Friday, September 24, 2010

Anxious To Read: "The Wave" by Susan Casey

My copy came in the mail yesterday. I knew what was in the Amazon box, but still ripped it open with the same sort of enthusiasm and anticipation as when I got a G.I. Joe army base all those Christmas' ago. While reading her first book, "The Devil's Teeth," I found out somewhere that the author, Susan Casey (right), was in the process of finishing up another book. "The Devil's Teeth" was about sharks, the new book was about waves. I got the feeling she was writing books with my personal interests in mind.

Casey, an award-winning journalist and author, has a knack for picking interesting subjects and finding the characters and stories to make them even more interesting. In TDT, her subjects (the scientists and what they study) are fascinating. Instead of circling the globe talking to a range of scientists and going on dives, she found what sounded like one of the most bleak and nightmare-worthy places in the world, the Farallon Islands. Located just 25 miles off the coast of San Francisco, the island was the laboratory to a few fortunate (or unfortunate) scientists, along with hundreds of dive-bombing, cannibalistic birds, massive elephant seals and a fantastic surf break that frequently tempted one of the scientists. The primary reason, though, that the island had any human interested in spending months at a time on it was for what was found in the surrounding deep blue waters: one of the strongest, fastest and most terrifying predators on the plant – great white sharks. On top of what makes them so intimidating, they're also a species that is not well understood. Hence, the scientists risking their lives and riding their little dingy boat out to the plumes of seal blood. And Casey tagging along.

"The Wave" talks about the presence of 100-foot rogue waves at various spots in the ocean that devour men and supertankers. It also talks about the men who try to harness this power by riding them on surfboards. She talked to Laird Hamilton, of course. Just read the synopsis. Even if you aren't a surfer or ocean-lover, the book must intrigue.

It had been some time between finding books I couldn't put down. But "The Devil's Teeth" was another of those books. Both intriguing and educational. Well-researched and well-written. And reason why I think "The Wave" is going to be just as good, if not better.

Both images stolen from somewhere on the web. Apologies.

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