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A Merry Read an Bonney - Reading Suggestions

Discussion in 'The Blind Parrot' started by SirChristopherMings, May 13, 2004.

  1. SirChristopherMings

    SirChristopherMings Corrupter of Words Storm Modder

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    A Merry Read
    On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers

    An ocean voyage can fill many a long and weary hour; days at sea with a sky that seems to stretch on forever, and nary a sail is seen to break up the horizon. For all of you pirates who haven't learned to hit the "R" button while you are cruisin' the archipelago, I am tossing you what I think is a lifeline that will save you from drowning in an ocean of ennui.

    On Stranger Tides is a book written by Tim Powers that I hope will find favor with you. It is a fictional work that relates the history of "Jack Shandy" and his misadventures with Blackbeard and various other pirates, along with distinctly Caribbean supernatural phenomenon, both beneficial and malevolent.

    One of the things I really enjoy about Tim Power's writing is that while I am reading it I am never certain of whether the elements of his story are based upon factual research, or his own creativity. Voo doo, or Vodun, (along with Homer's The Odyssey,) plays a big part in the lives of the pirates in this book, and Powers' telling of the tale makes, what appears to be historically accurate, odd behavior committed by the real pirates within the book accountable to the dictates and practices of a dark and macabre religion.

    In short, most of the members of PA should feel right at home in Tim Powers' On Stranger Tides, and I recommend it to you without the slightest hesitation. I hope that anyone else who has already read the book will chime in with their opinion on it, and that anyone who does read it will let me know what they thought about it. I take an especial pleasure in finding out that a book I recommended to someone was something that they enjoyed.

    I finally figured out how to get my signature set up, so I couldn't resist the urge to make another posting, however, if I get enough feedback letting me know that I am on the right tack with the majorities' reading tastes, I'll come up with more book recommendation posts, as I think of them.
     
  2. CatalinaThePirate

    CatalinaThePirate Unholy Terror, Storm Modder

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    I am always ready for another good book! This one sounds great, I'll have to see if I can find it...

    Thanks!!! :) :cheers
     
  3. Cap'n Kennit

    Cap'n Kennit Landlubber

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    I'd recommend the 'liveship traders' trilogy, by robin hobb.
    it's unashamed hight fantasy, but a very nautical one, one of the main plots revolving around my namesake attempting to become the king of the pirate isles, and several of the main characters being the ships themselves (in a kind of fantasy iain m banks kind of way!)
    damn good read, although a little heavy going at times, and there is a slight problem with ms hobb being a bit of an extremist feminist (you do have to play 'spot the male who isn't a complete git', and it aint easy at all.)
     
  4. SirChristopherMings

    SirChristopherMings Corrupter of Words Storm Modder

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    Cap'n Kennit, I'll have to keep a weather eye out for that one, thank you.

    Catalina, On Stranger Tides is also usually in the Science Fiction/Fanatasy section of the bookstores, when you can find it. You may have to put in a special order, or go to the library, because I do not often see it at the stores anymore.

    Lady Mings recently gave me the first book in the Patrick O'Brian, "Master and Commander" series and I am currently working my way through them, due in part to my addictive tendencies. (20 novels! yeeha!) I hope to return from the far side of the world some time in the next couple of years.

    It only took me a day or two, but I managed to make the pun I used for the title of this thread even worse than it was.
     
  5. Meigger

    Meigger 1000th Member Man

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    A good book on the Golden Age of Piracy is Barry Clifford's book "The Lost Fleet." It is about the discovery of a fleet of French ships that sank on January 2, 1678 off the Venezuelan coast on the killer reef of Las Aves Island. The book is an excellent account of historical discovery interwoven with period detail.
     
  6. SirChristopherMings

    SirChristopherMings Corrupter of Words Storm Modder

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    Thanks Meigger!

    Does it have pictures? I am always looking for something to take with me when I head for the scuppers.
     
