30-Day Book Meme #1: The Wave

The Wave

The 30-day book meme asked me to talk about the best book I read last year. I don’t really rank my books in “best ever/worst ever” categories. I either didn’t like something, liked it, or loved it enough to read again. One of the books that fit the latter category, was The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean, by Susan Casey (review here).

This book alternates chapters, speaking with scientists and then surfers about finding the world’s biggest waves, predicting ocean waves and currents, surviving rogue waves, and even seeing waves from space – no really.

It’s a great book to go back to in weeks like this one, when it’s predicted to reach 109 today, and I’m really missing the ocean, but I’d recommend it to anyone who likes the science behind sailing and surfing, and why waves may be getting bigger and more dangerous.

Was it really the best book I read in 2010? Maybe, maybe not. It did, however, inspire me to download a surf report app for my iPhone.

Sunday Salon: Shark Infested Waters?

The Sunday Salon.com

I have a “thing” for sharks, so when the weather stayed in the triple-digits for yet another week, I was already thinking about rereading The Devil’s Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America’s Great White Sharks by Susan Casey.

On Saturday, I came inside from swimming feeling too hot, strangely exhausted, and dehydrated to the point that my skin felt like chalk. I drank a bottle of water, and went to bed, sleeping away the late afternoon and early evening. When I got up, I grabbed Devil’s Teeth from my studio shelves, and took it with me into a warm bath laced with pleasantly fragrant moisturizers, and sipped more water while I soaked and read.

After my bath, I took the book with me to bed, losing myself in this story of a woman who, like me, is obsessed with the elegance and power of great white sharks – to the point where she was willing to spend several days on an island, and later on a sailboat, where not only was the water not flowing from a Grohe faucet, but on some days, not flowing at all – and certainly never hot!

The first time I read this book, two years ago, it was in March, and the weather was much cooler. Reading it in the heat of summer, I felt myself imagining waves rocking me to sleep, about spending a day surrounded by fog and water, and about being close enough to see white sharks swimming in the wild.

I’ve always loved the sea – it’s in my blood, and my heart – and I’ve liked sharks for years, but rereading this not only kept me sane all weekend, but also cemented my desire to cage dive with great whites…someday.