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1. The Complete Sailor: Learning
2. Sailing Fundamentals
3. Sailing: The Basics: The Book
4. Sailing For Dummies
5. Things I Wish I'd Known Before
6. Start Sailing Right!: The National
7. Sailing Alone Around the World
8. Sailing Alone Around the Room:
9. The Blue Book of Sailing: The
10. Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why
11. Understanding the Racing Rules
12. Sailing Home: Using Homer's Odyssey
13. Sailing Smart: Winning Techniques,
14. Offshore Sailing: 200 Essential
15. Saving Sailing - The Story of
16. Learning to Sail: The Annapolis
17. Adlard Coles' Heavy Weather Sailing,
18. The Handbook Of Sailing
19. Sailing from Byzantium: How a
20. New Complete Sailing Manual

1. The Complete Sailor: Learning the Art of Sailing
by David Seidman
Paperback: 208 Pages (1995-03-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$9.73
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0070571317
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The Complete Sailor takes the reader from the first sail to a mastery of small-boat handling. Weaving his writing around 600 drawings by noted marine illustrator Kelly Mulford, David Seidman has created a book in which each double-page spread invites the eye and communicates volumes of information. The Complete Sailor goes beyond other learn-to-sail books to cover navigation, boat design, and seamanship. Encyclopedic in scope yet warm in style, it conveys the magic as well as the techniques of sailing. Among the other topics covered: anchoring, ropework, rigging, weather, fog, squalls, currents and tides, rules of the road, trailering, and working the winds. The book is a gentle introduction for those just starting out, and a guide to new horizons for those who already sail. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (44)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best sailing book!
This is a great book to learn sailing, it has great graphics, very well explained and if you want to get good advice you might as well get this book.I have already read it twice and use it as reference whenever I need to.great book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Superbly written, for a novice-intermediate skill level
This book offers straightforward and concise advice about the core skills of seamanship, which apply to virtually any vessel you sail. Like most sailing books, it is skewed noticeably toward the Bermudan/Marconi (triangle) rig, though not to the same severe degree as most other books. Unlike most other sailing books, its focus on core skills (interpreting the wind, shaping a sail, anchoring, approaching a dock, etc.) are fairly easily translated to other rigs, such as the cat ketch rig that I sail, and Seidman does pay passing attention to other rigs like the gaff, as well as offering some historical background on a number of early rigs (proas, junks, etc.).

Some parts will be of little or no use if you don't use the rig in question (the sections on tending the jib, for example, won't apply if your boat doesn't have a jib), but most concepts are universally applicable to sailing. There is superb advanced-introductory level information about right-of-way, navigation lights, audible signals, etc. which are among the clearest, most concise explanations I've seen... not densely technical or constantly digressing about exceptions-to-the-rule. The author assumes a captain of a small boat (under 30') and so gives no-nonsense advice that applies to most any small sailing vessel (and could readily be applied to larger vessels to, in the case of the core skills addressed).

Where the book really shines is in the beautiful hand-sketch-style illustrations that complement the text, proving the old axiom that "a picture is worth a thousand words." There are thoughtfully-conceived diagrams, for example, of how the wind pours across varying terrain, spilling out across water in the form of puffs, gusts, baffling winds, etc. These illustrations are matched by occasional moments in the text where the author's passion for the art of sailing really pours across the page and fills you with a palpable enthusiasm to go sailing. Not every moment in the text reads beautifully, but all of it reads clear, and the passionate sections are every bit as evocative and exciting as any I've encountered in a sailing book. You really get the feel that Seidman is trying to write about the zen of sailing, not just the practical aspects, and trying to distinguish the true "sailor" from the far more common "guy with a boat."

For a true beginner--someone with little or no sailing experience--this book is not ideal because it has some noticeable gaps or assumes a little too much knowledge on the part of the reader. For example, when describing how to trim sails for efficiency, the author moves without warning between the Bermuda/Marconi rig and Gaff rig, and thus, a reader not already aware of the various terms that denote those rigs (peak halyard, etc.) might not notice the subtle shift in focus on rigs and become confused. It would be nice to see the treatment of sails divided into rig types, but that would almost certainly ruin some of the free-and-easy tone the author is attempting to maintain as he discusses concepts which are usually dense and intimidating.

That is the main benefit of this book (besides the thrilling passionate sections about the joys and art of sailing): it inspires confidence by applying a keep-it-simple philosophy in which the competent sailor need only understand the basic core tenets of what moves and affects the boat. To this, Seidman also adds some interesting but non-essential information on hull shapes, ballast, keel types, etc. Intermediate sailors will already likely understand this stuff, but may still appreciate the concise summary format by which Seidman moves so swiftly through concepts that usually occupy many pages in other books--usually in a "Choosing the right boat" section. Thankfully, Seidman does not address how to choose a boat, nor attempt to identify the essential characteristics of a "seaworthy" craft, nor ponder the relative merits of trailer-sailors versus live-aboards, inboards versus outboards, etc. (the stuff that most sailing books waste a full third of their pages on). Instead, he assumes you already own (or have access to) a boat and want to improve your skills.

My personal sailing skill level is difficult to describe since I am entirely self-taught, and have only sailed 2 boats, both of which I built myself (the first was a 14' cat gaff sharpie; the second was a 20' cat ketch sharpie). However, I would characterize myself as a novice-intermediate sailor with an unusually advanced knowledge of sailing jargon (boat-building teaches you how to name all the boat parts). Very little in Seidman's book felt entirely new to me, but all of it felt very well presented and focused on exactly the sorts of things that have been making me (and will continue to make me) a better sailor. This is my favorite book on sailing out of the many dozens I have read. It has a real gift for conciseness, clarity, and confidence-building with its sometimes-passionate, sometimes-nonchalant tone.

If you have at least a few dozen hours of sailing time under your belt, or have already read a very basic introduction like Sailing for Dummies, this is the book for you. If you're still totally new and have not yet picked a boat or attempted much sailing, this book will not be very helpful at that stage because Seidman's concise descriptions definitely require some experience to appreciate fully. If you are an intermediate or advanced sailor, you may find Seidman repeating concepts you already know, but you will appreciate how well, concisely, and sometimes beautifully he states them, to the point of making this an ideal quick-reference for general advice on improving your skills.

I highly recommend this book, and rated it at 4 stars (not 5) only because its title "The Complete Sailor" is slightly misleading: It is NOT a complete guide for the total novice, who would need to supplement it with other sources of information in order to avoid many of the common problems a brand new sailor encounters at the beginning of his/her initiation into the sport.

KINDLE USERS: I read this book on the Kindle 2, which is fine, but small text in a few of the terrific illustrations or charts are unreadable on the Kindle 2's screen. It might be wise to buy the book in paperback since it really is a beautiful book. Kindle DX users might find that the illustrations are fine on the larger DX screen, but I don't know.

5-0 out of 5 stars Complete Sailor
The book was in very good shape and I received it sooner than expected.Thank you for the good service

4-0 out of 5 stars Good introductory coverage of all major topics in Sailing
I read this book after a couple of years of sailing lessons and sailing experience. While you can't go sailing with just this book and a boat, once you actually have some very basic sailing experience, this is a wonderful book.

It covers all major areas a recreational sailor would encounter and explains them with beautiful illustrations. The illustrations are plentiful and make it easy to understand the material. I should emphasize that they are also very pretty to look at. It certainly makes you want to go sailing and try things out!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for Beginner Sailors
The Complete Sailor is a fantastic book. Well written with great illustrations. Covers everything a beginner sailor needs to know. Easy to read and understand. Couldn't put the book down. ... Read more

2. Sailing Fundamentals
by Gary Jobson
Paperback: 220 Pages (1998-08-01)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743273087
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Written by America's foremost instructional authority, the new edition of Sailing Fundamentals combines the training programs of the American Sailing Association and the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. The official learn-to-sail manual of the American Sailing Association, it is also used in the programs of many yacht clubs, colleges, and sailing groups. Unlike most introductory sailing books, which reflect the biases and idiosyncrasies of their authors, Sailing Fundamentals has been extensively pretested by ASA professional instructors to ensure that it offers the fastest, easiest, most systematic way to learn basic sailing and basic coastal cruising. This book covers every aspect of beginning sailing -- from hoisting sail to docking and anchoring -- and specifically prepares the learner to qualify for sailing certification according to international standards. Widely acclaimed author Gary Jobson has won several major races, including the 1977 America's Cup victory as tactician aboard Courageous. He was head sailing coach at the U.S. Naval Academy, and has conducted sailing clinics across the country. Illustrated step-by-step in two colors with over 150 line drawings and photographs.Amazon.com Review
Published under the pennants of the American Sailing Association and the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, Sailing Fundamentals is an excellent guide for novice sailors ready to get their feet wet. This comprehensive manual helps beginners learn basic sailing and coastal cruising with step-by-step instructions for everything from hoisting the sail to docking. Written with clear prose by Gary Jobson--tactician aboard the 1977 America's Cup-winning Courageous--Sailing Fundamentals is specially designed to help sailors qualify for ASA certification--essential if you wish to charter a boat.

