. Summer sailing and family adventures on a 24 ft. long, Crosby made catboat, which was built in 1908. Area sailed includes Buzzards Bay, and through the Cape Cod Canal to Boston. Among the adventures, the Padanaram Rendezvous race where the last boat to cross the finish line - within an hour of the first boat crossing the finish line - wins. (LIFR - Last is first, race. see p. 62) The boats previous names Esther - - Josephine S. - - Pelican - - Cape Girl..
see also - the Catboat Assn.

Around America - a tour of our magnificent coastline
by Cronkite, Walter
pub. by W.W. Norton & Co., New York, 1993 - 2001     isbn - 0-393-04083-6 - - 211 p. - drawings - maps
A fairly straightforward book by Walter Cronkite, an eminent newsman, and yachtsman. His home water is the East Coast of USA, and it should be no surprise that it gets the most thorough treatment. Some insights are truly delightful. The coast of the Gulf of Mexico is least well covered, but a quick overview is given. The West Coast is covered somewhat less thoroughly than the northern part of the East Coast, but on the whole is done well. As it is a very organized exposition from North to South, covering most of what there is to report on, one can get a fair reading of the whole from the Canadian border on to Mexico. Since much of the Pacific Coast is not very hospitable to yachting compared to the Atlantic Coast the section is shorter. Also the amount of human history available is less... so the stories available are fewer. A good light read.

Simple Courage - A true story of peril on the sea
by Delaney , Frank
pub. by Random House NY - 2006     isbn 1-4000-6524-0
300p. - - sailing adventure
This is the story of Captain Kurt Carlson - and the freighter Flying Enterprise. The ship was sailing from Hamburg Germany to New York in December 1951 and encountered a strong storm system in the North Atlantic. This storm system sunk several ships. After being hit by a rogue wave the Flying Entertrise hull cracked and cargo shifted. The engines refused to work (lube oil would not pump at the extreme angle). The ship was dead in the water and taking on water in an Atlantic winter storm. Other vessels stood by and the few passangers and crew were ordered to abandon ship. Carlson stayed aboard and when the salvage tug Turmoil eventually arrived assisted in the attempted salvage. The second officer on the tug Kenneth Dancy managed to jump onto the Flying Enterprise and assist the captain in his eventually vain efforts to save the ship.

Lugworm Island Hopping
by Duxbury, Ken
Anthony Mott, Ltd., London 1983 - copyright 1976 (the physical copy I have is from The Cornish Library series Number 18)     isbn 0-907746-19-5
122 p. pen and ink illus. maps, boat name is Lugworm an 18 ft. plywood Drascombe Lugger - - sailing
Duxbury sails and camps along the coast of Cornwaqll in SW UK to the Scilly isles. He also sailed by Padstow. The last half of the book describes sailing in the Outer Hebrides and living on the Isle of Ensay. He tows a dingy he calls Obbe-Wobble which allows him to get to places which would smash his lugger.
Duxbury has written a number of books on dingy sailing and coastal navigation. He did a book on his trip from Greece back to UK, and another of his sailing in the Greek Islands. He is an artist as well as writer.

Lugworm Homeward Bound - Greece to England in an Open Dingy
by Duxbury, Ken
Pellham Books, Ltd., London 1975     isbn 0-7207-0774-9
182 p. pen and ink illus. maps, boat name is Lugworm an 18 ft. plywood Drascombe Lugger - - sailing
Duxbury sails and camps in a return passage from Greece to England. The voyage begins on the island of Corfu in Greece, progresses to the southern tip of the heel of the boot of Italy, then follows a coasting course around to the tip of the boot. He jogs across the strait of Messina to Sicily, then back to the mainland and on north visiting Capri, Elba and Genoa. The voyage takes him into France by Marselles and shortly thereafter into the French canal system including the Canal du Midi. Cities on the canal include Carasconne, Toulouse and Bordeaux. Lugworn exits the canal system near Royen and follows the coast to La Truballe where the canal is taken to St. Malo. By this time winter is threatning. He sails the coast to Granville, Garteret and Cherbourg. From there he makes a cold passage across the English Channel to Weymouth. Not satisfied with just getting back to UK, the coasts back to Fowey in Cornwall. In all it is a straight forward telling of the voyage by a person who is also an acomplished artist. His wife accompanies him on the adventure. Duxbury founded a sailing school and was an accomplished dingy sailor long before this voyage was begun.

