Books in your library


#1

What maritime books do you have & should you have in your library ? One that I have and still use from time to time is Merchant Marine Officers’ Handbook fifth edition.


Maritime books?
#2

since the last time this subject came up was a very long time ago, I am glad to have a chance to do it again

my maritime library is huge but it includes a tremendous number of both merchant marine and naval history volumes. Take away that and it is mostly just textbooks which we all use for license study but I would certainly say anything published by Cornell Maritime Press to be worth having except for “Shiphandling for the Mariner” with its insipid cartoons! They made me so sick to keep seeing them when I was reading the book for a pilotage exam I got big sheets of gummed paper and cut them to cover all that idiot attempt at farce. I mean they are just plain painful!

Now with regards to history

  1. any book by Alan Villiers
  2. just about any book about both Arctic and Antarctic exploration especially about Shackleton (there’s too many to list here)
  3. any book by Felix Riesenberg especially “Standard Seamanship for the Merchant Service
  4. A Careless Word, A Needless Sinking” by Capt. Arthur Moore
  5. just about any book about the “Battle of the Atlantic
  6. Sailing on Friday” by John Butler
  7. The Grey Seas Under” by Farley Mowatt
  8. most any book by Dan Van der Vat

for historical novels

  1. The Cruel Sea” by Nicholas Monserrat
  2. I like Douglas Reeman and Jan der Hartog

for humorous history

  1. Steaming to Bamboola” by Christopher Buckley
  2. Mister Roberts” by Thomas Heggen

for simple adventure

  1. any of the books by Tristan Jones

Got lots and lots of shipbuilding books and shipbuilding history too which go hand in glove with seafaring history

Barely scratched the surface here!


#3

As stated above most of the libraries of members you’ll find on here are far too long to list but a recent favorite of mine, in which I found both great inspiration and excellent advice on proper conduct when visiting foreign whore-houses, is “The Voyage of the Rose City” by John Moynihan. It is a true story and an excellent account of the life of a 20-year greenhorn on a large tanker starting in New York and sailing the long way around to Seattle. Not too long a book but very well worth the read.


#4

I’ve got a fairly large library, hopefully with some titles some of you have never heard of and will be inclined to check them out.

“Merchant Ships, A Pictorial History” by John La Dage

“Sailing to See” by Capt. Irving Johnson

“On The Hawser” perhaps the definitive photo book on tugboats by Steve Lang and Peter Spectre

“The Moran Story” by Eugene F. Moran

“Modern Towing” by Capt. John Blank

“Wanderer” and “Voyage” by Sterling Hayden (reading “Wanderer” when I was a kid left a distinct impression on me)

“Sailing Around the World Alone” by Slocum

“Two Years Before the Mast” by Richard Henry Dana

“Between the Lines of a Ships Logbook” by Capt. Frank F. Farrar

“Peter Freuchen’s Book of the Seven Seas”

“The Captain” and “The Distant Shore” by Jan De Hartog

“Tramps and Ladies” by Sir James Bisset (Bisset was second officer aboard Carpathia and gives a riveting account of the Titanic’s sinking and rescue of survivors)

“Count Luckner, The Sea Devil” by Count Felix von Luckner

“Heroes in Dungarees” by John Bunker

"By Their Works Ye Shall Know Them (The Life and Ships of William Francis Gibbs) by Frank O. Braynard

“The Big Ship” by Frank O. Braynard

“Chesapeake Circle” by Robert H. Burgess

“Up In The Old Hotel” by Joseph Mitchell

That should be enough for now.

Of note, the Baltimore based Liberty John W. Brown has a nice collection of nautical books for sale in their gift shop. Most titles revolve around life in the merchant service during WW2. Well worth checking out if you should find yourself aboard her.


#5

My new favorite book by far - which is saying a lot considering I wrote one of them :wink: - is “the tankship tromedy” by jack devanney!!