Necessary reading for novice sailors--and an excellent reference for intermediate to advanced sailors. --M. Stein ... Read more

Customer Reviews (42)

4-0 out of 5 stars Outdated... needs revision
It's a great book that needs revision.
1. New technology which is standard in todays sailboats (GPS-charting etc. which are extremely helpful) get little mention.
2. New terms are often not defined leaving the beginner searching first the index, then on the Internet. Every new term should be defined.
3. When material is referenced to another part of the book, page numbers should be given.

3-0 out of 5 stars Correct the typos and improve the illustrations
This was the textbook for my ASA basic keelboat certification. Does an adequate job but leaves much room for improvement and there are probably better books out there.It's been around a long time and must have been through many printings and I would expect the publisher to have more pride and correct the many typos and some bad illustrations and photos.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sailing Fundamentals
Sailing Fundamentals is the manual of the American Sailing Association and the United States Coast Guard Aux. The basic fundamentals for any boat owner.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth Owning
A very comprehensive guide.If you are going to buy just one sailing book, make it this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy step by step instruction
The book provides easy step by step instruction for someone with little or no knowledge of sailing.It is an easy read and well written. ... Read more

3. Sailing: The Basics: The Book That Has Launched Thousands
by Dave Franzel
Paperback: 144 Pages (2003-04-01)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1585748072
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
With SAILING, acclaimed teacher and racer Dave Franzel moves you quickly from book to boat. It is his firm conviction that the best and most effective way to learn to sail is to be out on the water. Accordingly, he treats the theory of sailing in a straightforward, no-nonsense fashion--just the way he's done so successfully for years at his Boston Sailing Center. The essential information in this book is comprehensive, effectively reinforced, and clarified with more than 100 excellent line drawings.
SAILING is exactly what it says it is. After studying this book, you'll understand the fundamental concepts well enough to be confident of your abilities when you board your boat for the first time. You'll learn how to sail on and off moorings and docks, how to trim the sail, and how to balance the boat properly. You will be introduced to the rules of the road, anchoring, navigation, spinnaker sailing, heavy-weather sailing, and basic seamanship. In short, you'll have all the keys to a successful, fun, and safe time under sail. Pleasant sailing!

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book beginner through advanced
I used this book to learn how to sail about 6 years ago.

After sailing thousands of miles, including a trans-Atlantic passage I still look back to this book as a reference.

Highly recommended for the beginner.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great gift
I bought this as a gift and the recipient said it was perfect for a beginner sailor. He's very happy with the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Saling, The Basics
Comprehensive, detailed and a super guide for a beginer. All interested in learning how to sail should read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent intro to sailing!
Great book - covers all the basics and is enough to get you to the point where you would feel comfortable taking some lessons.Even if you've already sailed before, it's a great "refresher" course on the basics of sailing and the "rules of the road."

I first found this book at the library but I liked it so much, I bought it so I could go over it with my family as often as I wish... ... Read more

4. Sailing For Dummies
by J. J. Isler, Peter Isler
Paperback: 432 Pages (2006-06-06)
list price: US$21.99 -- used & new: US$12.03
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471791431
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Interested in learning to sail but feel like you’re navigating in murky waters? Sailing for Dummies, Second Edition introduces the basics of sailing, looks at the different types of sailboats and their basic parts, and teaches you everything you need to know before you leave the dock.

In Sailing for Dummies, Second Edition, two U.S. sailing champions show you how to:

  • Find and choose a sailing school
  • Use life jackets correctly
  • Tie ten nautical knots
  • Handle sailing emergencies (such as capsizing and rescuing a man overboard)
  • Launch your boat from a trailer, ramp, or beach
  • Get your boat from point A to point B (and back again)
  • Predict and respond to water and wind conditions
  • Read charts, plot your course, use a compass, and find your position at sea

Sailing for Dummies shows you that getting out on the water is easier than you think. The authors keep the sailor-speak to a minimum where possible, but give you a grasp of the terminology you need to safely and effectively communicate with your crew. A textbook, user’s manual, and reference all in one, this book takes the intimidation out of sailing and gives you the skills and confidence you need to get your feet wet and become the sailing pro you’ve always wanted to be. Anchors away!Amazon.com Review
Attention landlubbers: If you don't know your port from yourstarboard, tacking from jibing, then you need to experience clearsailing with the Dummies. With the usual cargo of good humor anddemystifying tone, this mast in the Dummies armada lifts the fog onconfusing nautical language, teaches the basics about maneuvering asailboat from dock to open ocean, floats important safety information,and offers advice and info on a variety of related issues (knots,racing, sailboards, how to buy a sailboat). Whether you want to learnto sail or just talk like a sailor, Sailing for Dummies is youranchor to life on the water. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (45)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dummies
"I'm Sailing" and "I'm the King of the World".
Lots of useful information in this dummy book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ahoy Matey
Sailing for Dummies is another fact-packed book in the "Dummies" series. This book is very good for the anyone interested in sailing or just trying to pick up some nautical jargon. I purchased the book to learn about "Tall Ships" from the 1700-1900's, but quickly learned this was not the book for me. But, if I ever purchase a sailboat...............

2-0 out of 5 stars seriously "Dummies"
Only consider purchasing this book if you are THINKING about buying a first sailboat.If you already own one, if you have ever sailed, it you know anything more than NOTHING about sailing...this book is not for you.

The "....for Dummies" has been an ok series of books for other topics, such as computer programs, but when it came to sailing....it would be better named "Sailng for Dummies, for those who have NEVER set foot on a sailboat"

Some sailing books make the reader feel they are reading a book in another language, because they are SO technical with so many new words.Not this book, but you will 'outgrow' the book after your first weekend on your new sailboat.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sailing for Dummies
Great book for the beginning sailor. I received the book from Amazon at a good price in a timely manner..

4-0 out of 5 stars Sailing made easy
I bought this for my non-sailing wife after I unsuccessfully tried to explain the effects of wind on the sails. She found it to be vastly better than my explanations. She also told me some things I didn't know, that she learned from the book. ... Read more

5. Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Started Sailing
by John Vigor, Thomas Payne
Paperback: 187 Pages (2005-08-01)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$10.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1574092111
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
There are many frustrated sailors out there and with the baby boomers starting to retire many finally have the freedom to indulge their sailing dreams. This book is intended to guide them. Aimed at sailboat owners of all kinds, this reference book contains 200 entries packed with solid practical advice and valuable tips. The reference format offers the reader opportunities to open the book at any page and browse endlessly. Cartoons by SAIL Magazine cartoonist Tom Payne enliven the text. A comprehensive appendix covers some 50 technical topics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars A must read
This book was recommended by a friend in the Coast Guard Auxiliary. I have just started shopping for a cruising sail boat. This book is a good education and introduction into what you need to know about boats and sailing. It will also be a good reference when I am sailing in my new boat.

5-0 out of 5 stars Like talking to a knowledgeable friend ...
I've read a lot of sailing books and this is one of my favorites ... it is not the most technically detailed. It won't tell you how to use a sextant or rig your boat, but it has a frank perspective that no other sailing books give you. It's written in a great conversational manner and focuses on the most useful items that only experience can offer.

1-0 out of 5 stars Wasting money
Bought this book as a beginning skipper with 2000 miles experience, and who always looking for something to get more knowledge. But this book is chaotic andEMPTY, author trashing around with advices for coastail sailing and ocean sailing, there is nothing useful for any sailor, except those who want put this book in WC library. Do not wast your money on this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great little book to share with your crew
If only! How many times have you wished that you had known about some part of sailing--before ending up in knots and tangles? With a great wit and clever technique, this book will inform, amaze, and have you chuckling all at the same time! A great addition to the libraries of old salts or sailing neophytes.

5-0 out of 5 stars funny, informative, readable
John Vigor writes abut sailing and sailors with great wit, compassion and understanding. His knowledge of sailing is deep and broad his language and style are a joy. The wisdom contained in this book extends beyond the realm of sailing lending insight into navigating the rigors of daily life. This is a wonderful, funny, readable book.

Oded Kishony ... Read more

6. Start Sailing Right!: The National Standard for Quality Sailing Instruction (US Sailing Small Boat Certification)
by Derrick Fries
Paperback: 112 Pages (1997-06-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$9.22
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1882502485
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
US SAILING developed this book in partnership with the American Red Cross to help you become a more confident and accomplished sailor. Start Sailing Right is a fantastic primer for anyone with an urge to get out on the water - and a reference guide for a lifetime. It offers one practical, usable tip after another and profuse use of large, clear diagrams, making sailing understandable and putting the new sailor at ease. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars Start Sailing Right
I was obliged to buy this book for a sailing course I planned to take, and I found that I did like this book more than I expected. It's thorough and clear with many thoughtful and helpful illustrations.However, be sure you buy the video supplement that can accompany it. They did not come automatically with the second hand editions of the book I bought.I don't know if they come with the new one either, but they are referred to repeatedly throughout the book and they ARE important for technical aspects of sailing like tacking and jibing, and working with wind direction.Those will be the most challenging elements of sailing that must be practiced, and I don't think they are sufficiently clear with illustrative drawings for a novice like myself.The role and purpose of the videos/"tapes" are explained in the introduction.In closing, although this book is very good, it is intended to be accompanied by sailing lessons, and the book itself explicitly says it should not be used as a substitute for lessons.Not sure if tapes are available through Amazon but they are available through the US Sailing Association.

