Sunday, June 17, 2007

Whittling down the beach reading list

So, after yesterday's post, some socks enquired about what literary masterpieces share the honor of inclusion on my summer "must-read" list.

I must warn you, the qualifier "must-read" simply means these titles are piled-up next to my bed (in no particular order):

1. Empire of Blue Water: Captain Morgan's Great Pirate Army, the Epic Battle for the Americas, and the Catastrophe that Ended the Outlaws' Bloody Reign, by Stephan Talty. (ISBN 978-0-307-23660-9) Obviously, the protagonist named in the title was the reason I selected this one. And, I'm actually on Chapter 9. So, this one is well on its way OFF the list . . .

2. Jonathan Dickinson's Journal: A True Story of Shipwreck and Torture on the Florida Coast in 1696, edited by Evangeline Walker Andrews and Charles McLean Andrews. (ISBN 0-912451-00-9) This guy from Philadelphia gets shipwrecked near what is now Jupiter, Florida, and has to literally walk hundreds of miles thru hostile Indian lands to "civilization" in Charles Town. (That's what they called Charleston back in 1696, Alice!)

3. James Monroe, by Gary Hart. (ISBN 0-8050-6960-7) I guess the former senator from Colorado decided, if he couldn't be President himself, he'd at least write a biography about one of them . . .

4. The Bounty of Central Florida, by Valerie Hart. (ISBN 0-9748676-0-8) Cook books don't generally make my list. But, beyond the obvious local connection, I love the fact that at least one-third of the recipes in this one seem to include intoxicating spirits as primary ingredients. A good way to beat the summertime heat, no?!

5. Happy Days are Here Again: The 1932 Democratic Convention, the Emergence of FDR--and How America was Changed Forever, by Steve Neal. (ISBN 978-0-06-001377-6) Should be interesting to compare and contrast how the Dems used to select the top of their tickets versus 75 years later.

6. Beyond the Theme Parks: Exploring Central Florida, by Benjamin D. Brotemarkle. (ISBN 0-8130-1657-6) Couldn't resist buying an autographed copy I found at Wolf's Head Books in "uptown" St. Augustine recently. Thanks, Harvey!

7. Wekiva Winter, by Fredric M. Hitt. (ISBN 1-58939-759-2) Another autographed copy, though this one was purchased from Yvette Comeau at Maya Books at my signing on Thursday. (Can't just make money, gotta spend it, too!!)

8. Christmas in Florida, by Kevin M. McCarthy. (ISBN 1-56164-208-8) Sadly, it may indeed be Christmastime before I make it this far into my pile. But, who knows, right?!

Anyway, if any of you out there in the blogosphere have suggestions for inclusion on this list, let me hear them!

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