Cruiser’s bookshelf: what are you reading?

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Lingering in Washington DC, we’re enjoying gorgeous days making the most of the US capital…and tucking ourselves in below on the chilly nights (40s! 30s even! rumored 20s in the next few nights- YIKES) with some solid reading to keep company. This little channel off the Potomac still hosts dinghies practicing (that’s our view from the Capital Yacht Club, above) and access to the city make it worth every goosebump to be here. Meanwhile, here’s a range of books–new stuff!– from inspirational to practical to just plain fun / escapism, all connected back to cruising.

lin-pardeyNew writing from Lin Pardey! The books she and Larry wrote served as an important source of inspiration during our planning/dreaming years, as they have for legions of cruisers. It’s exciting to read fresh new stories about their adventures—and, bonus, they’re in some of our favorite cruising grounds of the South Pacific!

Reading Taleisin’s Tales was like seeing old friends again through her vivid writing about the cruising experience, and hit me harder than I anticipated in all the best ways (plotting, or at least dreaming, about our Panama Canal timing now). Full of beautiful color photos, the book took me on a return voyage — and although it’s been a few years between her visit and ours, time comes closely to that far side of the world. Besides, the lessons in seamanship and humanity are every bit as relevant today as when they sailed these miles in Taleisin.

Working with Lin in her booth at the US Boat Show in Annapolis this year, I could put her voice to the stories and gain a new appreciation for their authenticity. Find this book—and others—on her website.

A little while back, Kate Laird sent me a copy of her new book, Homeschool Teacher. I cracked it open for a quick look and was hooked in the first pages. WHERE WAS THIS BOOK WHEN WE WERE PLANNING TO TAKE OFF? Ahhh, Kate, this wonderful guide would have saved me so much stress!

I’m not kidding when I say that what scared me most of all about the prospect of cruising was not storms, was not pirates, it was homeschooling. The conventional recommendation for cruisers did not resonate with me, so I floundered a while looking for alternate guides. This book would have put my fears to bed and given me the tangible direction I craved. Homeschool Teacher is clearly and simply written, and aligns spectacularly well to support what *most cruisers actually do* — that is, draw from an eclectic mix of resources and curricula to fit a child/family.

Kate’s book is rooted in many years of experience, from her first post-Harvard job tutoring three children across the Pacific to boatschooling her daughters (15 and 16 years old) while she and her husband lead high latitude, expedition style charters. Homeschool Teacher covers K-8, years we’ve got mostly in the rearview mirror now, but I’m pulling plenty of ideas here we can apply to our teen skewed crew. Download a sample to check it out, follow on her Facebook page (frequent tips/helpful homeschool info), check out her books’ website or buy this book on Amazon.

selling-your-writingMy co-authors for Voyaging with Kids have each published books this year: both practical guides on entirely different (and yet, related) topics. In a season that’s prompted a few folks to do some soul searching on what lies ahead and how to find that far horizon, they’re very timely!

Michael Robertson’s Selling Your Writing to the Boating Magazines (and other niche mags) has everything you need to know about the nuts and bolts of how to get your wmove-to-nzork published by one of the big-name glossies we all love. That’s great, right? But better yet, Michael colors the practicalities with personal tips and tricks he learned (the sometimes hard way) along his path from IT professional to writing to support his family for cruising full time.

From her new home in New Zealand, former Seattlite Sara Dawn Johnson wrote How to Move to New Zealand in 31 Easy Steps. Not sure you want to return to your home shores after a South Pacific cruise? Sara lays it out the steps she and her family took to become residents on the path to citizenship. We’ll stay nomadic for the time being, but as I learned working with Tourism New Zealand during our stint in that corner of the world, this is a very special place—and it’s a very real option, if you know the process.

A few years ago, we met a friendly couple of cruisers on the dock in Tioman island, Malaysia. We’ve happily stayed in touch with Jase Kovacs over the years as he and his partner adventure through Southeast Asia. At the moment, Jase is writing the novel Ebb Tide about a dystopian future where a former cruising kid is using skills from her boat life to survive. He’s writing this WHILE SAILING FROM ASIA TO NEW ZEALAND and posting chapters along the way. Sorry (#notsorry) for the yelling, but seriously, tackling a book in conjunction with some serious passagemaking – fun fast paced writing — AND keeping up new chapters every few days?– go Jase!! I am a latecomer to the book-in-progress and can’t wait to see what happens. Plus, badass woman sailor protagonist. Follow along free on his website.

Pondering books for your current or future cruising life? I’ve organized a list of books that cruisers will find useful. Words of inspiration, practical guides, books we actually use on board, regional recommendations and more. Check them out!

Can I send you a copy of Voyaging with Kids that’s been inscribed to the reader(s) of your choosing? Maybe you need to sell the grandparents on your plans, maybe you want to give a special gift. While we’re in the USA (tick tock…but long enough for holiday season), I’ll send a new book personalized with a message based on your desires. Now there’s a gift you can’t get on Amazon! Book plus shipping in the continental US is $40; other destinations, just ask (shipping costs passed through 1:1). Contact me to purchase.

A number of the book links in this post are connected to our Amazon affiliate account: that means when you click through from SailingTotem.com we get a commission on any Amazon purchase you make in the following 24 hours. There’s no added cost to you, but it does make a difference for us. Thank you for the consideration!