Friday, April 25, 2014

Favourite Sailing Books: Part 1

What are your favourite sailing books?

That was the question posed by Yachting Monthly editor Elaine Bunting on Twitter this afternoon, and a very good one it is too, just right for a grey and damp Friday evening when there's nothing much on TV.

I have over three shelves of sailing books, many of which have just been removed from their place and are now piled high on the kitchen table. Most so selected, I've noticed, are non-fiction rather than fiction.

There are a number of series of sailing novels which are all very readable, but in the end didn't quite make the favourites list. C. S. Forester, Patrick O'Brien and of course Sam Llewelyn are all fine writers - the latter in particular has almost single handedly created a new genre of sailing novels.

Then there are the big names of professional sailing, such as Ben Ainslie and Ellen MacArthur, for whom I have three books between them, one of them signed with a nice message. All are must reads for anyone seriously interested in sailing, and that should be enough without being labelled as favourite.

Then there are the classics over the years: The Last Grain Race, Around the World in Wanderer III, Fastnet Force 10, Longitude.... which should be on a sailor's reading list. The writings of Tilman, Tristan Jones and Liza Copeland.

So what makes a favourite? Its usually a combination of writing and subject, a tale that grabs you and text that is a clear window not an obscuring fog.

But favourite means more than that - it implies an attachment, something that makes the book personal, not just another book.

So favourites can - indeed will - change as you change.

The books above, then, are the favourites as of April 2014, as will be blogged tomorrow.


Bursledon Blogger said...

You prompted me to go and have a look, so..
Flotsam & Jetsom the late Rob White
Open Boat Cruising John Glasspool
The Crest of the Wave Uffa Fox
Ian Nicholson Omnibus
Shelia on the Wind Adrian Hayter

the two most read over the years
Storm tactics Lyn & Larry Pardy
Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Nigel Calder

the bookshelf in my office is straining with quite a few more too numerous to mention

JP said...

Very good - not ones I know.

Anyone else with their favourite sailing books?

Noodle said...

I like Robin Lee Grahams "Around Alone". I think it is called "Dove" in English. I love Troels Kløvedals books. Dunno if they ever got translated from danish.

JP said...

Dove sounds great (specially the returning home with wife and daughter bit) but I don't think that Troels Kløvedals is available in English (though Google had a good go at his web site)

Noodle said...

Sailing and romance is a lovely mixture :-)

JP said...

Indeed - there should be more.