5-0 out of 5 stars Right book for the Job
This item arrived in a timely manner and in excellent condition with a reasonable price.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just in time
Amazon delivered this product on a timely fashion and in excellent shape. Thank you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Start Sailing Right
The book came as advertised or better and quickly, I would definately buy from this company again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gets you going quickly
I'm new to dinghy sailing and I just didn't have the time to take a sailing class.This book was just the right size and speed to get me going.You're not going to learn the history of sailing and you're not going to learn about rigging a twenty five foot sloop.Instead, it just focuses on the mechanics of dinghy sailing and also covers material that falls into FAQ type stuff like "How do I launch from a dock?" and "What's the best time to raise the mainsail?".The sketches are well done and they really go a long way towards helping make the text clear.I'd say this book teaches about as much as you'll need to know without ever having stepped in a boat. ... Read more

7. Sailing Alone Around the World
by Joshua Slocum
Paperback: 118 Pages (2010-03-07)
list price: US$20.77 -- used & new: US$18.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 115368537X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: Voyages around the world; Fiction / Action ... Read more

Customer Reviews (49)

5-0 out of 5 stars Slocum led, others have followed
The sea and inland waters have given us some great writers. Joseph Conrad was a sea captain, James Fenimore Cooper a naval lieutenant, Mark Twain a Mississippi River pilot, Herman Melville was an able-bodied seaman on whalers and a Naval frigate, Frederick Marryat a midshipman at Trafalgar and a captain when he wrote his first book. Joshua Slocum belongs among them for his writing ability, though he produced only two books, and only one is famous.

In 1895 sailing for pleasure on long ocean passages was almost unknown. Such passages were the province of fully-crewed ships. When the owners of the schooner America wanted to race her in England, they crossed by steamer and left to professionals the task of sailing the vessel across the Atlantic. When the owners of the 54-foot sloop Alice, built in New Hampshire in 1866, wanted to cruise her in Europe, they hired Capt. Arthur Clark to sail the boat across, with a crew of three professionals, a steward, and two young amateur yachtsmen. Merchant ships invariably hailed her as a vessel in distress, assuming such a small yacht could only be so far at sea through misadventure.

Slocum sailed out of Boston, Mass., April 24, 1895, alone on a 37-foot oyster sloop he had rebuilt from a hulk, with the intention of sailing alone around the world. The enterprise seemed foolish. But Slocum was a life-long mariner, had once owned his own ship, and had been tried for murder after shooting two mutineers who came at him with knives. He'd been shipwrecked on the coast of Brazil with his family, built a sampan with a junk rig, and sailed it back to the U.S. His boat, the Spray, was not ideal for the journey. An oyster boat has to be shallow, and such boats can be capsized. Most mariners prefer a boat that can be knocked down on their beam ends and still recover, but this was the boat Slocum had, so it's the one used. He'd tried to find a ship to command, but he was a sailing-ship skipper, and steam was taking over. He'd rebuilt the Spray and tried to make her pay fishing for cod, but found he'd lost the touch for jigging. So he did what he knew, and set out to sea again.

His first wife had died, his second did not care for life at sea, so he sailed alone. He lacked a good chronometer, so celestial navigation was nearly impossible, though at one point he shot a lunar distance sight to confirm his longitude, a feat few modern mariners can do. He had two old alarm clocks he used for dead reckoning (if you reckon wrong, you're dead.)

At every port, he was wined and dined, invited to tell the tale of his voyage so far. Sometimes those dinners became tales themselves, as when a head of state corrected him, saying you do not mean you are sailing around the world, you are sailing around in the world, because he thought the world was flat.

There was no one with him to confirm his sea stories. He said that in the Mediterranean he was chased by a pirate felucca, which was rapidly overtaking him when a squall hit. He stopped to reef, but the felucca did not, and when the squall had passed the felucca was nowhere to be seen.

The tale seems fanciful, but that is largely because of peoples' misconceptions about piracy. Piracy is armed robbery at sea. Most acts of piracy are not committed by career pirates in special pirate vessels. The poet Shelley was killed by pirates, who were in fact fishermen who had decided to kill him and rob him. One of them confessed on his death bed. In 1895, feluccas would have been in common use as commercial and fishing vessels. Slocum would have known something was up when a vessel made all sail to catch him in dangerous conditions.

Or maybe he made it up. We don't know, and at some level, we don't care. He was a charming raconteur, and we accept his story on that basis rather than interrogating the work for its factual truth. He tells of becoming ill from eating bad plums, then hallucinating that Magellan's pilot sailed the vessel for him through the straits named after that explorer. Hey, it could have happened, and it's tales like that that got him wined and dined at every port.

When he finished his voyage in 1898, the country was at war with Spain, and few paid attention to his arrival. He wrote his book, which was serialized in The Century magazine. The war was over by the time the book was finished, and the country was ready to give him his due. His book was an instant best seller, and is still in print today. His imitators in making long offshore passages in small boats are legion. There is a Joshua Slocum Society devoted to chronicling such voyages, though many people prefer to just go, and not tell the society. People have even raced around the world singlehanded without stopping, which I think misses the point of Slocum's voyage. He wasn't testing himself against the sea. He had a lifetime of sailing behind him. Of course, part of the adventure was the voyage, but a big part was the arrivals in new ports, meeting new people, and being part of each new port in a way no mere passenger on a steamship ever could be.

Few people ventured offshore in small boats before Slocum. He showed it could be done, and his account of his adventures made others yearn for the romance of such adventures.

At age 65, Slocum set out for one more solo voyage, this time to South America. He was never seen again.

4-0 out of 5 stars Adventure on the high Seas
If you like being on the water give this one a read.A good adventure story that I will most likely read again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sailing Alone Round the World
I first read Joshua Slocum's book as a young boy and it still gives me the thrill of his voyage, even after many years. I am now 78 years old. The story is remarkable with Slocum building 'Spray' from a wreck and sailing it single handed around the world. Michael Brooker.

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic for good reason
I first read this book about 30 years ago, I think. I vaguely remember thinking it was dry, and now I'm amazed at myself. It is anything else but that, from today's perspective! First published in 1900, Slocum's prose reads fresh and crisp; and his sense of humor pleases me with its dryness. No wonder it's still around, over a century later.

Slocum, who worked his way up to shipmaster and owner after starting before the mast in the days when sailing ships still ruled international commerce, reached middle age in a different era. With his family grown, he accepted a friend's gift of a sloop that lay decaying in a field. Slocum rebuilt the SPRAY completely. Then he set out in her alone, to circumnavigate the globe.

He spent nearly three years in that successful effort. Newspapers followed his progress, and in port after port he made new friends and learned new things. Seasoned world traveler though he was, I got the feeling as I read that he hadn't had time for much of that learning on earlier voyages. He'd been busy looking after his ship, its cargo, and his family (who sailed with him). Now, off on his own with a freedom he hadn't known before, he savored each new experience and then recorded it for eventual publication.

"The author made me feel that I was there, too," is a cliche. But cliches come into being because they're true enough to invite over-use, and in this book's case the words fit perfectly. A classic for good reason!

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply escape on a trip around the world
This book is a wonderful find!Very readable and compelling, the author unwittingliy tells the tale of his adventures around the world on a small boat that he built with his own two hands in New England near the turn of the century.The book is without pretense, at times is hard to imagine, yet the language is so simple and straightforward how can we do anything but believe his stories written in a down home style.This is a book that's easy to get lost in and holds your attention until the very last page.I read it while on the beach.I recommend that you do the same.The sound of the lapping waves makes the book that much more enjoyable. ... Read more

8. Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems
by Billy Collins
Paperback: 192 Pages (2002-09-17)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$5.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375755195
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Sailing Alone Around the Room, by America’s Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, contains both new poems and a generous gathering from his earlier collections The Apple That Astonished Paris, Questions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, and Picnic, Lightning. These poems show Collins at his best, performing the kinds of distinctive poetic maneuvers that have delighted and fascinated so many readers. They may begin in curiosity and end in grief; they may start with irony and end with lyric transformation; they may, and often do, begin with the everyday and end in the infinite. Possessed of a unique voice that is at once plain and melodic, Billy Collins has managed to enrich American poetry while greatly widening the circle of its audience. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (90)

5-0 out of 5 stars One Likeable Poet
Being critical of artists is interesting territory. As an amateur poet who is learning to fall in love with the medium and all other artistic mediums late in life, I find it hard to be critical of any artist. I think they are all noble in simply pursuing a craft that so few really care about. That, to me, is bold. In a culture addicted to quick fix idiot entertainment, blessed is the man who can get across to the masses through the written word sans pulp. Collins is one of those artists and good for him.

Every poem in this book was worth reading IMHO. A range of subjects are covered and Collins is never dark and brooding. He displays sensitivity and uses evocative yet accessible imagery to elucidate common evreyday themes.

