Sea Stories – October 2020


Sounds Fishy 

There are approximately 33,600 fish species swimming around the world in both salt and fresh waters. Some are rather ordinary looking while others appear as if they came straight out of a nightmare. From tuna to triggerfish, the world’s waters host an amazing array of finned creatures to learn about. Author Helen Scales acquaints readers with some of the more interesting fish in her book Eye of the Shoal: A Fishwatcher’s Guide to Life, the Ocean and Everything. As you may infer from the title, Scales aims to tell a fish story in her own way. She cleverly reveals some of the lesser known characteristics of fish, disproving their reputation as slimy, scaled beasts, and reinvents them as emotional, singing, thoughtful creatures. The book is an underwater journey that shows how these creatures go about the hidden business of being fish. ($27, Bloomsbury Sigma)


A Salty Novel

Capt. Nicholas Fallon and his crew aboard the British privateer Rascal are in the middle of a bare-knuckled brawl with the ocean as it serves up monstrous seas. Then, a chance encounter: The seasoned crew rescues a stranded cod fisherman who comes aboard with tales of gold ransom, kidnapping and inconceivable cruelty at the hands of Barbary pirates. This sets the scene for William Westbrook’s novel Barbarians on an Ancient Sea, an account of how Capt. Fallon and his crew sail straight into the waters of American politics and British appeasement of a vile ruler. Stories of Bahamian pirates, French frigates on the attack during a snow squall and a captain’s escape from prison are among the sea stories found inside. ($19, Mcbooks Press)

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