Just to be quite frank. I – am – a – bookworm. With a capital B. To put it this way; I´ve been to Milan, Paris, L.A., New York, London etc, bringing home new books rather than clothes. However, the combination of being mom of a 6 months old guy with the approximate energy of a Duracell rabbit, and trying to combine that with working across several continents is not optimal.. I kinda expected that development, so half a year ago I spent most of the initial labor hours reading. Great way of shifting focus from pains btw, highly recommendable (at least for a while..) 😉
Anyways, it´s summer; which for me equals BOOKS – finally!! Time to indulge and explore new authors & stories, with nice views, such as these ones.. (Cogolin, South France)
So far having completed 4 books in 3 weeks (down from 10 last year), out of which 3 have a certain relation to the sea. Here they are, plus a few other favourites of mine;
1. En sjøens helt. Skogsmatrosen. (=A hero of the sea. The Forest Seafarer) // Unfortunately not yet translated to English, this 800-pager (first book out of two) follows a young seafarer from the Norwegian inland countryside, into his career onboard Wilh.Wilhelmsen´s ship Tomar during the pre-period and first year of the World War II. The author has a sea-going career, and started his career sailing for Wilhelmsen, and this experience in combination with his great magical skills with words makes this heavy-weighter worth while. Realistic and with the exact type of anti-heroes that you gotta love.. Can´t wait till the 2nd part of the story is published this fall..!
2. Dynasties of The Sea: The Ships and Financiers Who Expanded the Era of Free Trade”. // CNBC´s Senior Talent Producer Lori-Ann LaRocco (who´ve also written the great book “Thriving in the new economy”) has conducted one-on-one interviews with some of the most powerful tycoons of our industry; John Fredriksen, Tor-Olav Trøim, Angeliki Frangou, Andreas Sohmen-Pao, Philippe Louis-Dreyfus, Roberto Giorgi, Peter Evensen and around 20 other global top executives. Their history, experiences, advice and thoughts for the future (and good leadership) is gathered, and I just couldn´t stop reading it. You can download it for Kindle from Amazon. A must-read for anyone working in the maritime industry, or wishing to get a maritime career. I hope to see more maritime “behind the scenes” from this team! PS; The book is even recommended by Donald Trump (!!!) – which says it all, really..
3. The Light Between Oceans. (M.L. Stedman) Fiction, where most of the story takes place at a remote lighthouse of the harsh and remote areas of the Australian coast just after WW I. Made me daydream of becoming a lighthouse keeper… You´ll get it online, and even though it´s probably translated to Norwegian (a.o.), I´d really recommend picking the original English version.
Some other good reading experiences for adventurers & people interested in the outside world;
1. The Outermost House (Henry Beston) // The chronicle of the author´s year in solitude at the Cape Cod. Written about 80 years ago, and I bought & read it while I was alone on a beach near Provincetown off-season. Hence, a winter alone at the Cod, is still high up on my bucket list. From the book: “The world today is sick to its thin blood for the lack of elemental things, for fire before the hands, for water, for air, for the dear earth itself underfoot.” – – – sounds exactly as a statement you´d hear today, right..?
2. Papillon (Henri Charriere) // The real life story of an innocent French guy convicted and shipped to a penal colony in the French Guyana in 1931. Escaping and getting caught several times, with plenty of action in between. What a story…! This is the favourite book of my boyfriend, and was among my father´s fav´s as well. And among my all-time greatest reading experiences too.. So if you haven´t already done so; Go – buy!
3. Little Bee (Chris Cleave) // Later known under the title “The Other Hand”, this heart-breaking story is set in UK & Nigeria. If you have strong prejudice against people from Nigeria, I dare you especially. I read it coincidentally a year before going to Nigeria for work, and when discussing it with people I met, even though the book is fictional it might just as well not be..
4. Half of a Yellow Sun (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) // The best book ever, by one of my absolute favourite authors. This story gives you a good background scene from South-Eastern Nigeria during the terrible decade of the Biafra war. Adichie shares this strong story in a respectful, strong yet tender way, through the fictional eyes of Ugwu and Olanna.
5. The Swiss Family Robinson (J.D. Wyss) // Or adventures in a Desert Island. This story was published in a Disney story book from the 60´s, and I used to read it curled up in bed. Reading it again recently, it hasn´t lost its magic.. So much better than the average shipwrecked stories..
6. Secret Daughter (Shilpi Somaya Gowda) // The story starts in the Indian countryside, and involves a poor Indian mother who makes the ultimate sacrifice to save her daughter. And a privileged American couple, unable to have kids of their own. Even with this not so creative plot, the tale is told in a way that made me read it from cover to cover in 1 day.