30 September 2013

I Stole This From My Sister

My sister works at the library and during her spare time at work she did a search on sailing novels and found some great options to add to my reading list. She emailed me through a summary of each book along with her own thoughts on why I should rush out and read them immediately. I have too much to do this week (like watch old movies in my DVD collection), so rather than put any of my own effort into writing my own post, I thought why not steal what my sister wrote. I feel no shame or guilt whatsoever about stealing from my sister. I blame my mother. She obviously didn't raise me right.

When I was little, I snuck into my sister's room and stole money from her piggy bank, snuck out of the house to the corner store, bought candy, snuck back into the house, hid in my room and ate all of the candy. Yum. My sister, the tattle tell, found her empty piggy bank and ran crying to my mother telling her that I stole her money. No one likes a tattle tale by the way. My mother came marching into my room and accused me of stealing from my sister. I, of course, denied it. That is the first rule of stealing. Deny everything. For some reason, she didn't believe me. It might have had something to do with all of the crumpled candy wrappers in a pile around me and the chocolate smeared on my face. She got mad. My sister gloated. I got grounded for the entire weekend and wasn't allowed to go see the 4th of July fireworks. Thanks tattle tell. But clearly, my mother is pretty bad at punishment, because I just read books all weekend in my room. It turns out it wasn't really a punishment. I was supposed to be learning a lesson. I learned that you can get free candy and be left alone so that you can catch up on your reading if you steal from your sister. So obviously it is my mother's fault that I don't feel guilty about stealing from my sister again. She obviously wasn't very good at the whole punishment and learning lessons thing.

So here is the sailing novel reading list I stole from my sister. It is full of variety. Some of them neither of us would read unless we were grounded in our rooms and had nothing else to do and they were the only books we had. By the way, Sis, go ahead and tattle to mom if you want. By the time she flies all the way to New Zealand to ground me, she'll have forgotten why she came and we'll just have a nice visit instead. And eat chocolate. Hah! Victory again!

My Sister's Sailing Reading List

Swept Up by the Sea
By Tracy & Laura Hickman
Determined to seek his fortune, Percival Taylor leaves behind his sleepy hometown and sets out to become a legendary pirate only no one at the roguish seaport of Blackshore will allow him anywhere near a ship Percival must find other means to win the heart of the beautiful Tuppence Magrathia-Paddock, who has mistaken him for a pirate rogue out of one of her romantic tales. She is entirely willing to swoon into his arms if he can prove his buccaneer soul and she is willing to arrange her own kidnapping to prove it. Percival eventually finds himself captain of a broken-down ship, complete with a crew of pirates.

(After reading this book description, my sister asked me, "Has Scott proven his buccaneer soul? Does it make you want to just swoon into his arms?")

By James M. Ward
Halcyon Blithe, being a young man of good breeding and lineage as well as endowed with those qualities and abilities of a sorcerous nature and wishing to fulfill his full potential, is ready to assume his proper place in the world. He aims to seek his fortune among those who tend and sail the awesome nautical juggernauts-the dragonships. With this is mind, Blithe gladly accepts his rank as Midshipwizard and becomes a member of the crew who man the dragonships-vessels which harness the bodies and strength of living dragons with seafaring technology. Combining elements of Hornblower with Harry Potter, and Robert Louis Stevenson with Robin Hobb, Midshipwizard Halcyon Blithe is a nautical tale rich in magic and intrigue. A tale set against a panorama of fantastic naval battle as we follow the career of a young midshipwizard as he moves up through the ranks of His Majesty's Navy. 

(Do you think Halcyon Blithe borrowed Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility so that they could avoid the pirates and sail safely through the Gulf of Aden? Actually, maybe the answer to the pirate problem is dragons. Dragons would scare the crap out of the pirates.)

Sabbatical: A Romance
By John Barth
Subtitled "a romance," Sabbatical is the story of Susan Rachel Allan Seckler, a sharp young associate professor of early American literature - part Jewish, part Gypsy, and possibly descended from Edgar Allen Poe - and her husband Fenwick Scott Key Turner, a 50-year-old ex-CIA officer currently between careers, a direct descendant of the author of "The Star Spangled Banner" and himself the author of a troublemaking book about his former employer. Seven years into their marriage, they decide to take a sabbatical, a sailboat journey on which they sum up their years together and try to make important decisions about the years ahead. True to its subtitle, the novel combines the mysterious and marvelous (unexplained disappearances; a fabled sea monster in Chesapeake Bay) with romantic love and daring adventure.

(Sea monsters, romance and daring adventure – what more could you want. Sounds like the kind of promises Scott makes.)