As to his detractors I believe Collins would respond like this:

I want the scissors to be sharp
and the table to be perfectly level
when you cut me out of my life
and paste me in that book you always carry.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sailing Alone Around the Room
This is a nice collection of poems by a modern poet.It made the bestseller list and I suppose for readers of poetry this is a good collection of poems.Instead of critiquing style and syntax, I will instead say that I truly found these poems to be a strong emotional outpouring by the author.Billy Collins' writing is to the point and about those things that even not poetry lovers can relate with.After reading this book I was left with the sensation that I actually had just conversed with Collins and know him for who he is and not just for the images of his writings.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic from America's Master of Poetry
Billy Collins is simply the best, and I think this is some of the best of Billy Collins. I treasure my fraying copy and recently bought two more as gifts.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thought-Provoking Subtle Humor
Perhaps, what may best describe the poetry of Billy Collins is "Thought-Provoking Subtle Humor."Throughout much of his work Collins intertwines a hint of humor with a profound message about our daily existence, dealing with everything from junk mail to our inner voices to the spirits of the dead.

Collins, a teacher by day, poet by night, offers his readers visions and images from the classroom.At times, we are the student, as in "Snow Days," "First Reader" and "On Turning Ten" and at other times, we are the teacher, as in "The History Teacher."

However, the vast range of themes to which Collins writes is not limited to the student - teacher perspective, but is as diverse as life itself.In "Pinup" a trip to the auto mechanic turns into a whimsical satire regarding the ever common pinup calendar found in probably every garage in America.This poem, complete with the "we're going to have to charge you more" routine so typical of the dreaded repair shop, offers the reader some comic relief as the poet becomes mesmerized by the attractive and seductive women on the pinup calendar hanging over the tool bench.Again, in "Victoria Secret" Collins pokes fun at man's lustful tendencies, as he thumbs through the catalog prior to opening his other mail.The poet's imagination runs amuck as he places the thoughts in the models' heads based on their various poses, facial expressions and intricate clothing (available in a multitude of oddly named colors).

Poems dealing with an even more significant theme, such as death, are not void of humor.In "The Dead" Collins proposes that the spirits of the deceased are always watching us, hopeful that we might see them and when we, the living, lie flat and stare upwards, they think we are watching them.In "Night House" Collins addresses the many inner voices of man as if all are separate entities or spirits living captive within our bodies.His poignant observation of how, at times, we all glance off into the distance in an almost comatose fashion and at these moments, he speculates, we might actually be listening to some of these other spirits within us, this is as profound an idea as it absurd, which heightens the poems overall appeal.In "Forgetfulness" a poem about aging, here too, Collins adds humor to address the topic of the slow and gradual loss of one's mental faculties, specifically that of memory.

What makes Collins work so endearing and so pleasurable is his ability to sprinkle humor into what ails us.The life experiences, both the good, the bad and the mundane, often contain some subtle humor.In stepping in as himself and then stepping back as an objective observer of himself, the poet fuses the two perspectives into verse and offers forth the quiet comical reality of life itself.Collins' collection of work in "Sailing Alone Around the Room" will leave you floating about in thought with a smile on your face.

John Santoemma
English Teacher
Reno, Nevada

5-0 out of 5 stars Action filled imagery
Billy Collins is able to make a picture out of just about any combination of words. Each poem in this collection seems to begin in one place and land in another, turning corners with each line, and leaving the reader wondering where it is going until the very end. A very satisfying adventure in poetry filled with humor, compassion, and wonder. "Sailing Alone Around the Room" is also full of insight into one of America's greatest contemporary poets. I would highly recommend this to anyone who study's poetry for whatever reason, critiques it, or just enjoys a good read.

David J. Gluck author "Life's Pages" ... Read more

9. The Blue Book of Sailing: The 27 Keys to Sailing Mastery
by Adam Cort
Paperback: 272 Pages (2009-05-07)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$10.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071547991
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Transform basic sailing skills into true mastery

No other sport is as complex or as gear- and technique-intensive as sailing. The details and nuances are vast, but beneath the surface are 27 elements, or core areas of knowledge. By understanding these principles you can attain true mastery: tie any knot, shape any sail, take the helm of any boat, no matter how large or unfamiliar.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Blue Book of Sailing
This is a very readable book on the topic of sailing instructions.I enjoyed he author's writing style.This is a very good addition to my small sailing library.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Sailor's Second Book - A Fine Reference
Most books on sailing fall into one of three categories:(1) how to, (2) sailing stories, or (3) reference.This book falls in to the later category.

Adam Cort is the former editor of Sailing magazine, one of the most reliable and enjoyable periodicals on the sport.His book provides an excellent resource for the advanced novice or intermediate sailor or someone wanting to learn more about the technical aspects of sailing.

The book covers practical aspects of sailing such as how to best trim your sails and docking a boat to more esoteric subjects such as the design and materials of modern sailboats and the physics of wind dynamics.The prose is clear and warm, with frequent references to his own experiences onboard different boats, and his tone is conspiratory in that he clearly feels a great passion for the sport and wants you to enjoy it as well.The book, however, is short on pictures and can, at times, feel a bit like a well-written text book.

If you are a beginner looking for a book to skim to get you out sailing for the first time or to brush up on the basics there are better choices.Will avoid identifying other books by name, but books that rhyme with "Sailing for Mummies" (or others in the same spirit) might be the type of book you are looking for, particularly if you like lots of pictures and diagrams to help you get oriented.

If you are looking for a tableside book of stories accompanied by lush pictures of faraway places to inspire you or to just dream about, this is not the book either.

The Blue Book of Sailing is a great second book for any sailor or aspiring sailor, the first being a beginner's book that orients you to a boat for basic sailing - ie, what everything is called, how to raise and trim sails, and the basics of handling a boat, the kind of book you would want to carry to the dock, but probably wouldn't because you have too much pride to be caught with a "how to" book.Once you understand the basics and want to learn more about the theory behind how it all works and gain some deeper insights into technics that will help you become a better sailor, this is it.

Hope this review helps you. Happy sailing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book for both novices and the experienced
I'm only about half way through the book and find myself easily understanding important sailing concepts.I'm relatively new to sailing and don't feel intimidated by the author's expertise, and find his personal stories and instruction light and warm.I look forward to finishing the book and getting out on the water! ... Read more

10. Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter (Hinges of History)
by Thomas Cahill
Paperback: 352 Pages (2004-07-27)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$1.54
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385495544
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
In Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, his fourth volume to explore “the hinges of history,” Thomas Cahill escorts the reader on another entertaining—and historically unassailable—journey through the landmarks of art and bloodshed that defined Greek culture nearly three millennia ago.

In the city-states of Athens and Sparta and throughout the Greek islands, honors could be won in making love and war, and lives were rife with contradictions. By developing the alphabet, the Greeks empowered the reader, demystified experience, and opened the way for civil discussion and experimentation—yet they kept slaves. The glorious verses of the Iliad recount a conflict in which rage and outrage spur men to action and suggest that their “bellicose society of gleaming metals and rattling weapons” is not so very distant from more recent campaigns of “shock and awe.” And, centuries before Zorba, Greece was a land where music, dance, and freely flowing wine were essential to the high life. Granting equal time to the sacred and the profane, Cahill rivets our attention to the legacies of an ancient and enduring worldview. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (77)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Engaging Primer on the Conceptual Foundations of Western Civilization
SAILING THE WINE-DARK SEA is an enjoyable overview of how ancient Greece shaped the conceptual paradigms which still guide Western society today. In war, in art, in culture, and in philosophy, the Greeks' categorizations and approach to describing the world provide the foundations of modern science, academia, philosophy, democracy, and ideals.

The book includes freshly-translated excerpts of "the classics" - the Illiad, the Odyssey, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, immersing the reader directly in the flavor and experience of ancient Greek culture and revealing that these streams of thought are very familiar to modern minds in the concerns of today. The Greek world was dominated by the concept of "arete," or excellence/perfection as the highest expression of human existence. However, in reality Greek society was composed of individual city-states each with their own civic persona (Athens - perfection in democracy and civic virtue, Sparta - perfection in war, Troy - perfection in impregnable defense.) These currents are examined in the light of literature, drama, and sculpture, as Greek literature and art begins to mock its own underpinnings through grotesque parody and excess, and is eventually overshadowed and appropriated by the workmanlike Roman culture, in addition to providing the linguistic and conceptual vehicle in which Christianity reached Western culture.

I found this book to be an enjoyable and engaging presentation of what has heretofore often been a dry, dusty subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars Five stars, but only for the target audience
Oh come on.After reading a number of the reviews here I'm compelled to add one.This is not a work of scholarship.It is a short book designed to introduce this era/people/culture/art to contemporary readers who want a spirited and readable overview.It's also a great companion for anyone who is picking up the Iliad or Herodotus or some other Greek classic and wants a bit of context.

The notes section contains directions to more scholarly works if you want them. But this isn't one.

If you have a background in this material or want rigorous scholarship, don't buy this book.But if you are the target audience for it -- and legions of Americans are -- I have to say it will most likely fit your needs very well.It is quite readable, crisp, lucid, and just enough opinionated to keep things interesting.You can read it an afternoon and when you are done you'll know something you didn't when you started.