East is a Big Bird - Navigation and Logic on Puluwat Atoll
by Gladwin, Thomas-
pub. by Harvard Univ. Press, 1970     isbn - 0-674-22425-6 (LCCN = 75-95922 - - 241 p. - - maps, diagrams, index, black and white photos
This book is the examination of the residents of Puluwat Atoll in the Caroline group in Micronesia in the western Pacific. (about 7.5 deg N. and 149.5 deg E.) The stated purpose of the author is to study people who may be quite intelligent but who do not do well on western civilizations intelligence tests, comparing their situation to poorer people in USA. He then departs to describing navigation (in the broadest sense of the word) in the islands and does not bring up the intelligence bit until the small chapter at the end of the book.
The body of the book is a tour-de-force of boat building, boat handling, sailing, social mores related to voyaging etc. Gladwin is a keen observer. He appears to have had some background in engineering. His description of stresses on outrigger canoes sailing in various conditions is masterful. His description of the mores shows the islanders on Puluwat to be pragmatic as they do what is needed to get the job done more than slavishly follow the rules. His investigation of navigation was mostly under the tutalage of Hipour though other master navigators Ikuliman (greatest living navigator and canoe builder) and Winin among others. There are 2 schools of navigation on Puluwat, Wareing (aka Wareyang) and Fanur. Both schools are in agreement on the rudiments though they differ in certain areas, especially the more mystical. In general navigation - finding ones way - uses the (1) stars especially their rising places and setting places which on the horizon form a compass rose with some 32 points. (2) feeling wave sets. This area of micronesia has 3 different sets. (3) using wildlife - mostly birds - to locate islands (4) using reefs, even underwater recognizable reefs as location markers (5) using mystical wildlife as position markers. (6) using a magnetic card compass to hold a course, though not to set a course. (I may have missed some methods.) In general the navigators of Puluwat are careful pragmatic mariners/navigators who use all the resources at hand to effect safe and successful voyages.
This is a well researched and well presented book. Read it to have a good understanding of what some would call primitive navigation, which is not primitive at all, but well thought out methods to assure getting from A to B. Methods which can be adopted to small boat sailors in other places to assist their sailing from A to B.
See also David Lewis We, the Navigators The Ancient Art of Landfinding in the Pacific and Steve Thomas book The last navigator and Kenneth Brower A song for Satawal for other information on native Pacific navigation.

My old man and the sea a father and son sail around Cape Horn
by Hayes, David and Daniel
Algonquin Bks, Chapel Hill - 1995     isbn 1-56512-102-3
229 p. maps, line drawing of boat Sparrow - - sailing adventure
A father and grown son sail from New London, CT, USA through the Panama Canal, stop at the Galapagos Is. then round Cape Horn. They stop at the Falklands Is. and at Montevideo then sail home to New London.
The Sparrow is only 25 feet long, and has no engine. These people are pure sailors.

The Biggest Boat I could Afford - sailing up the U.S. Coast in a dingy
by Hughes , Lee
pub. by Sheridan House - 2004     isbn 1-57409-192-1 - photos. map - 304p. - - sailing adventure
Hughes manages to buy Frank Dyes Wanderer probably the most fameous dingy in modern times. transports it from Canada to southern Florida then sails from there to the Canadian border.

Wayward Sailor - in search of the real Tristan Jones
by Dalton , Anthony
pub. by McGraw Hill - 2003     isbn 0-07-144028-3
- map - 350p. - - sailing biography
Dalton investigates the life and writings of Tristan Jones. He finds that Jones re-invented himself, creating a mostly fictitious past, then embroidered on it and with great skill as a writer, wrote a series of very readable and interesting books, loosly based on some of his experiences. Even Jones worst detractors allow that he was a great story teller. In this case Tristan Jones (Arthur Jones) real life is very possibly as interesting as the fiction he spun, and attempted to pass off as non-fiction.)

Jones, Tristan - born 1929 - died June 21, 1995 - published works

Three Years in a Twelve-Foot Boat
by Ladd, Stephen
pub. by Seekers Press - 2000     isbn 0966933737
- map - 390p. - - sailing adventure
The author designs and builds Squeek a 12 ft cold molded wooden boat. He sails down the Missouri River and Mississippi River then takes a steamer to Panama. From the west coast of Panama he sails down to Columbia goes inland and eventually heads down one of the major rivers deciding to head out the Orinoco to the Carribbean. From there he island hops back north including sojourns in Haiti. Cuba and an outpost of the Bahamas back to Florida and USA Adventure in the raw often as much concerning the people he meets as the places or sailing he does.

