1. THE SURVIVAL STORY: Almost a decade before writing The Finest Hours, Michael Tougias wrote Ten Hours Until Dawn, about a Coast Guard rescue during the infamous blizzard of ’78 that hit the Northeast. “It’s a story that sucks you in and makes you feel like you’re aboard the Can Do, which is a very scary place to be,” says Editor-in-Chief Dan Harding. “I was glad to read it while tucked into the warm berth of a boat on a calm river.”
2. THE CLASSIC: “A strange and wonderful book,” says Executive Editor Capt. Bill Pike of The Curve of Time by M. Wylie Blanchet. “On the one hand Blanchet’s point of view is careful, practical. On the other, she steers her little 25-footer (and her five children) straight into the rough-and-readywilderness that was British Columbia during the 1920s.”
3. THE PERIOD PIECE: “If you’ve never read Erik Larson, be warned: His prose will transport you to a different era,” says Deputy Editor Jason Wood. In Dead Wake, Larson tells the tale of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, which helped draw the U.S. into World War I. This is gripping nonfiction, where, Larson notes, “anything appearing between quotes comes from a memoir, letter, telegram, or other historical document.”
4. THE ONE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO READ, BUT DIDN’T: In the 18th century, “the longitude problem” was a puzzling scientific dilemma. How does one measure it at sea? One man, in complete opposition to the scientific community, dared to imagine a mechanical solution: what would become known as the marine chronometer. Dava Sobel weaves in equal parts history, geography, astronomy, and navigation to tell the story of clockmaker John Harrison’s 40-year obsession in Longitude.
5. THE FEEL GOOD: It’s a story that often goes untold: When planes hit the towers on 9/11, an armada of fishermen and private boat owners mobilized and successfully evacuated 500,000 people from lower Manhattan. American Dunkirk by James Kendra and Tricia Wachtendorf amasses the most comprehensive data set available on the waterborne evacuation, offering food for thought on civilian disaster response.
6. THE FISHING BOOK: “Guy de la Valdène’s On the Water is a lovely meditation on water and nature, fish and man,” says Bill Sisson, editor-in-chief of our sister publication Anglers Journal. Writes de la Valdène: “We fished and hunted and drank and cooked from one end of the country to the other for a quarter of a century, with Key West as a beacon of our sporting year.”