Just by the way: if you are new to this literature and reading it in English, go with Fagles in the drama, Lombardo in the epic (or Fagles for extra credit, but really -- check out Lombardo), maybe Waterfield in the Herodotus, I think the Landmark Thucydides, and probably anybody post-Grube in the Plato (I prefer Bloom or Warner).Aristotle, you are on your own!

4-0 out of 5 stars Best understood in the context of the series
The best part of this book for me was Cahill's translation/interpretation of Pericle's Funeral Oration. It is seven pages in the copy I have. Every bit of it was fascinating. No question that Cahill has "jazzed it up" for the modern audience. Nevertheless, it is a magnificent speech, and it is clear that it must have had an impact on the thinking of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

It is important to remember in this series that Cahill is looking for those moments in time where people's perceptions and understandings changed. So he discusses how Greek mathematics was different from Egyptian mathematics even though concepts for measuring land (geometry) were developed in Egypt. But the Greeks seemed to have been good at abstraction.

His discussion of the development of sculpture is interesting. From imitations of the Egyptian style to the beautifully sculpted works of the golden age. And an interesting text on how radical it was to make a statue of a female form (Aphrodite)!

Yes, Cahill makes some errors of historical detail and has a lot of omissions. But he isn't writing a complete history in any of these books. Desire of the Everlasting Hills mentioned the importance of Greek concepts to the development of Christianity. This books tries to show how the Greeks got to that point.

2-0 out of 5 stars Too much speculation presented as fact
I am enjoying this book, but have the same problem with it that I encountered in "Irish"; Mr. Cahill makes statements that are clearly speculative read as fact. I could make an extensive list, and these obvious to me...an uneducated dilettante with little scholarly inclination. It makes me question the veracity of the facts he presents that I am not familiar with. So, while I enjoy the imagery and (unlike most reviewers here) his irreverent, gleeful quotation of Greece's more "earthy" literary offerings, I am not sure how much I'm learning actual history as opposed to Thomas Cahill's version of how history SHOULD'VE been.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea
Thomas Cahill has done it again--he has taken a complex subject and made it understandable even to those who have no prior knowledge of it, in this case, Greek civilization, in all its beauty but without ignoring the warts.It's written in a down-to-earth fashion, with excellent photographs which Cahill folds very helpfully into the narrative.He also uses Greek terms repeatedly, but rather than assume the reader understands them, he always defines them, and demonstrates repeatedly the Greek origins of so many of our most-used words and most common concepts.

A warning to the reader:Cahill speaks candidly about Greek sexual practices (read, bisexuality) and occasionally does so in a vulgar fashion.While necessary to an understanding of Greek culture, this may be off-putting to some.

I would have given the book a higher rating except for Cahill's tendency to let his own biases creep into the narrative from time to time, with occasional unscholarly commentary which serves no useful purpose for the reader.

In closing, I should say that long ago I earned a Master's Degree in ancient Greek and Roman history and have some basis for saying that his grasp of Greek culture is unparalleled in a non-specialist. ... Read more

11. Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-2012
by Dave Perry
Paperback: 320 Pages (2008-10-15)
list price: US$32.50 -- used & new: US$19.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0979467764
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
* Explains all the new changes to the rules that apply at marks and obstructions* Includes the complete text of the 2009-2012 ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing and US SAILING prescriptions* Contains over 100 quotes and references to the US SAILING Appeals and ISAF Cases, making it an indispensable resource for all sailors as well as judges and other racing officialsThe better you know the rules, the sharper you will be tactically on the race course. Dave Perry clearly and concisely answers all of the most commonly asked questions on the racing rules from a champion racing sailor's perspective. His comprehensive, easy-to-understand explanations, with extensive references to US SAILING Appeals and ISAF cases, make this book a complete and authoritative resource on the rules for new racers and Olympic sailors alike, as well as judges and other race officials. Brad Dellenbaugh's abundant diagrams and amusing captions bring Perry's rules explanations to life. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Must-have for all sailors
The 2005-2008 edition got me through 4 years of college sailing, and I just bought this new edition to share with other, less experienced members of my keel boat crew.

Perry is great because he makes the rules simple and he makes you care about them. His in-person seminars are wonderful, and this book is nearly as good (and a whole lot cheaper).

Great to review during the off-season or use as a reference when you're drawing up a new team racing playbook. Small enough to keep in the sail bag so you'll have it handy before protest hearings. Worth every penny.

5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT!
Easy to read and clearly based on a broad depth of knowledge and experience on the subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply the Best
Simply the best book on the racing rules.It has clear explanations of all the rules with illustrations of their applications.A bit of humor keeps it pretty light reading.Perry really understands the rules (he's on the US Sailing Appeals Committee).If you ever have a chance to attend one of his lectures on the rules; do it, you will not be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars The "Bible" of Sailboat Racing Rules
This work is an absolute must for the sailboat racer.Perry provides easy-to-understand explanations and critical insights for the newly revised Racing Rules of Sailing.

5-0 out of 5 stars The way to Learn the rules
Dave Perry is an expert at the racing rules and a talented teacher. There are certainly other ways to learn the rules, but none is as lighthearted or as complete.

As a part of this book you get a copy of the complete official version of the rules as well as Dave's easy to follow structure and "questions and answers" sections. I suggest that you read this book in short sessions, taking the time to visualize what is being talked about (easy to do given Brad Dellenbaugh's great illustrations.)

The reason to read other rules books is to review the rules once you've learned them with Dave Perry. And if you're like many people, when his new version comes out in four years (the rules are tweaked every Olympic year) you will order a new copy and be reminded how easy he makes it to learn the rules.
... Read more

12. Sailing Home: Using Homer's Odyssey to Navigate Life's Perils and Pitfalls
by Norman Fischer
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2008-06-03)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$7.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B002ECEHM4
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Homer's Odyssey has a timeless allure. It is an ancient story that is significant for every generation: the struggle of a homesick, battle-weary man longing to return to love and family. Odysseus's strivings to overcome divine and earthly obstacles and to control his own impulsive nature hold valuable lessons for people facing their own metaphorical battles and everyday conflicts -- people who are, like Odysseus, "heartsick on the open sea," whether from dealing with daily skirmishes at the office or from fighting in an international war. Sailing Home breathes fresh air into a classic we thought we knew, revealing its profound guidance for navigating life's pitfalls, perils, and spiritual challenges.

Norman Fischer deftly incorporates Buddhist, Judaic, Christian, and popular thought, as well as his own unique and sympathetic understanding of life, in his reinterpretation of Odysseus's familiar wanderings as lessons that everyone can use. We see how to resist the seduction of the Sirens' song to stop sailing and give up; how to bide our time in a situation and wait for the right opportunity -- as Odysseus does when faced with the murderous, one-eyed Cyclops; and how to reassess our story and rediscover our purpose and identity if, like the Lotus-Eaters, we have forgotten the past.

With meditations that yield personal revelations, illuminating anecdotes from Fischer's and his students' lives, and stories from many wisdom traditions, Sailing Home shows the way to greater purpose in your own life.You will learn a new way to view your path, when to wait and when to act, when to speak your mind and when to exercise discretion, how to draw on your innate strength and distinguish between truth and deception, and how to deal with aging and changing relationships. Sailing Home provides the courage you need for your journey, to renew bonds with your loved ones, and to make the latter portion of life a heartfelt time of spirit and love, so that -- just as Odysseus does -- you can defeat the forces of entropy and death. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

4-0 out of 5 stars Green Light at the End of Daisy's Dock
Just finished reading this after reading and very much enjoying Norman Fischer's "Taking Our Places: The Buddhist Path to Truly Growing Up" which is a more enjoyable read.Norman is a man who upon reading D.T Suzuki in college, as many of us did, has dedicated his life to successfully completing the journey begun by that writer of translating the intrigues of Zen Buddhism to a Westerm idom.All noble tasks take their toll.In this volume we have the reflections of the weary Zen Master, lamenting, much in the way F. Scott Fitzgerald did when placing Jay Gatsby on his dock observing the green light on the end of Daisy's dock that the green orgiastic recedes year by year before us. That orgaistic future can be spirtual as well as hedonistic.Don't lose heart Norman.Your life work has been meaningful and more courageous than many of us who kept our slim volumes of Suzuki but only intermittently turned to them for help.

5-0 out of 5 stars Again, this is about growing up...returning to SELF as home
In "Taking Our Places," Fischer writes in an anecdotal format--he is trying to get to know a small group of male teen-agers, about accepting
responsibility as a step in becoming and adult human being, capable of compassion for others. This means giving up the blaming self, the one that says mom or dad is at fault for your problems. It also means you stop identifying with someone you reject and about forgiving yourself, e.g. becoming independent and alone.

In "Sailing Home," Norman Fischer uses a Greek author's story about "trying to make it home again" as a springboard and parallel for achieving the same result with his beautiful teachings.Home is where the heart is, and where you grow up, and accept your mortality, and help others.

Everything Fischer writes is incredibly understandable. He is not Zen preachy and I find his writing even more compelling than that of Pema Chodron, a real surprise to me.

