Preview: Good Reads: Recommendations by Karen Sullivan

October 30, 2013

Avatar Karen Sullivan asked our guides to share their favorite books that should be in every boater’s library…

When someone at a party asks me to play my guitar and sing something, I tend to freeze.  Not because I’m reluctant, or stage-struck, or disinclined or anything, but because there are so many good songs drifting through the ether that I’m often struck dumb trying to choose.  The same thing applies to books, but in spades.  Choosing only three essential books?  Talk about killing off your darlings.

So my first choice is a category.  I know this is fudging, but every sailor should have on board books that answer the questions, What bird is that? and What kind of whale/dolphin/fish/invertebrate is that?  Half the fun (for me) is learning about the critters we share the sea with, so at a minimum I carry guides by Audubon, Sibley and Golden for birds, plus the Field Guide to the Marine Mammals of the Pacific Ocean, plus Ed Rickett’s lyrical Between Pacific Tides, augmented by various waterproof fish guides, and oh, stop me now.  That uses up the count if we play by the rules, but really, if you can know the way a bird flies by observing the graceful curve of its wing and the subtle markings on its body, you will learn to be a better observer at other things, too.

Golden field Guide Field Guide to Marine Mammals of the Pacific Coast

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