Monday, April 25, 2011

May Pick Revised

Synopsis: Nat, an eighteenth-century nautical wonder and mathematical wizard. Nathaniel Bowditch grew up in a sailor's world - Salem in the early days, when tall-masted ships from foreign ports crowded the wharves. But Nat didn't promise to have the makings of a sailor; he was too physically small. Nat may have been slight of build, but no one guessed that he had the persistence and determination to master sea navigation in the days when men sailed only by "log, lead, and lookout." Nat's long hours of study and observation, collected in his famous work, The American Practical Navigator (also know as the "Sailors' Bible'), stunned the sailing community and made him a New England hero.


Susan said...

haha figured it out...kinda! I loved this book. I have read it many times and have read it to my kids. Timeless and easy read.

Candy said...

I liked the book; it was interesting to learn about Bowditch’s life.
I have to say, though, he didn't seem like a very pleasant person sometimes—every other time he spoke he was shouting, yelling, or snapping. A temperamental genius, I suppose.
At first I thought a sealing ship had something to do with wax. But no, apparently "you round up the young bulls--drive them off to the killing grounds and bang them over the head. And that is that." "And there's not the risk that there is in whaling." Ah, the good old days. :)
One of my favorite parts: "Watson in the larboard chains sang out, 'By the deep ten.' From the starboard chains Kedzie yelled, 'And a quarter less four!' . . . Somewhere in the mist Corey gasped, ‘It’s shoaling’” (244)! That is to say, sometimes I had no idea what was going on!
Nevertheless, I did like the book.
I do have one question, though: it seemed like his first wife was all set to marry someone else, but then, after Nat kisses her, she’s all about him. Did I miss something? If not, he must be one heck of a kisser!

Lauri said...

I enjoyed this book and when I got to about page 100 realized I had read it before. I figured if I couldn't remember it until then I should just go ahead and finish it.
I thought it was easy and fast to read and I learned or relearned some things about sailing.
It made me glad I was not married to a sailor or living in that time. I didn't feel my time was wasted reading this book. It left me wanting to learn something new.

Quote p.110
"Your brain - it's too fast. So you stumble on other people's dumbness - like a chair in the dark. And you want to kick something."

Anonymous said...

Interesting story. I liked it and I liked learning about sailing. I also enjoyed how Nat took things seriously about making sure the navigation charts were correct. There were some things that I didn't follow such as some of the sailing terminology, but overall an enjoyable book.

Fav Quote:

"You mathematician! I wish you could at least pay a compliment without arithmetic!" pg. 70

Annell said...

I remember this being my sisters favorite book when we were kids, but somehow I had never read it! I really enjoyed reading this book. I learned many new things and I liked the characters. I think my favorite part of it all was that on the voyages, Nat would educate the men on the ship, giving them opportunities that no one else would.

Favorite Quotes:
"I made up a sort of saying for myself, Nat. I will lift up my eyes unto the stars. Sometimes if you look at the stars long enough, it helps. It shrinks your day by day troubles down to size." pgs. 33