It’s out of print but the pdf version is available for free from Jack’s website: http://www.c4tx.org/ctx/pub/tromedy2.pdf


#6

Have a large-format series of books chronicling the career of the “leviathan” from
It’s German days to the scrapyard. Not so
Much heavy reading but an impressive work. Tons of pictures and drawings of the ship too for us visual creatures. Truly a treasure that I happened to find in the free (trash) pile at the Maine maritime academy library many years ago…

Other than that, I have a few old school tugboat books from the 60’s and 70’s that have some great reference material on rigging that’s just tough to come by this day and age. Unfortunately all of its packed away to titles are escaping me.


#7

A good work of fiction that’s in my library is Swift Flows the River by Nard Jones. Copyright 1940. Also another good book is the Captain Remembers by Sandra Russell. Capt. Lew Russell, Jr. Remembers the thrill of a boy aboard Columbia river steamboats, being involved in building the Columbia river dams, and building the largest towing company on the upper Columbia.


#8

[QUOTE=Signal Red;114188]What maritime books do you have & should you have in your library ? One that I have and still use from time to time is Merchant Marine Officers’ Handbook fifth edition.[/QUOTE]

The reference that I used the most when I was sailing in Alaska was a catalog from, I think, Washington Chain and Supply in Seattle. You can use it to guesstimate weights and working / breaking load on deck gear for various misc rigging jobs that have to be done from time to time.

Some jobs you think you can’t do because you think you don’t have the gear for you do and you can.


#9

Read the Way of a Ship by Alan Villiers. Really fascinating look at the last days of the old windjammers in the early 20th century.

For those in the NW, there is a cool used bookstore in Seattle you should check out: Sea Ocean Books. Thousands of maritime books.


#10

[QUOTE=john;114207]My new favorite book by far - which is saying a lot considering I wrote one of them :wink: - is “the tankship tromedy” by jack devanney!!

It’s out of print but the pdf version is available for free from Jack’s website: http://www.c4tx.org/ctx/pub/tromedy2.pdf[/QUOTE]

I downloaded this book and have been reading it and find it to be very interesting and I would recommend it to everyone.

Thanks for posting the link.


#11

The last Grain Race by Eric Newby
Was like last century but not that long ago
Check out the speed they did…wow!


#12

[QUOTE=john;114207]My new favorite book by far - which is saying a lot considering I wrote one of them :wink: - is “the tankship tromedy” by jack devanney!!

It’s out of print but the pdf version is available for free from Jack’s website: http://www.c4tx.org/ctx/pub/tromedy2.pdf[/QUOTE]

Agreed, I found it absolutely fascinating. On a side note, I am the Surveyor referenced in one of the footnotes about requiring significant staging in all of the ballast tanks. Right after I made the recommendation, I got a call from one of the marketing guys at ABS who was none too happy with me. That was followed up by an email from the Chief Surveyor stating that if I hadn’t required the extensive staging, I would have been fired. . .


#13

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;114227]The reference that I used the most when I was sailing in Alaska was a catalog from, I think, Washington Chain and Supply in Seattle. You can use it to guesstimate weights and working / breaking load on deck gear for various misc rigging jobs that have to be done from time to time.[/QUOTE]

That reminds me that every Inside Passage master must have a copy of Hansen’s Handbook! Mine is an original first edition circa 1917 (I think). I found it once upon a mouldy Saturday in the 1980’s when poking through the now long gone Beattie’s Books on 4th Ave in Seattle. Looks just like this

What ever happened to our great old NW city?


