in_the_blue: (yo ho yo ho)
[livejournal.com profile] scribble_myname asked me to talk about books that inspire/influence my writing. This is a great question!

books/authors beneath the cut )
in_the_blue: (pretty spike)
Do you know about BookBub? It's a site that features free or deeply discounted e-books daily for the e-reader of your choice. When you sign up (which means just subscribing to their email list), you tell them what genres interest you and you'll get an email from them every day with book offers. It's a way for publishers to showcase some of their featured titles, and a way for readers to enjoy these things at a minimal price.

Just thought I'd share the site with y'all, since I know most of you love to read as much as I do.

Books

Oct. 28th, 2013 04:40 pm
in_the_blue: (nature is a whore)
So who's finished reading Allegiant and what did you think?

ETA: expect spoilers in comments, naturally.
in_the_blue: (laharl)
Hold the presses, I read a book. A non-fiction book. For reasons that make deep and meaningful sense only to me, I read The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean by Susan Casey. If you think that title is a mouthful, you should see what she's tackled. Casey, a former pro swimmer, decided to chase down hard evidence of the (not exactly) mythic 100-foot wave and along the way she talks to a lot of scientists about oceanography, about climate change, about weather forecasting and physics and wave patterns and behavior, about shipping and shipping insurance by Lloyd's of London, about ships lost at sea, about the most dangerous oceans in the world, about the biggest waves on record. All that's well and good; she takes a subject that could be incredibly dry and doesn't quite bring it down to layman's terms, but she does a decent enough job.

The meat and heart of the book, though, has nothing to do with science and everything to do with extreme surfing and the people who search those elusive giant waves for sport. If there's a star of her book, it's big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton, who has to be one of the most intense (and most daredevilish) people ever to have graced the planet. What are big waves? Well, people like Hamilton paddle out when the waves are only 40-50' high. Anything higher, they get towed out on the backs of jet skis. Extreme surfing, anybody? I did not know about this stuff! I didn't know people were crazy driven enough to follow the weather all over the world just for a chance to ride the behemoth waves out there! It's amazing.

The surfer portion of the book was, in my increasingly humble opinion, more fascinating than the scientific portion although I see why Casey felt the need to balance one with the other. In the end I felt she was less in pursuit of the waves themselves than of the people who follow the waves or try to understand them, the people who try to surf them, and the people who foolishly defy them. The business of surfing? I could care less. The people who contain this fundamental need to not conquer monster waves but to experience them in their own way? Amazing. Whether that means the scientists trying to understand the chaos of the ocean or the surfer trying to outrace an eighty-foot wall about to crash down on his head and pin him beneath the water, well, I'm not going to play favorites in a book review. But I will tell you that she covers both with a nearly equal fervor, and the end result is kind of like the ocean: choppy, unpredictable, but ultimately pretty fucking cool.

(This is also the first and only book I've bought for the Kindle I stole reclaimed from my sweetheart when he got his iPad, so really, I'm not responsible for all the Borders stores closing. I just bought three actual physical things there this week! Don't look at me that way.)

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