White Squall - the Last Voyage of Albatross
by Langford, Richard E.
pub. by Bristol Fashion Publications, Inc., Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1967 / 2001     isbn - 1-892216-36-1 - - 122 p. - - black and white photos
If you have ever wondered about the accuracy of the motion picture White Squall this book will satisfy your curiosity. In short it is a narrative of the last voyage of the Albatross a sailing school ship. The Albatross was rigged as a hermaphrodite brig with 4 squaresails on the foremast and a marconi (fore and aft sail) on the mainmast. It was 92 ft. long and had a 21 ft. beam. It was built in 1929 and was originally rigged as a schooner. Langford was hired as the English teacher for the voyage. He and 2 of the other adults (John Perry = JC the Math teacher and the cook = Spook) formed a close association and often took time off in port together, discovering what was to be seen and experienced there. In the second chapter he introduces the reader to each of the people on board, giving a short sketch about them. They were a mixed group. The captain was Christopher Sheldon had sailed with Irving Johnson aboard his fameous Yankee (featured in National Geographic Magazine). He met Alice aboard Yankee and eventually married her. Alice (who was an MD) was the only woman aboard the Albatross. The voyage started in mid September 1960 sailing from Mystic Seaport, Connecticut to Bermuda. From there they sailed to Tortola BWI and cruised the eastern Caribbean for 5 months. They celebrated Christmas in Grenada. They motored through the Panama Canal and sailed to the Galapagos Islands visiting there and studying what is to be learned, then sailed back through the Panama Canal stopping to visit the San Blas Indians for a memorable visit. They stopped in Progresso, Mexico on the Yucatan peninsula then sailed for southern Florida, they never made it. On May 2, 1961 a front caught them in mid Gulf of Mexico and in that front there was what is sometimes known as a white squall. What was probably a micro-burst from it knocked the vessel over on her beam ends before sail could be shortened. There were enough deck openings that, as the Albatross was held on her side by the wind, she filled and sank. Six went down with her. Sheldon had the presence of mind to order the ships longboats cut free so they would float, which they did. The surviving adults and boys managed to empty the longboats and begin sailing to Florida. After a day and a half they were picked up by a freighter and taken to Florida. Sheldon, the captain, survived and led the self-rescue and beginning to sail to Florida, his wife Alice did not, and went down with the boat.
This book is an engaging read. More of a rememberance than more technical book on the disaster. After a long study of the situation regulations were created to inspect school ships for stability. Re-rigging the Albatross from a schooner to having a square rigged foremast changed stability to the extent that it greatly contributed to the sinking.

Kurun around the world
by Le Tourmelin, Jacques-Yves
pub. by E.P. Dutton, NY - 1955     isbn -none-
301 p. maps, photos, line drawings of Kurun - - sailing adventure
After WWII le Tourmelin sails through Panama - Galapagos - Tahiti - N.Australia - Cocos Keeling - Reunion - S.Africa - St Helena - then home to le Croisic in France.
The 33 ft Kurun is specially built for ocean cruising. Le Tourmelin sails around the world as only one raw from WWII could do it. He is very French, visiting with French govt. officials at every stop. His lack of envionmental concern is jarring. He often shoots at and takes game to eat where modern cruising sailors would not think of hunting, including the Galapagos Is. where he hunts goats, and even dolphins, where he is never successful. But it is understandable from one who lived in France through all of WWII, under German occupation. The first boat he had built was seized by the Germans and wrecked.
He is a purist sailor - no engine and takes few offers of tows. After Tahiti he seems to be in a hurry to get home to le Croisic Brittany, NW France. However when he arrives, celebrated by the powers that be, he feels that -home- is just another port-of-call.
There seems to be a follow-up book of his sailing in the Carribbean in the early 1960s, which I have not seen, but is listed in the holdings of the Library of Congress.
The Kurun has been restored and is owned by a group which maintains it in sailing trim at le Croisic. Jacques-Yves le Tourmelin is considered one of the great voyagers along with Slocum, Gerbault, and Moitessier.

Oar and Sail - an odyssey of the west coast
by Leighton, Kenneth M.
pub. by Cornerstone Press, Smithers BC - 1999     isbn 0-9684043-2-4
153p - - sailing adventure
Small boat - Morag Anne - (14 ft.) traveling on the west coast of Canada. A great little read.

The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow - a Mirror odyssey from north Wales to the Black Sea
by Mackinnon, A. J.
pub. by Sheridan House - 2002     isbn 1-57409-152-2
drawings. maps - 355p. - - sailing adventure
Mackinnon acquires a Mirror dingy at the school where he is teaching. He resigns and sails rows poles the dingy which he named Jack de Crow west along a river. Then crosses England through the canal system and across the English Channel. He enters the European canal system and works across France. Germany and into eastern Europe to the Black Sea. The story is told in a very engaging style and before it is over there are true adventures.