5-0 out of 5 stars That Bright Familiar Sun
THE ODYSSEY has been around a long time, since at least 800 BC. Each generation finds its own meaning in the tale of Odysseus, the lost sailor whose ten years of peregrinations throughout the Mediterranean world are the basis of this classic. In the 1920s, James Joyce reinterpreted the tale as ULYSSES, the travails of Leopold Bloom through the streets of Dublin. In the 1980s, Steely Dan wrote HOME AT LAST, a brief but poignant tone poem that grasped Homer's meaning beautifully. And now, Norman Joketsu Fischer gives us SAILING HOME. in which THE ODYSSEY becomes the ultimate spiritual journey through the hearts and minds of his readers.

A prior reviewer, who admits he never got past the introduction, criticizes SAILING HOME as Fischer's homage to himself, but the reviewer is mistaken---hopefully, he's opened the covers again and gotten beyond the first chapter. SAILING HOME is an homage to the human condition. Influenced by Zen, but not a book about Zen, and influenced by psychology, but not a deconstruction of the mind, Fischer's book is a prose poem in which the adventures of the Greek hero become a parable reflecting our own evolution as feeling human beings.

This is a minor classic. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

5-0 out of 5 stars Already a Classic!
This book is simply a must-have: combining western cultural roots -the famous Oddessey- with eastern wisdom. There is a lot of soul in this one. Truly a book for life, one that you will keep reading through all of the storms and tides of your life. I highly recommend it.

1-0 out of 5 stars A mishmash of soft pulp, unfaithful to the Odyssey and to Buddhism
This is an utterly disappointing and frustrating book.I got this book thinking it was primarily about The Odyssey without realizing that it's actually intended to be a book about Buddhism.Unfortunately it fails to be either.First of all, Fischer's efforts to interpret the Odyssey as a metaphor for Buddhism is ill-fitting.The Odyssey is a product of a Western, Greek culture with very different cultural preoccupations and morals from traditional Buddhism.Volumes of books have been written about what the Odyssey meant to the civilization that gave birth to it, and there are nearly 3000 years of commentary on its "spiritual meaning" to draw on.Fischer completely ignores all of this work and gives very stilted reinterpretations to everything.It's as if someone took the Sears Catalog and tried to interpret it as a self-help manual.

Being disappointed that the book told me nothing new or even insightful about the Odyssey, I then tried and failed to appreciate the book as a Buddhist text.Fischer gives the impression that Buddhism is a method for emotionally fragile, psychologically scarred individuals to seek deep emotional connection to their pain and to have intense, emotional relationships with other people.Call this "Emo Buddhism" if you like, but it's a very far cry from the fundamental Buddhist teachings of non-attachment, withdrawal from the world, and disengagement from self that Gautama taught.Indeed, the basic message of the book seems profoundly anti-Buddhist.

Avoid this book like the plague. ... Read more

13. Sailing Smart: Winning Techniques, Tactics, And Strategies
by Buddy Melges, Charles Mason
Paperback: 192 Pages (1987-04-15)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$10.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805003517
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
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Product Description
Sailing Smart is for every sailor who wants to increase his or her knowledge, understanding, and sailing expertise: the local day-sailor who wants a firmer grasp of the fundamentals, as well as the serious competitor who wants to be up on the latest, most innovative sailing techniques and racing strategies. Buddy Melges, one of the world's best-known sailors, has at last set down his highly original thoughts on how to sail well. He covers the full range of sailing experience, from the general to the specific, the basic to the highly sophisticated. Melges's message is delivered in a bright, uncluttered manner by way of applications from his own sailing experience and through step-by-step instructions on everything from basic boat handling to expert on-the-course tactics and maneuvers. The book is profusely illustrated by the noted sailing artist Ted Brennan, and each drawing is accompanied by a cogent, in-depth explanatory caption.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Read Smart to Sail Smart
We just got back from the 2010 Performance Race Week at Steve Colgate's Offshore Sailing School with North U.Bought the book by Buddy Melges looking for something to reinforce all that we learned in Florida.This little book did all of that and showed how a world class sailor takes his skills and the skills of his crew to the next level.There are other authors who offer great insights from their experience on the water, and we are reading them too, but before the season begins we will re-read this book by Buddy Melges one more time.Highly recommend you do too.

3-0 out of 5 stars Was great, now dated
Published in 1983, this must have been the bible for racers.Now, changes in the rules make some of the tatics obsolete.Still much of what Melges writes is excellent racing advise and remains applicable today.Definately worth the read, but becareful using the tactics if other boats are involved.

5-0 out of 5 stars A "Must Have"
This book offers a little bit of basic, medium and advanced techniques and will certainly help sailors that are willing to achieve better places on races. In spite of its age (issued on 1983) it offers concepts that are still being practiced by sailors all over the world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sailing Smart is smart sailing
I have been sailing for 20 years and had prided myself on becoming a pretty good sailor.My family and I have been on sailing vacations in the BVI, sail off-shore of Charleston, SC and enjoy weekend boat camping.Then, last year, I joined a weekend racing crew and found out I didn't know as much as I thought I did.We finished dead last in our first two races.My pride was bruised but I asked around the club and the resource most recommended was Sailing Smart by Melges.

This book is a gold mine.Buddy Melges lays out his wealth of experience and sailing knowledge in clear, easy to understand examples and tips.Understanding the little tweaks to make in any given situation improved our racing and my family sailing as well.We now arrive at our favorite gunk hole earlier and ended the season 8th out of 19.

I highly recommend this book

5-0 out of 5 stars Racing Skipper's Must Have
This review refers to "Sailing Smart" By Buddy Melges and Charles Mason...

Sailing season is in full swing. Day sailors, live aboards and racers are taking to the water, and although there is something to be gotten from this read for all of the above mentioned, this is a must read and geared towards racing sailors, and particularly Skippers. It is not a book for beginners, or those wanting to learn how to sail. A good knowledge of boating and sailing terms, and hands on experience is practically a prerequisite.It's for those serious about the sport.For those looking for more along the lines of help with the basics, I would recommend "Basic Sailing"(Diana Jessie) or "Sailing Fundamentals(Gary Jobson). These are both a great help, have glossaries and will prepare you for your certification test. See my reviews if interested. If you are completely new, hands-on lessons are a must.

"Sailing Smart" is an excellent look at what it takes for racers to become champions. It's a treasure chest of advice from a champion. It's a read that you will not only find extremely helpful, but one that is so well written and interesting to racers, that you can read it straight through the first time around, and use it often to refer back to and practice(practice, practice) for specific maneuvers.

Melges will take you from the beginning; preparing yourself and your crew, mentally and physically,preparing your equipment, understanding the elements, tactics for every leg of the race from the starting point to the finish, and some wonderful reflections on racing and winning. Every detail, no matter how small is talked about, and readiness for every situation that may occur is stressed. There are times when inches may make a difference, and this book will help you gain them. You will also find many illustrations, so you can visualize the maneuvers talked about.

This book is nearly 20 years old. Sure there is new equipment coming out all the time, but "Sailing Smart" is just that. Smart Sailing! Learning to work with mother nature, getting the most from your sails, getting just the shape you need to pick up some speed, these things will never be out of date.

A must have for every Skipper's library.(also a good read for crew members as well).I think even the very experienced can gain from the read. Just reading it through the first time will have you wanting to get involved in a race, and practicing the maneuvers, learning to read the wind will build your confidence as well.

If you think about sailing all the time, this book is for you. After the read, you will not be able to think of anything else!

See you at the finish line!....Laurie

More recommended reading:
Boating Skills and Seamanship (12th Edition)
To the Sea
In the Heart of the Sea: The Epic True Story That Inspired "Moby Dick"

... Read more

14. Offshore Sailing: 200 Essential Passagemaking Tips
by William Seifert, Daniel Spurr
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2001-11-05)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$15.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071374248
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In a book that is sure to become a classic, internationally respected boatbuilder, yacht manager, and delivery skipper Bill Seifert shares his hard-won solutions to a host of boat design, construction, and equipment issues and seamanship dilemmas. Unlike other books on the subject, Offshore Sailing doesn't just tell readers what to do for safe and comfortable passage making; it shows them how to do it with clear, step-by-step instructions and nearly 200 detailed drawings and photographs. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

1-0 out of 5 stars I do not recommend this book
Yes, there is a lot of valuable info there. Yes, author is one of those ultra smart skippers.
The book was written in horible style of humor. It was hard to read. All noobs and starters, even boat ovners are great topic to make a laugh. Everybody is dummy except author. I found it abusive. I definately woun`t sail with him and will have to push myself to finish this book.

Sorry, but that`s the truth.

5-0 out of 5 stars Offshore Sailing
Awesome book with 200 great tips to keep you safe at sea and your sailing with a minimum of problems.Will make this my cruising, and sailing bible.

5-0 out of 5 stars Religious icon
If you go offshore, even as casual crew, you need to have read this book.Its primary value is the incredible knowledge Seifert has on boat construction.You will see discussions of why it is not a good idea to put tape on stainless steel, why you should never mix steel and aluminum in fittings, how to properly crimp an electrical wire connector, etc.It will come with a very clear discussion of what bad thing will happen if you ignore the advice, and it is straightforward enough that you will do what he says, and know that you are better for it.

Don't own a boat?So what are you going to do when the boat you are on has problems?Note there was no 'if' in the previous sentence.Read this book first.