#14

Too MANY books to list but I will break it down by topic and respective title to help others purchase books worth reading (IMO).
In no specific order:
Salvage: “In Peril” by Strong & Braden
CG rescues w/ focus on characters over content: “The Finest Hours” and “A Storm Too Soon” by Michael J. Tougias/Casey Sherman
Maritime Must-Reads: (Easy to read … they are short stories) “Youth” and “The Shadow Line” by Joseph Conrad. Note: The Shadow Line has been released as a stand-alone book by Vintage Classics www.vintagebooks.com (Typically you can find it as a short story combined in the old “And other tales” section of most of his more famous works, but “The Shadow Line” has some great description and summation of the feelings and emotions of any Cap’n during their first command.
Cape Horners: “The Way of a Ship” by Derek Lundy, “Rounding the Horn” by Dallas Murphy
Maritime Casualties/Safety reforms: “Until the Sea Shall Free Them” and “Two Tankers Down” by Robert Frump, “Tallships Down” by D. Parrot -a definitive look at mishaps analysis and reflections from lessons learned. “Disaster At Sea” by Capt Richard Cahill or if you can afford it, “Collisions and their Causes” is one of his other co-authored masterpieces.
BRM: Skip the heavy expenses of The Nautical Institute and go for Micheal Adams’ (Cg Ret) small black book entitled “Shipboard Bridge Resource Management” or/as well as “Bridge Resource Management for Small Ships” – The Watchkeeper’s Manual for Limited-Tonnage vessels by Daniel Parrot.
Navigation Study: Aptly titled NAVIGATION by the editors of Time Life Books 1975. I enjoy the simplicity of this book and the intro as “The Wayfinding Skills” Now there’s a phrase you can spring on your Deck Watch Officers – Hey you need to work on your wayfinding skills! Hopefully you can borrow this book from a library or find it for sail dirt cheap in a used book store.
Just for Looks: I recently picked up “The Authority to Sail” --The History of U.S. Maritime Licenses and Seamen’s Papers by Commodore Robert Stanley Bates. A large coffee table book with detailed photos of all the old licenses … ever wonder which ships were represented on your pre-MMC passport certificates–this book explains it all & more.
Biographical: This year I read Mark Twain’s “Life on the Mississippi” and "Captain -Hell roaring- Mike Healy by Dennis Noble. Both great.
Classic Storytelling: “The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Tugboats: “The Captain” by Jan De Hartog --there is a reason you keep seeing this title come up in all related book threads and you should find out why.
So I have listed some books that I think you will find worth your time, nothing new necessarily, maybe just an echo at best.
1JV


#15

[QUOTE=c.captain;114192] Take away that and it is mostly just textbooks which we all use for license study but I would certainly say anything published by Cornell Maritime Press to be worth having except for “Shiphandling for the Mariner” with its insipid cartoons! They made me so sick to keep seeing them when I was reading the book for a pilotage exam I got big sheets of gummed paper and cut them to cover all that idiot attempt at farce. I mean they are just plain painful!
[/QUOTE]

I use Shiphandling for the Mariner often. It lays out a methodical approach to improving shiphandling skills.

A couple of the cartoon illustrations were a bit on the lame side but I liked the one of the mate on the bow reporting on the radio that he had ten shots out and the chain seems to be taking a good strain but behind him the anchor windlass has torn lose and is flying towards his head.


#16

Principle Centered Leadership by Steven Covey

How to Win Friends and Influence People. by Dale Carnegie - a bit dated but still worthwhile.

The Roots of Blitzkrieg by James S. Corum

For God and Glory: Lord Nelson and His Way of War. by Joel Hayward.

The first two are how to create trust build teams, all that everything I needed I learned in kindergarten kind of stuff. The last two are where the rubber hits the road how the principles are put into practice when the goal is to rule Europe.

One other "People Skills by Robert Bolton. I use techniques here to resolve conflicts between crew.


#17

Any of you celestial navigators have anything to add to the above thread?


#18

[QUOTE=Capt. Phoenix;115156]http://gcaptain.com/forum/professional-mariner-forum/12537-advanced-celestial-navigation-book.html

Any of you celestial navigators have anything to add to the above thread?[/QUOTE]

Not sure what you mean by advanced? I taught myself everything I have needed to know from Bowditch and Duttons. When I couldn’t understand the one I used the other.

I managed to pass all the tests and made crossings using celestial…


#19

How to Win Friends.

I second that. It’s the greatest book I’ve ever read. I would encourage anyone to read it. When it was first recommended to me I was offended, like I never had any friends! But in retrospect, it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I’ve read it 3 times since then.


#20

[QUOTE=“Kennebec Captain;115166”]

Not sure what you mean by advanced? I taught myself everything I have needed to know from Bowditch and Duttons. When I couldn’t understand the one I used the other.

I managed to pass all the tests and made crossings using celestial…[/QUOTE]

I mean things like back sights and ex meridians of the sun. You can’t even figure out what exactly an ex meridian is from Bowditch, let alone how to do one.