First voyage of the Joshua
by Moitessier, Bernard
pub by Sheridan House, NY - 1977     isbn 0-688000231
The great Moitessier creating and sailing his creation the Joshua a steel hulled sailing vessel. This is the boat that could have won the first single handed around the world race... but Bernard dropped out, sailing one and a half times around the world, ending up in French Polynesia.

Tamata and the alliance
by Moitessier, Bernard
pub by Sheridan House, NY - 1995     isbn 0-924486775
A mystical autobiography of and by Bernard Moitessier.
His early years in Vietnam before WWII and shortly after WWII are particularly interesting. - A very interesting read. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to see into the head and soul of one of the greatest voyagers of all time. This was publshed shortly after Moitessier died.

Serpents Coil - A stunning true epic of storm and salvage in mid-Atlantic
by Mowat, Farley
pub. by Ballantine, NY - 1961     LCCN = 62-9543
222p. - - sailing adventure
This is the story of - the Foundation Company, a marine salvage company and the freighter Leicester a WWII Liberty ship. (The story may be compared to the story of the Flying Enterprise described in the book Simple Courage described above.) The main differences are that the Leicester was abandoned by her captain (Hamish Lawson) and crew when they reasonably feared that the ship would turn over and sink, while the captain of the Flying Enterprise stayed aboard, and the Leicester was successfully towed into a port (in Bermuda) by Foundation Josephine. The seagoing tug Foundation Lillian assisted, then was sent across the Atlantic to rescue another ship (a tanker) which lost its propeller. The Leicester, in some ways like the Flying Enterprise got into trouble due to a shift in cargo. Leicester was loaded with gravel ballest which shifted. It also survived 3 hurricanes during the whole ordeal, the last one while it was in port in Bermuda being stabelized before it was finally towed to a shipyard in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, for final repair work. The Leicester eventually returned to service. Its rescue and the underwriters examination of the cause of the ballast shift caused a change in the way Liberty ships were loaded. It solved the mysterious dissappearance of several -Sam- Liberty ships and allowed corrective action to be taken to keep other such ships to be saved from this peril.
Mowat weaves a fast paced tale where the rescue tugs crew and management are the heros.

The boat who wouldnt float.
by Mowat, Farley
pub by Little Brown - Boston - 1970     LCCN = 73-103952
241p - - sailing adventure - and humor
Mowat attempts to sail a leaky sailboat from Canada south to USA. The boat resists by attempting to sink every time he sails south. Mowat anthromoporphises the boat, giving it a mind of its own.

The Boy, Me and the Cat
Cruise of the Mascot, 1912-1913 by Plummer, Henry M.
pub by Little Brown - Boston - 1970     LCCN = 73-103952
241p. - - sailing adventure - and humor
Sailing a catboat from southern New England to Florida by way of informal inland waterways, before the ICW (Intercoastal Canal) existed. A man, a boy (who is actually his son) and a cat sail south away from the northern winter. Many small adventures are had along the way. As weather warms they sail back north. This takes place in Pre WWI and the South is a raw and interesting place.
This book is a classic.

Passage to Juneau - a sea and its meanings
by Raban, Jonathan
pub. by Pantheon - 1999     isbn 0-679-44262-6
435p. - - sailing adventure
Raban sails from Seattle to Juneau Alaska. His write-up is full of thoughtful insights and historical tidbits. In the middle of the trip his father dies and he interrupts the voyage to deal with the funeral - in England - then returns to the voyage and completes it. It is an excellent read. - I recommend any of Rabans works as good reads.

Coasting - A Private Voyage
by Raban, Jonathan
pub. by Vintage Press - 1985     isbn 0375725938
304p. - - sailing adventure
Raban sails around England, viewing what he sees, the English, and commenting on the Thatcher government. He meets travel author Paul Theroux who is walking around the coast in the other direction. Interesting having 2 books covering the same area being researched at the same time.

Sailing Alone Around the World
by Slocum, Joshua
originally pub. by Century, NY - 1909     ISBN-10: 1574092618 - - ISBN-13: 978-1574092615
(currently available from Sheridan House) - with the original Fogarty and Varian sketches. map - 320p. - - sailing adventure
The classic tale of a lone voyage around the world in his 30 ft sloop Spray. Lived and told by the man who made the voyage, through Straits of Magellan and around the Cape of Good Hope not through the Panama or Suez canals.