At one point Seifert made his living as what would now be called a 'Technical Writer'.I happen to admire that breed, and his experience comes through in the clarity of his discussion.This is a thin book, it is not an incomplete book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for any cruising sailor
After four transatlantic passages on our 46' sloop and many thousands of miles coastal cruising, we read this book and were amazed at all the wonderful tips and suggestions presented in a very comprehensive manner. A definite treasure for any serious cruiser.

4-0 out of 5 stars Concise and well worthwhile.
Having read most of the larger tomes on offshore sailing and passagemaking, I wondered what this author could offer to add to the knowledge base.While some of his tips are not quite unique, they all are presented in a clear and concise manner which makes it easy to decide which tips are of value to you and your boat. My only regret is that the book is monohull-centric, without any tips specific to cruising catamarans.Nevertheless, most of his suggestions are universal to cruising boats, including coastal cruisers, and I've added many of them to the ongoing upgrade list for my Leopard 42.This is a easily carried reference book that I will share when I crew on a friend's boat for an upcoming Pacific crossing. ... Read more

15. Saving Sailing - The Story of Choices, Families, Time Commitments, and How We Can Create a Better Future
by NIcholas D. Hayes
Paperback: 240 Pages (2009-10-01)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$14.81
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1933987073
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Saving Sailing is an appealing blueprint for the revival of family sailing -- and other quality uses of free time for rewarding lifelong pastimes.

Participation in sailing is declining in America, down more than 40% since 1997 and 70% since 1979. In this provocative book, researcher and avid sailor Nicholas Hayes explains why. The book shows how pressures on free time have increased, and how, in response, many Americans have turned to extremes of spectator or highly structured activities . . . and away from lifelong, family-based, multi-generational recreation.

Saving Sailing builds a case for choosing how to spend free time better, using it for quality experiences with families and friends through rewarding pastimes like sailing.

The main challenge, the author suggests, is to develop an active system of mentoring, especially between generations.

The lessons are broader than sailing, with useful ideas for all parents, for anyone seeking to strengthen the social fabric of American communities, and for those involved in programming for youth and adult activities. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Saving Sailing
Sailing is a marvelous way to establish meaningful, long-lasting relationships! It teaches many life skills and is great fun.

5-0 out of 5 stars Compelling

My wife, a non-sailor, read this book, and now she has a much better understanding of my passion for sailing. She is keen to sail with me and the kids this summer. Very well written, and a compelling argument. I'm going to read it again, then pass it round to anyone at my club.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of a kind that every serious sailor should read
Everybody who is involved in sailing must read this. Weekenders, coaches, trainers, regatta sailors, club members, all who share the passion of sailing should think about the future and how to organize this on micro and macro scale. Saving Sailing gives you a start, a hand. The rest you should fill in with your family, club members and class members. It will take a lot of effort, maybe sacrifices, but it is the only way to go. Nice readable book, it will not give all the answers you want but it is the only book available that seriously handle the subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars Preaches the value of leisure and family, highly recommended
Recreational sailing has been on a down turn in recent years...why? "Saving Sailing: The Story of Choices, Families, Time Commitments, and How we Can Create a Better Future" uses Sailing as a model to discuss the fall of free time in America as a whole, Nicholas D. Hayes encourages readers to value free time as a source of family time and how more involved activities as a family lead to a greater unity. "Saving Sailing" is preaches the value of leisure and family, highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars A blow to the head
I'd heard about the book for weeks before I ordered it.From all that I'd heard, I was wary of what I'd get out of the book.Sailing is for me, a lifetime pastime. Until I read this book, I understood what sailing meant to me, but I didn't have a phrase to distill that knowledge into a powerful concept.

The book was a tremendous surprise.I'd expected a lot of things from the book based on what I'd heard.I'd watched a YouTube video where the author presented some of the research he'd gathered while writing it.I was cautious about the book.While caring very much about this lifetime pastime of mine, so much of what is in the media, from sailing magazines to online forums doesn't connect with what it is to me. That there is an industry, and advertising and people whose jobs depend on this recreational industry, I don't really care about that.I assume that what I need to continue to sail will always be there.I don't want to read about it.

Would a book about the `State of the Union' of sailing be compelling?Or would it miss the mark about what sailing is? To me?

Sailing can jolt you out of your day to day life.There you are, sailing smoothly along, and something rears up and wakes you up; startles you with a situation that you didn't expect or anticipate, and now have to deal with - because your life depends on it.

Nick Hayes wrote a book that does just that.Read all of the reviews, buy the book, and you'll be surprised when something in the book does something to you that you did not expect.He weaves compelling stories into the fabric of his book.Beautiful stories that are a joy to read because they are about people you know in life. Some of them are about you.They make you laugh, they make you cry.If you sail, fish, hike, if you do something to enrich your life, enrich the lives of those close to you, then these stories will connect powerfully with you.

Then he confronts you with statements like:

"Asymmetrical commitment is the sad socioeconomic consequence of the charter. It turns the pastime into a crutch for some and a whim for everyone else."

Ah yes, I can hear my mother's lament:

"John, don't grow up to be a boat bum"


Does Paul Cayard realize he is crippled?Is his involvement in a major sailing event a crutch?

As a Professional Sailor, has the socioeconomic consequence of his making a living from it changed it?Or does the joy of sailing permeate his every day life?

Does Paul, a very successful boat bum, lead a joyful life? Does he sail with his family?

Can the same be said for a coach of a major league sports team?

What this book does is compel you to get into a discussion about what is important.Your job or what you do outside of your job.Your family, or the world outside your family. For Sailors, or Would-Be-Sailors, this book is about how their lives revolve around their lifelong pastime.For non-sailors, this book is about what is important to their lives.

I bought it thinking I was going to read a book.

It turned into a discussion.

Bravo! ... Read more

16. Learning to Sail: The Annapolis Sailing School Guide for Young Sailors of All Ages
by Diane Goodman, Ian Brodie
Paperback: 104 Pages (1994-04-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$7.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0070240140
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This book is about learning to sail. It follows the techniques perfected at the world-famous Annapolis Sailing School, where thousands of people just like you have learned to take tiller in hand and harness the wind. You'll learn your way around a boat--what its parts are called, what they do, and how to use them to ride the wind wherever you want to go.

Read this book, spend some time on a boat, and practice your new skills, and pretty soon you'll be a sailor, one of a select group of people who think there's nothing finer than hiking out to windward in a close-hauled dinghy--racing against friends or a neighboring sailing club, or alone and just for the fun of it. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, All Ages
I thought I knew a lot more about sailing than I actually do.Of course, I wouldn't have known this if I hadn't read this book.This book is a great starting point if you would like to learn to sail.

5-0 out of 5 stars Learning how to Sail
We needed a good book for learning how to sail just a little beginners sailboat & this book was very good.

5-0 out of 5 stars wow, I can sail
I really love this book.It took all the "scarey" out of sailing.It stays on the boat and I consider it my best buddy....let them Luft!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect for children or those with NO experience.
I found it to be a quick read, with just the essentials to get you started.Written in a easy to read format and language, geared toward youth, it is an excellent book to share with your kids as they learn about sailing.It doesn't cover the larger boats, only focuses on the rigging, techniques and essential theory for sailing.
Bought the book for myself and to share with my son, when he is a little older.Inherited a Snark Sunfish 3.3 and just wanted the essentials to get started- this book suited my needs perfectly.Once I get a few sailing trips completed, I'm certain the need for more detailed text and/or some internet research will be needed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great sailing guide
The "Learning to Sail" book by the Annapolis sailing school guide is an excellent book for anyone wanting to get into the sport.The vocabulary associated with sailing and the illustrations are crystal clear and to the point.This book is more geared toward small sailboats (dingy sailboats), but the fundamentals of sailing are still there. The book is an easy read with only 94 pages with many illustrations and a very helpful glossary in the back for all the new vocabulary.While this book is definitely not an exhaustive resource manual, it still delivers great information to the new sailor regardless of your age. ... Read more

17. Adlard Coles' Heavy Weather Sailing, Sixth Edition
by Peter Bruce
Hardcover: 272 Pages (2008-05-19)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$21.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071592903
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

The seamanship classic you should have on-board when sailing in rough weather

Adlard Coles' Heavy Weather Sailing provides you with expert advice for when you venture out of sight of land, whether for racing or cruising. It gives a clear message of seamanlike design features, preparations, and tactics that you should consider against the time when it comes on to blow. It includes new how-to chapters on storm sails, taking shelter, and managing multihulls in storms, plus thrilling new accounts of actual storm encounters.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Just buy it?
Stoked I bought this one - a "must have" - great balance of theory and practical experience applied to variety of hull types, methods and situations.

5-0 out of 5 stars I stayed home
This is a great book. I read it and was so scared I stayed home.

