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Not all readers are leaders but all leaders are readers.

Although we carry quite a few books on board, the vast majority of them are in the non-fiction category, typically maintenance related or cruising guides. Although these books are great for reference, as you might imagine, they really aren’t all that entertaining. One can only read about head repairs or electronic navigation so many times 🙂 .

When it comes to fiction, Rebecca seemingly has an easier time than I do finding books that she enjoys, preferring murder-mystery novels over many others. She is currently reading The Shadow of Your Smile written by Mary Higgins Clarke.

I, however, often find it difficult to pick out books that will capture my attention. I was a fan of the Rogue Warrior series, co-written by Richard Marcinko, a former Navy Seal, but I haven’t had a new one of those in a long time. Recently I was turned on to the The Hunger Games trilogy, and both Rebecca and I enjoyed those three books (and are looking forward to the movie that is due to be released next spring). Currently I am reading The Silent Sea, a Clive Cussler novel, passed on to us by our friend on Happy Times. It seems similar to the Marcinko novels which is probably why I am enjoying it.

Many of our cruising friends now have Kindles or other e-readers on board, which makes it easy for them to carry a huge library of books without sinking their boats. We have not yet made that jump although I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.


  1. I was actually going to suggest a Cussler Novel; I love him. I am starting one now called Sex, Lies, and Spinnakers by Steve Van Slyke which seems promising an d may be a great read for a cruiser such as yourself.

  2. Scott has a Nook and I have a Kindle and they are AWESOME to have aboard…we’ve made TONS of space by removing all our paperback and hardcover books…but then again, I read A LOT so we carried WAY too many books!

  3. You can use Kindle on your laptop. Once you get a Kindle you can synch with computer, Kindle reader or smart phone.

  4. My husband and I have read Sex, Lies and Spinnakers and both loved it. Hope you do too! For sailing related novels, we also recommend Caribbean High (Gary Brown), Final Passage (Timothy Frost), A Voyage Toward Vengeance (Jule Miller), and the Mad Mick Murphy series (Michael Haskins).

  5. Mike,

    The Kindle is the best thing we ever did. There are a few benefits that you didn’t mention about the Kindle – first, you can share each other’s books if they’re on the same account, second – the books are archived at so if you ever lose your Kindle (i.e. drop it in the drink…) you can buy another one and download your archive back onto it, third – you can read on your pc or smartphone with no additional charge, and fourth (while we’re talking about charges) you have access to literally millions of books that are totally free. I’ve been working through a list of free sailing books on my Kindle like Two Years Before the Mast and a few other classics. It’s genius because you can download as many books as you want when you have good wifi access and then read them offline when you’re hundreds of miles out to sea. OK my Kindle commercial is over LOL.

    S/V Kintala

  6. We have a Nook and love it, but the new Kindle Fire looks great! You can even watch movies on it!

  7. I bought a Kindle in the spring right before I took my month-long trip to the BVI. I knew I couldn’t pack enough books to keep me happy on a trip that long and the Kindle was the best solution. I thought I would miss the tactile experience of holding a book and turning pages but I got over that in about two hours. And because of my personal situation of downsizing and shedding most of my material possessions, it meant I could get rid of 20 boxes of books that I was carting everywhere I moved and yet still have all of them. Just the BEST solution.

    I also love that I can buy a book no matter where I am, as long as I have wifi. Laying by the pool, on a recent trip, I noticed that at least three other sun worshipers were all reading the same book. To me, that means it must be good… so I bought it right then and there. Fabulous. And, often, the Kindle version is much cheaper than the hard copy.

    Another thing I just LOVE about it is the weight vs a book. While in the BVI I read Stephen King’s novel, The Dome. I could NOT imagine trying to hold that book up for more than a few minutes while lying on a lounger. Not a problem with the Kindle. AND… now I can read while eating alone and have two hands free to eat instead of having to keep the book open on the table with my left hand (most paperbacks won’t stay open on their own).

    One of the best things I have ever purchased.

  8. Oh and, if you are both avid readers, buy two when you order because if you don’t you’ll just have to go back and get another and pay double shipping.

  9. Hmm, growing up in Florida I have read every Travis Mcgee by John D. McDonald. All the Doc Ford books by Randy Wayne White. And everything by Carl Hiaasen. All excellent somewhat tropical books. Buffett’s “A Salty Piece of Land” is really good. Mark Twain’s “Following The Equator” is good too.

    HTH, CJ

  10. I want the new Kindle Fire. They have discounted their previous versions, too. But I want the Fire. Also, I think that the Kindle can be read in sunlight. For someone with problems with holding onto things, such as me, it’s a good compromise. All the books I want to read seem to be VERY HEAVY!!!! And if you have ever fallen aasleep reading and dropped a book on your nose, you know what I mean!

  11. and if you download a freeware program called calibre if you get ebooks(free or purchased you can convert the format pretty much from anything to kindle format. we have about 1000 books on board as well as about 800 ebooks on my kindle so far. i am gradually going through my book collection and winnowing. sigh

  12. We bought the Kindle and the first book we read was “An Embarassement of Mangoes”. We plan on buying the Fire model when it comes out. Another bonus is free internet. We use it in Mexico. I think the Fire will be easier to use due to touch screen.

  13. Don’t forget the sites where you can pull down free books like Project Gutenburg. I have been re-reading some of the classics like Dickens and also enjoying the lesser known works of Jack London, E. A. Poe and others.

  14. Hey Mike, J from Garfields here. I bought my wife a Kindle a couple years ago. She now gets annoyed when reading a printed book. Anyway, when you do pick one up, let me know as I have over 1,000 books for kindle. And if you are into audiobooks, great for sailing at night, I have a load of those also.

  15. Thanks for the mentions of my sailing thriller “Final Passage” available on Kindle and Nook. I have a new book just out, called “The Shoot”, about filming a TV commercial on a Caribbean island. It all goes horribly wrong …

  16. Try out the The Dark Tower series by Stphen King. Demo Dick has nothing on Roland of Gilead.

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