Voyage of the Liberdade
by Slocum, Joshua
originally pub. pre 1900 - now pub by Dover - 1998     ISBN-10: 0486400220 - - ISBN-13: 978-0486400228
128p. - - sailing adventure
Slocum and his family (wife and 2 children) are shipwrecked. He constructs the Liberdade in Brazil and sails it to Washington, D.C., USA. Interestingly the boat, described by Slocum as a large dory is rigged with Chinese lug sails. The boat was donated to the Smithsonian, but was later lost or deleted from that museums collection.

Adventures under sail : selected writings of H.W. Tilman - edited and with an introduction by Libby Purves.
by Tilman, H.W.
pub. by V. Gollancz - London - 1982     isbn 057503159x
254p. maps - black and white photos - chronology. - - sailing adventure
extracts from the following books by H. W. Tilman

Tilman who was a fameous mountaineer takes to sailing and hiking as he grew older. Tilman sailed on an very robust but elderly sailboat to the Antarctic and Arctic in search of adventure in the post WWII era. He traveled without radio or other modern conveniences. His navigation in icepack near Greenland and in the howling latitude 50 deg. south Atlantic is the stuff of legend. This book is a compilation of a number of his books - extracting mostly the sailing material - leaving out some of the on-land adventure.

500 Days
by Testa, Serge
pub. by Trident Press - 1988     isbn 0731648498
216p. - - sailing adventure
Serge sailed Acrohc Australis a very specially built 12 ft. boat around the world. Well written. Common sense and good humored.

Kingdom by the Sea - A Journey around the coast of Great Britain.
by Theroux, Paul
pub. by Penguin - 1983     isbn 0-140-07181-4
361p. - - travel adventure
Theroux travels around the permiter of the United Kingdom (England and vicinity) including N. Ireland. He walks the trip. At the same time another travel writer, Jonathan Raban is sailing around England in the opposite direction. They do meet, but not much is noted about the meeting.

Boy Scouts

Scouts honor -a fathers unlikely foray into the woods
by Applebome, Peter
pub. by Harcourt - 2003     isbn 0151005923
330 p. - - scouting
Applebome follows three years as an adult in his boys Boy Scout Troop - first in the south - then in NY State. A thoroughly interesting study of Boy Scouting - its history and current state.
Baden-Powell - the two lives of a hero
by Hillcourt, William - with Olave, Lady Baden-Powell
pub. by G.P. Putnams Sons, NY - 1964     no isbn, LCCN = 64-24263
457 p. - photos, sketches by BP - sketch map of Mafeking in Africa - scouting
An authorized biography of R. Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts and military hero from the siege of Mafeking in S. Africa. A good read - a positive book. Has a good index and list of sources and publications.

Window on my Heart - The autobiography of Olave, Lady Baden-Powell, G.B.E. as told to Mary Drewery
by Baden-Powell, Olave St. Clair (Soames)
pub. by Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1973     isbn - 0-340-15944-8 - - 256 p. - photos - list of countries visited - genealogical chart - index
This is a delightful autobiography which covers the live of Olave Baden-Powell from her birth through 1971. (She died 25 June 1977.) The chapters in the book are -

This book has a very different slant on the early days of Scouting. It is of course from Olave's point of view, and is deeply personal, and even touches on she and PBs sleeping arrangements which was a matter of some discussion in Jeals biography of BP. It is constructed as a narrative from her diaries. Direct quotes from the diaries appear as needed.
She put in more years working on Scouting than BP did, living over 35 years after his death. She was true to the ideals of Scouting and strongly supported a unified vision of one Scout group per country, mixing ethnic, social and racial groups into a single organization.
Olave expressed some guilt about how much she left her children in the care of others while working for Scouting, but defends the practice as one that most parents of the day who were in her social group did. She felt that the way they pressured her son Peter was particularly out of place. Peter died over 15 years before his mother, and although they had a good relationship Olave worried about her and BPs expectations for him. She flatly wrote that they should not have sent him to Sandhurst (UK military school.) In his own right Peter was successful in Africa, had a good marriage and children. Olave was very fond of Peters wife.
Olave's relationship with her mother was stormy, as was her relationship with her brother Arthur. Late in life things smoothed out, and all became well.
Baden-Powell wrote several letters to Olave to be read after he had died. Several times in his life he expected that he might die and he wrote them to console her and guide her after his death. Instead of one being replaced by another he added to the original(s). The biography reproduces them at the beginning of chapter 20.
After the funeral Olave managed to book passage via steamer from S. Africa to England, having a few close calls with German submarines. Arriving in England, she had no place to stay. Pax Hill was being used by the Canadian military and was not available, and anyway she could not afford to live there anyway. For a short time she lived in the International Scout office. When her powerful friends heard of her plight they prevailed on the crown and she was provided a -Grace and Favor- apartment at Hampton Court Palace. It included 8 rooms and an additional 8 rooms which were eventually used for visiting friends and a servant. She moved in on December 21, 1942 and lived there as a permanent residence for the rest of her life.
It may sound odd, but the Baden-Powells often had to watch their spending. They were in high social class, but were not really wealthy. They always seemed to have enough to do what was needed. Olave's father, who was more wealthy and sometimes helped, for instance with the purchase of Pax Hill, their home for over 20 years. After BP died, among other things, Olave was given a large diamond from S. Africa to sell and defray expenses. The Scouts of USA gave her a credit card to help defray travel expenses, which was used in her final years to defray postage for the over 2000 Christmas cards she sent out.
This book is a comfortable read. It is useful to get a better undrestanding of Baden Powell and his family, and the early years of Scouting throughout the world. I recommend it.