4-0 out of 5 stars So far so good
I am still in the process of reading but so far I like it.The first chapter is a bit overwhelming with statistics on boat stability but it is still very interesting.The book has great glossy photos and the material is organized and presented in an easy to follow format.Perfect for an intermediate sailor.I am very much looking forward to further reading. ... Read more

18. The Handbook Of Sailing
by Bob Bond
Paperback: 352 Pages (1992-08-11)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$13.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679740635
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Newly updated and now in paperback, this backlist classic contains 2,000 diagrams and photos enabling you to visualize every sailing procedure and maneuver; reflects the latest word on procedures, techniques, and equipment. 48 pages of full-color photos. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely helpful
I took up sailing this summer, and found that, while no book can replace the physical experience on the boat, one needs an instruction manual to keep up with all the maneuvers and terminology that are thrown at you.The Handbook Of Sailing provides concise and very well organized information, with ample illustrations.It’s the perfect accompanying textbook for someone who’s still trying to learn the lefts and rights of boating.

4-0 out of 5 stars 2 great books squeezed together into 1 great book...
This book is really 2 separate books cobbled together from material the author used in some of his earlier work.The first half of the book is a treatise on dinghy ("one-design") sailing and the last half is a manual for cruisers;both books cover their material superbly, going in depth on many matters that don't get adequate coverage elsewhere, but it's truly unfortunate that the author and his editors tried to fit the 2 specialist books together under one cover.Keelboat cruisers cannot learn to handle their boats from a technical dinghy sailing treatise and dinghy sailors cannot benefit from discussions of cruising problems outside the scope of their equipment.It was especially unfortunate that the author didn't point out in his introduction that the cruising material starts in the second half of the book, which could have saved me many evenings of puzzling through centerboards, trapezing, and capsize drills!In spite of its awkward concept the book is profoundly detailed, profusely illustrated, and a must for whichever type of sailor you are...

5-0 out of 5 stars awsome book
if you are a novice or experianced sailor this book willhelp you.It was a great read and help for my sailing skills.If you want to learn easy tips for sailing you will find them hear.Also if you are intrested in some just facts of sailing buy this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars You must buy this book!
Great book, covers all aspects of basic and advanced sailing on all types of boats. I was very impressed with its comprehensive coverage of the subject. I keep it as a reference book. No other book will cover nearly as much about sailing. If you want to buy only one book, then this must be the one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good overview book
Sort of a shorter, and lighter to carry, Chapman's, this is a comprehensive review of topics relevant to most sailing situations. A good book to start with and a helpful reference to have. Lots of good illustrations and pictures. Also, the construction/binding of the book is high quality, so it will survive being bounced around. ... Read more

19. Sailing from Byzantium: How a Lost Empire Shaped the World
by Colin Wells
Paperback: 368 Pages (2007-07-31)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$9.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 055338273X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A gripping intellectual adventure story, Sailing from Byzantium sweeps you from the deserts of Arabia to the dark forests of northern Russia, from the colorful towns of Renaissance Italy to the final moments of a millennial city under siege….

Byzantium: the successor of Greece and Rome, this magnificent empire bridged the ancient and modern worlds for more than a thousand years. Without Byzantium, the works of Homer and Herodotus, Plato and Aristotle, Sophocles and Aeschylus, would never have survived. Yet very few of us have any idea of the enormous debt we owe them.

The story of Byzantium is a real-life adventure of electrifying ideas, high drama, colorful characters, and inspiring feats of daring. In Sailing from Byzantium, Colin Wells tells of the missionaries, mystics, philosophers, and artists who against great odds and often at peril of their own lives spread Greek ideas to the Italians, the Arabs, and the Slavs.

Their heroic efforts inspired the Renaissance, the golden age of Islamic learning, and Russian Orthodox Christianity, which came complete with a new alphabet, architecture, and one of the world’s greatest artistic traditions.

The story’s central reference point is an arcane squabble called the Hesychast controversy that pitted humanist scholars led by the brilliant, acerbic intellectual Barlaam against the powerful monks of Mount Athos led by the stern Gregory Palamas, who denounced “pagan” rationalism in favor of Christian mysticism.

Within a few decades, the light of Byzantium would be extinguished forever by the invading Turks, but not before the humanists found a safe haven for Greek literature. The controversy of rationalism versus faith would continue to be argued by some of history’s greatest minds.

Fast-paced, compulsively readable, and filled with fascinating insights, Sailing from Byzantium is one of the great historical dramas–the gripping story of how the flame of civilization was saved and passed on.

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (32)

2-0 out of 5 stars Rambling toward confusion!

If you are looking for a chronological history of Byzantium in
some sort of ordered form this book IS NOT IT. It jumps form
time to time and place to place without any apparent reason.

It is the 1300's and then it is the 700's and then it is the
900's with out any seeming connection other then religious
dogma and a desire on the part of the author to draw some sort
of a positive but still disjointed picture.

The best way to describe this book is to imagine going to
Thanksgiving dinner at the family home of someone you are only
slightly familiar and listening to the participants go on and
on about people you know nothing about.

I guess for those well versed in Mediterranean history it may
be of some value but for those want a better understanding of
Byzantium itself this book is a total dud!

2-0 out of 5 stars Well's secular humanism gets in the way
Sailing from Byzantium: How a Lost Empire Shaped the World Collin Wells' Sailing from Byzantium suffers from the author's secular humanist outlook, evident almost from the beginning, but revealed only indirectly at the end, in "Acknowlegments," p. 298-9, in one of the slippery generalizations that he can be so good at. He did this in his acknowledgment of the Orthodox priest and historian John Meyendorff, who "was remarkably objective in many of his judgments, but [who] resisted mightily the imputation of obscurantism to the Hesychast monks that was sometimes made by sometimes hostile modern historians of a secular humanist bent; on the other hand, I cannot follow Meyendorff in rescuing the monks from the charge of obscurantism." In other words, Wells is a secular humanist and he of course thinks the monks were obscurantist--as long as they were not basically humanist in their thought.

I'm not suggesting an atheist cannot write the history of a people for whom religion was a strong unifying force. Contrast Judith Herrin`s statement in "The Formation of Christendom," "Introduction," p. 8, ". . . I make no apology for studying religion from the viewpoint of a non-believer; the history of faith is far too important to be left to adherents alone," I finished her "Byzantium: The surprising Life of a Medieval Empire" without noticing her lack of a religious viewpoint. Judith Herrin is a scholar in the indispensable quality of being able to get herself out of the way of her subject. Contrast this simple statement, in the most direct terms, occurring early in her introduction, to Wells' indirect long-winded rigmarole, whose very wordiness tends to be a preening self-display.

Another way of seeing this is to note Wells' lack of curiosity or blindness in his view of his subject. He treats hesychasm at length, but he is incapable of dealing with it and with its appeal on its own terms. He can't do this because, with his view, it would never occur to him that they could matter: it was beside the point, a mere freak of obscurantism. He does treat as a Byzantium legacy the part the Orthodox Church played in the formation of Russia. Hesychasm played a crucial role in this. But Wells doesn't treat the growth of hesychasm in terms of the spread of ideas and their appeal. He treats it largely as an effect of networking. Wells' one bright spot in the affair is the anti-hesychast humanist Barlaam the Calabrian, who was condemned by a Byzantine council for his views. According to Wells they ganged up on him while he was away on a mission to Italy (p. 51) and condemned him--and he saw the end "of his prospects in the east" and returned to his friends in Italy. In fact, he was condemned and formally recanted, and then wisely returned to Calabria, where Pope Clement VI made him Bishop of Gerace. Wells ends by treating hesychasm as a has-been, a thing of limited value beyond the moment. Yet Bishop Kallistos Ware, Timothy Ware, treats it as of present and long-standing importance (in "The Othodox Way," and "The Orthodox Church"). In Ware's works you will find how important hesychasm still is and how effective it was in providing an enduring identity for the Russian people apart from an all-consuming communism. In other words, this too was a residual gift from Byzantium long ago, but a casualty in "Sailing from Byzantium" of Wells' lack of curiosity or blindness.

The good? Wells can be a real story teller when he gets down to it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good place to start
The book is written in aclear, succinct and intelligent style that guides the reader through the millenia and a cast of unfamiliar characters. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to know about the contributions of Byzantium.Except for going a bit overboard in the third section, dealing with Byzantines cultural contributions to Russia I can't think of anything negative.

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredibly valuable and timely yet relatively unknown history
I highly recommend the audio book as well as this paperback version of Sailing from Byzantium.Rarely do I listen to an audio book twice.This book enticed me to do it.This paperback version is also excellent as it has maps, tables, etc. that help to contextualize a flood of information.

4-0 out of 5 stars It's a neglected subject, basic to Western Civilization
These days when Western Values are under attack it's a must read.The Renaissance would have been impossible without the Byzantine contribution before and after the fall of Constantinople. ... Read more

20. New Complete Sailing Manual
by Steve Sleight
Hardcover: 448 Pages (2005-04-04)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$9.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0756609445
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The New Complete Sailing Manual is undisputedly the most essential reference for sailing instructors and students. From learning the basics of sailing to learning navigation and boat care, this is the perfect book for anyone interested in sailing. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sailing
A fantastic book, very useful for basic knowledge of every kind of sailing and aspects you should consider before going afloat, very handy for experienced sailors too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect teenager- adult sailing history and how to manual
"This is a great all around beginning to intermediate sailing reference.It is beautifully illustrated and layed out in the manner of your favorite textbook.Clear, concise, and not dry. ... Read more

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