  7. Meigger

    Meigger 1000th Member Man

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    <!--`QuoteBegin-SirChristopherMings`+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(SirChristopherMings)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteEBegin-->Thanks Meigger!

    Does it have pictures? I am always looking for something to take with me when I head for the scuppers.[/quote]

    Yes, there are a few pictures. The book has 39 chapters, but each chapter is not that long. I found the book to be really interesting. I hope you enjoy reading it.
     
  8. CatalinaThePirate

    CatalinaThePirate Unholy Terror, Storm Modder

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    I've been meaning to pop in here and tell you all what I have been (re)reading lately, tho it really has nothing much to do with piracy - The Journeyer, by Gary Jennings.

    It is about Marco Polo and his adventures in the far east, albeit the adventures that he presumably "hid" from a world that would have had its sensibilities shocked by their graphic nature. Fun book - Jennings liked to take history and strip off the gloss and get to the meat of the matter. In this case he took the Marco Polo "fables" and turned them into a quite believable historically interesting narrative.

    Jennings also did this with his incredible book Aztec - and I highly recommend BOTH books.

    http://www.garyjennings.com/ for more info. :)
     
  9. Shillelagh Bruises

    Shillelagh Bruises Landlubber

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    <!--`QuoteBegin-SirChristopherMings`+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(SirChristopherMings)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteEBegin-->Lady Mings recently gave me the first book in the Patrick O'Brian, "Master and Commander" series and I am currently working my way through them, due in part to my addictive tendencies. (20 novels! yeeha!)  I hope to return from the far side of the world some time in the next couple of years. [/quote]

    I just started The Mauritius Command by Patrick O'Brian. It's not the first in the series and I haven't read any of the others, but that hasn't been a problem.
     
  10. Fred Bob

    Fred Bob Shrimping Fool Staff Member Administrator

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    Aye, an' Fred Bob be presently readin' Master and Commander fer de THIRD time an' enjoyin' de readin' o' de series mo' each time! :)
     
  11. SirChristopherMings

    SirChristopherMings Corrupter of Words Storm Modder

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    Cup of Gold

    I just started that one too, I have a feeling that Fred Bob might feel sorry for me on this point because that only leaves me with 16 books in the series left to read.

    Cup of Gold, by John Steinbeck, is the story of my young protege' Henry Morgan and his expedition to sack the city of Panama, the fabled "cup of gold."

    It is a very enjoyable book, and for any undergraduate pirates out there, it might be a way to combine your interests in piracy with your need to do your school work, i.e. capture two prizes with one broadside. Steinbeck's name could usually pass muster with my teachers, but who knows? You may actually like it. If any of you become addicted to reading the works of Steinbeck, and want complain to me about it, I will be more than willing to listen to all your complaints. (Remind me to tell you all about my stint in the Betty Ford Clinic when I got hooked on phonics.) It is also a fairly short book which could be counted as a plus for busy students, but is a drawback for us merry readers who are longer in the tooth and feel a bit of annoyance when they get to the last page.
     
  12. CatalinaThePirate

    CatalinaThePirate Unholy Terror, Storm Modder

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    If anyone is curious about women in piracy, check out "Bold in Her Breeches", edited by Jo Stanley. Quite interesting and absorbing book.

    Another book I have read on "piracy" (depends on who you ask, HA!) that I found fascinating was "Confederate Raider: Raphael Semmes of the Alabama" by John M. Taylor. Semmes was a captain in the US Southern Navy during the time of our Civil War and he had a quite illustrious career as a "Commerce Raider" (rather than pirate), eventually racking up a total of 71 of some `two-hundred`-odd Northern merchant ships destroyed plus bonded and released 12 other captured Northern ships. As commander of the Alabama he sailed some 75,000 miles without touching a Confederate port.