The Toilers of the Sea
By Victor Hugo
This paperback original is a new translation of Hugo's great novel of the sea and includes comprehensive endnotes and Hugo's illustrations, which have never been reproduced in any edition of this monumental work.

(You’re not allowed to work in a library unless you’ve read at least one Victor Hugo novel. Or you can cheat and watch the film version of Les Miserables instead. Your boss will never know the difference. They probably did the same thing too.)

Sails and Sorcery: Tales of Nautical Fantasy
Ed. W.H. Horner
Mermaids. Pirates. Flying ships. Creatures from the deep. Magic beyond your wildest dreams. The sea is a dangerous and wonderful realm. It calls to many, promising riches, adventure, or freedom. But just as there are beautiful and remarkable treasures to be found upon and below the waves, do not underestimate the dangers hidden within its depths. So polish your cutlass and prepare your spells for what awaits. Embark upon a journey across leagues of unimaginable adventure. Ride the waves to mystery and magic. Featuring 28 stories and 42 illustrations, including tales by New York Times best-seller Elaine Cunningham, Paul S. Kemp, Patrick Thomas, and James M. Ward with an all-new story featuring Halcyon Blithe.

(Do not underestimate the sea! Respect her power! Or she will hurt you and leave big bruises on your legs.)

By David Poyer
Jack, a hotshot neurosurgeon, is at the peak of his career-- and his family's showing the strain. Jack's solution to all their problems is a family cruise to Bermuda aboard a luxurious new sailboat. He's never sailed on the open sea before-- and they begin to fear for their safety. How much would each one be willing to sacrifice in order to buy the others a chance to survive?

("He's never sailed on the open sea before..."  What could possibly go wrong?)

Sail Away: Stories of Escaping to Sea
Something happens when men and women put a plank between themselves and the water and set out on a voyage, whether for a day or a lifetime. Now Sail Away brings together the very finest writing about travel on water by a stellar crew of writers. Among those to be included are Joseph Conrad, Jacques Cousteau, Roald Dahl, Lawrence Durrell, F. Scott Fitzgerald, E.M. Forster, Ernest Hemingway, Thor Heyerdahl, Jonathan Raban, Paul Theroux, Mark Twain, Jules Verne, David Foster Wallace, and Evelyn Waugh. Packaged as the perfect companion to Beach, with atmospheric photos by Beach photographer Mittie Hellmich, Sail Away will be an important addition to the tradition of best-selling books about ships and the sea.

(This one is definitely on my sister's reading list. You'll have to wait your turn to check it out of the library.)

Black Swan
By Chris Knopf
A sudden storm drives Sam, Amanda, and their sailboat into harbor at Fishers Island. The owner of the Black Swan, a small hotel, reluctantly gives them lodging. When a fellow lodger dies in circumstances that suggest a killer in their midst, Sam must ferret out the corporate secrets behind the murder.

(Oooooh..."corporate secrets"!)
We, the Drowned
By Carsten Jensen
Follows a century in the port town of Marstal on an island off the coast of Denmark, whose citizens' lives are indelibly shaped by forces ranging from wars and shipwrecks to taboo survival practices and forbidden passions.

(Yeah, please don't drown.)

By James Patterson
The Dunnes have set off on a ten day boat trip, a trip that hopefully will bring them closer together, despite the fact that the father, Stuart is staying behind on land. But only an hour into the trip they're already falling apart. The teenage daughter plans to drown herself, and the teenage boy is high on drugs. Ten-year-old Ernie is near catatonic. But their mother Anne, with the help of her brother-in-law Jeff, is insistent on pulling everyone together, once and for all. Just when things start to take a turn for the better, disaster strikes. Stuart is left to pick up the pieces and find his family--but he is eager to start a brand new life. Maybe he's a little too eager.
(The description had me at, "But only an hour into their trip they're already falling apart. The teenage daughter plans to drown herself, and the teenage boy is high on drugs."  If this is what they devolve to on a sailing vacation, I can only imagine what Christmas at their house is like!)
Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think? Any suggestions on other books I should add to my reading list very welcome.
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  1. You stole my candy, and now my words...

    1. I'll bring the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups next time I see you as payment. I'll need to hide them from Scott though. He likes them too.

  2. First, I never had enough money or candy, makes me wish I had a sister. Second, I read the Patterson book Sail and I'm pretty sure he's never set foot on a sailboat but it was good story.

    1. You've missed out - sisters are great! I may have to check Patterson's book out - I like a good story.

    2. Stealing from sisters: Sweet, Sweet victory! I'm sure it was totally worth it. Both times!


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