The Laundry Library is a place to share your favourite reads, music and movie recommendations.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Sunburned Country

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson is at his best as he takes us on a trip down under. He manages to capture the essence of what Australia and Australians are all about. He shares hilarious tales of the phobias of many a visitor to Australia; the worrying about deadly spiders and snakes and of course sharks. Along the way he meets real, true blue characters and notes interesting historical trivia that even most Aussies wouldn't know.

We have given this book to more people than any other we've shared. Take it from an Aussie - you won't find a more entertaining or accurate look at Australia.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Voyager's Handbook

The Voyager's Handbook by Beth Leonard

We inherited this book when we purchased our sailboat, Bristol Rose, complete with an inscription from Beth. This book contains a wealth of advice and good ideas collected from their circumnavigation on Silk, a Shannon 38.

We emailed Beth and she replied "Wow - my book has passed on to a "second" generation! Your e-mail makes real the idea that my books will probably outlive me..."

Beth Leonard and her husband Evans, have since moved up to a larger boat and are currently 30 miles north of the Straits of Magellan, still cruising and writing.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Speck on the Sea

I have a book which may be interesting to you. Particularly for someone contemplating offshore sailing and what can be done. It is called A Speck on the Sea I am not sure how well known this book is but it is a non-fiction book looking at all known ocean passages in boats less than 20 feet long. This goes from prehistory right through to the present day and includes a passage from Australia to California in an 18ft skiff during the depression and severeal passages in the your regions of interest in kayaks, sailing canoes and catamarans might be interesting to you. Best Wishes Michael

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The World's Fastest Indian

The World's Fastest Indian [Blu-ray] 2005 Starring Anthony Hopkins. Based on a true story.

Burt Munro (Anthony Hopkins) flies from his home in New Zealand, halfway around the world to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah with his Indian Scout motorcycle to "see how fast she'll go before I kick the bucket". It's 1967 and Burt, at 67 years, makes the record books at 183.586 mph. "Aren't you scared.......?" "No. You live more in 5 minutes on a bike like this going flat out than some people live in a lifetime".

Anthony Hopkins captures the true character of this Kiwi eccentric who follows his dreams, even while so many thought he'd never do it. It's an inspirational and charming movie that also highlights the warmth of the relationships between Burt and those who are captured by his single-minded pursuit of a dream.

An Embarrassment of Mangoes

An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude by Ann Vanderhoof

Helen of Troy "the face that launched 1,000 ships". Ann Vanderhoof might have lauched 1,000 Caribbean cruisers.

Ann and her husband's adventures south were enriched not just by the sights and sounds but by the very people of the places they visited. Their experiences, recipes and shared meals struck a chord. When Hans and Kristen of Whisper were running through their final checklists before departing White Rocks, we passed the book to them with our best wishes.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

First You Have to Row a Little Boat

First You Have to Row a Little Boat: Reflections on Life & Living by Richard Bode. Published by Warner Books in 1993.

"Stop daydreaming!......... It was poor advice, as impossible to follow now as it was then (for the daydreaming boy is father to the daydreaming man). Longfellow was right: "A boy's will is the wind's will/And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts," and there is no admonition severe enough to dislodge the daydreams that fill a child's head. Rather than suppress those dreams, he should be ordered to obey them, for they are the true harbingers of his future self. They tell him who he is and what he wants and in which direction he should tend."

This inspiring little book, found in The Laundry Library, is full of sailing analogies as a guide for life's journey.

Artist on his island

Artist on His Island: a Study in Self-Reliance written by Randolph W. Johnston and published by Little Harbour Press.

"for Kay, with all good wishes Ran Johnston March 29, 1988" inscription inside a copy of this book borrowed from The Laundry Library. What a treasure! We really enjoyed this tale of a real life "Swiss Family Robinson", searching for paradise and finding it in Little Harbor , and their adventures aboard s/v Langosta.