Much of this book - chapters 7 - 12 - are available online at
If you can get the whole book - perhaps by interlibrary loan - read it. The chapters at the beginning and at the end are well worth the effort.

Baden-Powell - Founder of the Boy Scouts
by Tim Jeal
pub. by Yale Univ. Press, New Haven - 1989 reprint 1995     isbn 0-300-09103-6 pbk, LCCN = 20011088765
670 p. - photos, sketches by BP - index - notes - list of BP publications - scouting
A far more critical biography of R. Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts and military hero from the siege of Mafeking in S. Africa. It is not as negative as some might think. Get past the first 2 chapters.

The Chief - The Life Story of Robert Baden-Powell
by Wade, Eileen K. 20Chief.pdf
pub. by ,Wolf Publishing Ldd. - 1975      ( orig. title = The Piper of Pax pub by C. Arthur Pearson Ltd.     1924 )      Electronic edition   2007      isbn (none) - - 78 p. - - pictures - Appendix I. A farewell note to my brother scouters and to guiders - Appendix II. B-Ps medals and decoratoions - Freedoms - Honorary degrees - Appendix III B-Ps published works
Biography of Robert Baden-Powell by his personal secretary of 27 years. Originally published as the 'Piper of Pax' in 1924. This version revised by the author to include B-P's life between 1924 and 1941.

Scouting with Baden-Powell
by Freedman, Russell
pub. Holiday House Inc, New York - 1967 -       isbn -none- - - 223 p. B&W photos and a few sketches by Baden-Powell - Bibliographical Note - Index
This biography of Robert Baden-Powell, the man who started Boy Scouting, is a lightweight biography. That is not to say it is a bad one. It is an excellent short biography which portrays the most positive parts of Baden-Powells life in a good time framework. In some ways, perhaps because it is shorter, it portrays a better time-line than at least 2 other major biographies of BP. The timing of publication of some of his books related to other events in his life is particularly more clearly laid out than in some other biographies. It is interesting that this short book was published shortly after William Hillcourt's early definitive biography. Obviously there was a market for this book, even though the definitive one had just come out.
BPs early life and school days were given short treatment, and most of the book covers his military career. After his military life was over and he spent full-time developing Scouting the story picks up speed and for the most part skims over the rest of his life. The bits about honors afforded him and how he felt about them is fairly well done. (He would have preferred not to have the honors but was talked into receiving them.) The description of the last couple of years of his life is well done, with judicious use of long quotes from his writings.

Where it all began Brownsea August 1907 - The First Experimental Scout Camp
by Mario Sica
pub. by Fiordaliso Societa Cooperativa, Rome, Italy ( - orig. 1998 - first English ed 2007     isbn 978-88-8054-802-7
48 p. - photos, sketches by BP - index - notes - bibliography - scouting
A great little book (or large pamphlet) on the first experimental Scout encampment. Lots of detailed information here including schedules of events, lists of participants and their patrols, and to some extent what became of the participants. A good little read, well illustrated, but rather expensive (having been ordered from France and being sent by secure mail, which is the normal delivery method of the supplier. WOSM World Organization of Scouting Movements.)

