Preview: Good Reads: Recommendations by 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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3 Responses So Far to “Good Reads: Recommendations by Karen Sullivan

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    Anne Bryant says:

    HOORAY for guidebooks! I carry little laminated ones ashore that are more brief, but some for foraging plants, marine mammals, and trees are in my future. We found a laminated one that folds out and can be used as a ruler- it’s a fishing guide with particulars about fishing regulations along the eastern US coast. Thanks!

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    Ellen Massey Leonard says:

    Great picks, Karen! I absolutely agree about the wildlife books. Seabirds of the World, by Peter Harrison is my personal favorite for birds. His photographs alone are a marvel, especially for an aspiring amateur wildlife photographer like me!

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      karenlsullivan says:

      Ellen, thanks. I’ll have to find that Harrison guide, it sounds like another must-have book. Watching and photographing birds and other wildlife does tend to put one’s mind in something resembling a fugue state, doesn’t it.