A practical, accessible, and fun guide to planning the sailing adventure of a lifetime.


QuickStart Circumnavigation Guide


A debut book provides a practical sailing guide to world circumnavigation.

This is the volume that the authors wished they had before setting off on their around-the-world sailing adventure. It is, in essence, a way of inspiring and preparing other sailors to make a journey that many would consider overly daunting. The approach is positive from the outset, so much so that exclamation points litter the text: “Natural beauty is everywhere!” “Wildlife is outstanding!” “The Adventure of a Lifetime!” This is a motivational piece of writing that oozes enthusiasm throughout. But it also wastes no time in tackling the realities of an around-the-world trip in comparison to that of a “day sail on the bay”: rougher conditions, longer passages, and forays at night and farther from shore, among other new challenges. The opening eight pages offer a useful to-do list that covers selecting a route; honing certain skills, such as anchoring technique and electronic seamanship; organizing food and provisioning; and deciding whether to join a cruising rally. This is solid, avuncular advice, set out in a clear, accessible manner. The guide then offers a breakdown of the major ports of call, including detailed maps and color photography. The authors capture a vivid sense of each location with sections on shoreside services, things to do, expected conditions, and valuable nuggets of information that could prove lifesaving, such as “Beware of the risk of saltwater crocodiles (‘sal-ties’), which frequently attack and kill people swimming within their territory. Heed the warnings, and don’t swim in near-shore waters.” The remainder of the guide provides an itinerary sample and discusses choosing a route, navigating by Google Maps, understanding the dangers of piracy, and setting crew expectations. It finishes with suggested cruising guides and charts. The authors employ a buoyant and friendly writing style, often bordering on folksy: “As you can see, the enormous variety of experiences, the breathtaking vistas, and the wonder of wildlife keep us cruising.” This, however, does not mean that the prose should not be taken seriously, as it remains characterful, comprehensive, and professional. Holding the power to excite and inform, this densely packed and colorful book should prove inspirational for anyone with an interest in sailing and world travel.

A practical, accessible, and fun guide to planning the sailing adventure of a lifetime.  

Pub Date: May 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5304-9197-1

Page Count: 172

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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One of the NBA’s 50 greatest players scores another basket—a deeply personal one.


A basketball legend reflects on his life in the game and a life lived in the “nightmare of endlessly repetitive and constant pain, agony, and guilt.”

Walton (Nothing but Net, 1994, etc.) begins this memoir on the floor—literally: “I have been living on the floor for most of the last two and a half years, unable to move.” In 2008, he suffered a catastrophic spinal collapse. “My spine will no longer hold me,” he writes. Thirty-seven orthopedic injuries, stemming from the fact that he had malformed feet, led to an endless string of stress fractures. As he notes, Walton is “the most injured athlete in the history of sports.” Over the years, he had ground his lower extremities “down to dust.” Walton’s memoir is two interwoven stories. The first is about his lifelong love of basketball, the second, his lifelong battle with injuries and pain. He had his first operation when he was 14, for a knee hurt in a basketball game. As he chronicles his distinguished career in the game, from high school to college to the NBA, he punctuates that story with a parallel one that chronicles at each juncture the injuries he suffered and overcame until he could no longer play, eventually turning to a successful broadcasting career (which helped his stuttering problem). Thanks to successful experimental spinal fusion surgery, he’s now pain-free. And then there’s the music he loves, especially the Grateful Dead’s; it accompanies both stories like a soundtrack playing off in the distance. Walton tends to get long-winded at times, but that won’t be news to anyone who watches his broadcasts, and those who have been afflicted with lifelong injuries will find the book uplifting and inspirational. Basketball fans will relish Walton’s acumen and insights into the game as well as his stories about players, coaches (especially John Wooden), and games, all told in Walton’s fervent, witty style.

One of the NBA’s 50 greatest players scores another basket—a deeply personal one.

Pub Date: March 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4767-1686-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 19, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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Effectively sobering. Suffice it to say that Pop Warner parents will want to armor their kids from head to toe upon reading...


A maddening, well-constructed tale of medical discovery and corporate coverup, set in morgues, laboratories, courtrooms, and football fields.

Nigeria-born Bennet Omalu is perhaps an unlikely hero, a medical doctor board-certified in four areas of pathology, “anatomic, clinical, forensic, and neuropathology,” and a well-rounded specialist in death. When his boss, celebrity examiner Cyril Wecht (“in the autopsy business, Wecht was a rock star”), got into trouble for various specimens of publicity-hound overreach, Omalu was there to offer patient, stoical support. The student did not surpass the teacher in flashiness, but Omalu was a rock star all his own in studying the brain to determine a cause of death. Laskas’ (Creative Writing/Univ. of Pittsburgh; Hidden America, 2012, etc.) main topic is the horrific injuries wrought to the brains and bodies of football players on the field. Omalu’s study of the unfortunate brain of Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Webster, who died in 2002 at 50 of a supposed heart attack, brought new attention to the trauma of concussion. Laskas trades in sportwriter-ese, all staccato delivery full of tough guyisms and sports clichés: “He had played for fifteen seasons, a warrior’s warrior; he played in more games—two hundred twenty—than any other player in Steelers history. Undersized, tough, a big, burly white guy—a Pittsburgh kind of guy—the heart of the best team in history.” A little of that goes a long way, but Laskas, a Pittsburgher who first wrote of Omalu and his studies in a story in GQ, does sturdy work in keeping up with a grim story that the NFL most definitely did not want to see aired—not in Omalu’s professional publications in medical journals, nor, reportedly, on the big screen in the Will Smith vehicle based on this book.

Effectively sobering. Suffice it to say that Pop Warner parents will want to armor their kids from head to toe upon reading it.

Pub Date: Nov. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8129-8757-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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