On My Honor - Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts are worth fighting for
by Perry, Rick (Governor of Texas).
pub. by Stroud and Hall Publishers PO Box 27210, Macon, GA 31221, 2008     isbn - 978-0-9796462-2-5 - - 226 p. - Index - black and white photos, Appendix = Scholarships for Scouts
This is a book about what has come to be called the culture wars and is mostly focused on how this phenomenon affects the Boy Scouts of America. It savages the American Civil Liberties Union as an organization which seems to have its sights set on the destruction of the Boy Scouts. The 7 pages of the Introduction sets this out very clearly. Chapter 1 gives some of Rick Perrys autobiography. Chapter 2 discusses Scouting and Public Service, including an unlikely positive quote from Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis. In Chapter 3 he introduces a number of luninaries who he interviewed about Scouting. Chapter 4 entitled Scouting How it began How it works, gives a concise and very good outline of the beginning of Boy Scouting in America, including some discussion of early competing organizations. The section on how Scouting works gives a very good view of the organization and how it is organized into sub groups by age group, then how each functions. Chapter 5 - The Culture War comes to Scouting - begins to get to the meat of this book. It covers the basics of the challenges to Boy Scouting... (a) Girls seeking membership (b) duty to God (c) Scouts duty to be morally straight (d) Scoutings access to government forums. It lists the court challenges (lawsuits) against the Boy Scouts challenging each of the above mentioned issues. The Boy Scouts almost always won on appeal, sometimes second appeal. The US Supreme Court decided in June 2000 that the Boy Scouts was a private organization and under the First Ammendment to the US Constitution had the right of freedom of association and was not a public accomodation, thereby not bound by anti-discrimination laws, in short BSA was not required to allow openly homosexual people to be leaders. Chapter 5 Pressure and Intimidation vs. the First Ammendment, discusses attempts (some successful) to limit or deny the Boy Scouts use of public parks, lands and buildings. Chapter 7 Individualism run amok, is not really about challenges to Scouting. It is about what the author considers the ultra left agenda and that individualism ranks above duty to serve. Chapter 8 Is Scouting Relevant Today?, discusses the need for role models and ADD (attention deficit disorder) and hyperactivity. Perry calls this ants in the pants and largely decries the very common usage of drugs. He does think that the use of the paddle will cure some of this problem. (I personally think that Gov. Perry has never encountered first hand a severe case of ADD. A few hours in a Kinder or Pre-K class with 2 or 3 affected children, over a 2 week period might cure him of his lack of understanding.) This chapter goes on to discuss trust and positive character traits which Scouting can foster. It also warns that we as a culture must be strong within or we will collapse from within. Chapter 9 Scouting Heroes - Values in Action, contains a number of stories of Scouts who used their training, often in emergency situations to save life. It shows what concrete positive things can happen when the training and values come together to make a very satisfying result. Chapter 10 Scouting in a Changing World takes on the ACLU for its seeming war against religion. He also discusses the National Association of Man-Boy Love of America and its criminal leanings and advice to members to infiltrate youth organizations to get access to children. Later in this chapter a number of results from a Harris pole on the effects of Scouting during youth are listed. Having had some experience with poles of this sort I expect that they are of some interest but not really statistically significant to prove anything concretely. Chapter 11 Taking Inventory of Society, notes that those who did not have the freedom or opportunities offered to citizens of USA are not as hungry or driven as native born citizens who take things for granted. It ends with a warning that we need to deal with these issues with humility lest those who identify themselves as conservatives find themselves in "hyprocritical hot water." Chapter 12 The Road Ahead - can Scouting survive, discusses secular humanism (a term defined by the religious ultra right and in my mind often abused). After, in previous chapters, Perry states that Boy Scouts duty to God is not sectarian, is not tied to any particular religion, and includes non-Christian religions, he ends with a strong statement about Christian religion and quotes C.S. Lewis broadly. There is nothing particularly wrong about that, but as relates to Scouting, the official view of the organization is much broader and inclusive than being limited to Christianity or even the Judeo - Christian tradition. Scouting is comfortable with Islam, Janism, and even simple Deism. The Afterward gives the address where to assist legal defense fund BSA and a web address where to share information on what is discussed in this book.
This book is not totally angry or bitter. Perry shows charity to the liberal cause, but he condemns it for its inflexibility and lack to being able to live with people who have more conservative views and lifestyle.

