Books About Boats on WCAI

This morning was pledge drive at WCAI, so the book show was a little bit shorter than normal, but we had lots of calls! Thanks to all of you who called with your boat book suggestions! There was so little time and so many calls, that both Vicky and I are going to give you some bonus books in today’s book blog. If you missed the show, not to worry, you can listen online!


Mindy’s Pick

How I Became a Pirate written by Melinda Long, illustrated by David Shannon


Vicky’s Picks

Wooden Boats: In Pursuit of the Perfect Craft at an American Boatyard by Michael Ruhlman.   About the boatyard of Nat Benjamin and Ross Gannon on Martha’s Vineyard.

Herreshoff: American Masterpieces by Maynard Bray, Claus Van Der Linde and photos by Benjamin Mendlowitz

The Lazarus World Voyage: A Hurricane Wreck Circumnavigates the Globe by Tim Sperry.  5 young men, most from Marion, Mass. who sail around the world.

The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float by Farley Mowathilarious!

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick

Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

Spartina by John Casey

Not enough time for:

Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse by Eric Jay Dolin

Crossing the Bar: The Adventures of a San Francisco Bay Bar Pilot by Captain Paul Lobo.  Captain Lobo lives part of the year in Falmouth.

Ninety Percent of Everything Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate by Rose George

Two Coots in a Canoe: An Unusual Story of Friendship by David Morine

A Path in the Mighty Waters: Shipboard Life & Atlantic Crossings to the New World by Stephen R. Berry

First You Have to Row a Little Boat: Reflections on Life and Living by Richard Bode

Children’s Books

Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus – based on the true story of Manjiro, a 14 year old Japanese boy who was shipwrecked in 1841 and picked up by an American whaling ship whose captain was from Fairhaven

A Storm Without Rain by Jan Adkins – 15 year old boy from Buzzards Bay goes back in time and meets his grandfather.

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome – Classic! (I had this on my list too! Jill)


Jill’s Picks

Stuart Little by E. B. White (Particularly chapters VI, VII, and XIV.)

Schooner: building a wooden boat on Martha’s Vineyard by Tom Dunlop, photographs by Alison Shaw

Tinkerbelle by Robert Manry

Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog!) by Jerome K. Jerome

The Green Ray  by Jules Verne

Hemingway’s Boat: everything he loved in life, and lost, 1934-1961. (p. 56 mentions his trip to Cape Cod & Nantucket)

Food at Sea: shipboard cuisine from ancient to modern times by Simon Spalding


“The Sea and the Wind That Blows” essay by E.B. White in Essays of E.B. White. The first sentence: “Waking or sleeping, I dream of boats — usually of rather small boats under a slight press of sail.”

A Unit of Water, A Unit of Time: Joel White’s Last Boat by Douglas Whynott

Uncommon Carriers by John McPhee

A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers by Henry David Thoreau

On the Water: Discovering America in a Rowboat by Nathaniel Stone

Images of America: Steamboats to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket by William H. Ewen Jr.

Little Pig Saves the Ship by David Hyde Costello



Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum

The Endurance: Shackleton’s legendary Antarctic expedition by Caroline Alexander

The Adventures of Onyx and the Fight Against the Falls by Tyler Benson

Patrick O’Brian Aubrey/Maturin series. Here is the order.

Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling

10,000 Leagues Over the Sea by William Albert Robinson

Voyages to Galapagos by William Albert Robinson

Horatio Hornblower novels by C.S. Forester. Dan Tritle tells us the character of Captain Kirk was based on the character of Hornblower!



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