    The book also details the building of the Alabama (which was a clandestine operation and reads like a great spy novel!), a hybrid steam and sail ship. Quite interesting read - and a surprisingly absorbing read for ME, a `dyed-in`-`the-wool` true blue Yankee. :p:
     
  13. Mad_Jack

    Mad_Jack Patron of the Tarts Storm Modder

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    I recently started David Cordingly's "Under the Black Flag." It's a wonderful read, as it's premise is to look beyond the romaticised image of pirates and piracy. It also serves as a great primer for anyone wanting to learn more about many of the famous historical pirates (John Rackham, Henry Morgan, etc.) without the Errol Flynn varnish.
     
  14. SirChristopherMings

    SirChristopherMings Corrupter of Words Storm Modder

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    Thank you Mad Jack, Under the Black Flag is the first recommendation on this thread that I have actually already read and it gives me a chance to second you and your review, this was a merry read.

    Thanks as well to everyone else for extending the list of books that I have as yet to read. I don't know about the rest of you, but if I don't have a pile of books "on deck" to be read, I start to get a little anxious and you all are adding to the distance between me and my bottle of Tums.

    16 men on a dead man's chest,
    `yo-ho`-ho and a bottle of Tums!
    (attributed to an unknown `middle-aged` buccaneer)

    Or they could read the interesting reports that you posted on the main sight. Those were great.
     
  15. Mad_Jack

    Mad_Jack Patron of the Tarts Storm Modder

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    I've gotten a lot out of this thread, meself. I've been curious as to which of the thousands of tomes available on pirates and piracy are genuinely worth me time, and now I've got a bloody great list to work with! :woot

    They'll certainly help to pass the time between classes at horse shows this summer. Otherwise, I'd spend all me time drinking... :woot
     
  16. capt cookie

    capt cookie only pops in now and then.

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    who wants to know?
    i love that skull
     
  17. CatalinaThePirate

    CatalinaThePirate Unholy Terror, Storm Modder

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    Kindly stay on topic, Rico and Capt Cookie! Idle chat is for the Burning Brig. Thanks. :woot :woot
     
  18. capt cookie

    capt cookie only pops in now and then.

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    who wants to know?
    anyway i realloy need to pick up some of these Books.
     
  19. Meigger

    Meigger 1000th Member Man

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    Another book some may find interesting is "The Sea Warriors" by Richard Woodman. The book is a true story of eighteenth and nineteenth centuries fighting sea captains who commanded frigates.
     
  20. SirChristopherMings

    SirChristopherMings Corrupter of Words Storm Modder

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    Maybe I'm getting a little off topic, but <u>The Conquest of New Spain</u> by Bernal Diaz is a `non-fiction` account of Cortes' conquest of the Aztecs that I enjoyed, primarily due to it being a first hand account of the events by a full participant. Notwithstanding the fact that it was written fifty years after the events took place, it is an amazingly detailed account.

    The conquest of the New World lead to, among other things, the Spanish Main, which in turn lead to freebooters, sea dogs and pirates, so maybe I'm not that far off topic after all.

    On that note, would anyone mind if we broadened the scope of this thread? I have seen other postings with book recomendations that are outside of the piracy, or sailing, or warship themes, and it was my intention to get a good thread going where people could find an enjoyable read, or start a discussion if a couple of people were excited about a particular book. If we have to move the thread into the Burning Brig to get a more eclectic mix of reading material, that's fine too.

    To get the ball rolling I heartily recommend the children's book, <u>The Emperor's Gifts</u> by Crockett Johnson. I searched high and low and was finally able to locate a copy of this book, that I remembered from my childhood. It is a story of an emperor who is having a birthday and all his vassal monarchs are bringing him gifts, gifts that exemplify who they are and their strongest personal characteristics. What the emperor does with these gifts is a story that I have thought about many times in my adult life and I can think of no other group of people I would rather share this book with than all of you.

    Let me know what you think we should do with this thread. Should we just start a new one? Move it? Forget it? Let me know.
     

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