General Non-Fiction

~ ~ ~ How To ~ ~ ~

Band Saw Projects
by Crabb, Tom
pub. by Sterling Publishing Co. Inc, NY, 1988 -       isbn; 0-8069-6718-8     LCCN = 88-2162 -     Black and White photos   Appendix - how to make a Pantograph, Ovaler, Sriber 122-127p - - Index p. 127-128 - - 128 p.
Tom Crabb presents a very straight forward book on the band saw. Pages 6 - 19 are particularly useful for one who has a new band saw and needs to know how it works, and how to properly set it up and adjust it for best use.
One of the first -chapters- involves making joints (mortise, rabbet, dovetail, half lap, saddle, box or finger joint as well as the birds mouth joint. He also explains about jigs for repetitive work. He discusses various types of glues at some length.
- polyvinyl resin emulsions
- polyvinyl acetate or PVA - yellow or white emulsions (examples Tight-Bond and Elmers carpenters glue) - grab quickly and do not irritate the skin - less resistance to moisture - tends to clog sandpaper - main limitation is ~cold creep~ lacks resistance to continuously applied loads
- epoxies - developed in 1940s - must be accurately mixed - is a good gap filler - only requires contact (no clamps necessary) is waterproof
- urea formaldehyde - Weldwood Plastic resin (powder must be mixed with water) hard and brittle when cured, sands well but will take an edge off cutting tools. - will stick to any kind of wood. It resists moisture and high temperatures better than PVA glues. - can be cleaned up with soap and water before it cures.
Crabb advises keeping many kinds of glue in the shop and using what is most useful for any particular job.

He has a short chapter on scaling up plans and sketches - grid example, use of the pantograph, and using a photocopier.

After expounding on glue he gets into the 25 different projects, many of which can only be easily accomplished using the band saw as a machine tool vs. any other normal woodworking tool. Several of the first involve cutting a small log or balk of wood into cylinders.
Another is making folding baskets, which are spiral cut boards which get pushed out to form a basket. The angle of cut needs to be between 4 percent and 6 percent
Cutting rings and glue stacking them is another technique. (Most of these types of techniques involve cutting into the ring and gluing the entrance cut shut before proceeding with the projects.)
The Lap Desk (a historical project) and the ~Chicken Box~ use finger joint hinges in a most interesting way, doweling through the joint to make a hinge.
All in all, a very interesting book which is as or even more valuable introducing the band saw as a tool and discussing technique as it is demonstrating the various individual projects.
A very interesting read if one has a new band saw. (Which I do.)

Complete Yurt Handbook
by King, Paul
pub. by Eco Logic Books. Bath, UK , 2008 (dist. in USA by Chelsea Green) (1st printing 2001)     isbn - 1-899233-08-3 - - 121 p. - history - glossary - bibliography - list of commercial yurt makers
This is a delightful book. It begins with a good description of a yurt, (in Mongolia known as a Ger) then expands to types of yurt. It includes how they are lived in by a Mongolian family, complete with social elements. About half of the book details how to construct a yurt. Instructions are flexible enough so that the reader understands his/her options. Detailed patterns and measurements are given for several sizes of yurt. I have no doubt that any reasonably handy reader could construct a yurt after reading and understanding this book.

Freakonomics - a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
by Levitt, Steven D. and Dubner, Steven J.
pub. by William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins, NY. 2005 -       isbn; 0-06-073132-X     Notes (chapter by chapter) p. 209-230     Acknowdedgments p. 231-232     Index p. 233-242         total size 242 p.
Levitt bills himself as an economist. He comes off as a rigorous statistician with a lot of raw data with which to work (play). Upfront he says that the book does not have a theme. He is correct about that.
The chapters include
-1- What do Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers have in Common ( cheating. In which chapter he uses some interesting statistical methods where he can not achieve his -truth- by a show direct facts. )
-2- How is the Ku Klux Klan Like a group of Real-Estate Agents ( Information is power, and when the good true information gets out - Klan passwords and foolishness - Real-Estate value information - get out things change )
-3- Why do Drug Dealers Still Live with their Moms (because for most there is little money in it. There is an interesting narrative on the workings of a network of gangs selling crack cocaine.)
-4- Where have all the Criminals Gone. ( most controversial - they were aborted before they were born )
-5- What Makes a Perfect Parent ( except for genetics, wealth, and amount of education, children are more affected by their peers . Swimming pools in residential property is much more dangerous than having a gun in the house.)
-6- Perfect Parenting Part II - or - Would a Roshanda by any other Name smell as sweet ( a long and wandering bit about whether or not the names parents give their children have any effect on their lives.)
On the whole, the authors hope that the reader will look at things differently having read this book. I think they worked long and hard for modest merit. This was a very popular book when it came out. Sometimes the authors strain too hard to make their points. They rail against ~common knowledge~ and often enough common knowledge is not totally correct. This is a smattering of overkill. It is not always convincing.
The authors have a follow-up book - Super Freakonomics - published some 4 years after this one. It starts out with an explanatory note ~In which we admit to lying in our previous book~ I intend to read at least the first part of that book.

updated - 19 December 2014 - update 22 April 2015

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