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Summer Reading

Do you enjoy true and sharky tales of survival at sea? check out these highly rated classics!

Devil’s Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America’s Great White Sharks

By Susan Casey

Journalist Susan Casey was in her living room when she first saw the great white sharks of the Farallon Islands, their dark fins swirling around a small motorboat in a documentary. In a matter of months, Casey was being hoisted out of the early-winter swells on a crane, up a cliff face to the barren surface of Southeast Farallon Island-dubbed by sailors in the 1850s the “devil’s teeth.” There she joined Scot Anderson and Peter Pyle, two biologists who bunk down during shark season each fall in the island’s one habitable building. Two days later, she got her first glimpse of the famous, terrifying jaws up close and she was instantly hooked; her fascination soon yielded to obsession-and an invitation to return for a full season. But as Casey readied herself for the eight-week stint, she had no way of preparing for what she would find among the dangerous, forgotten islands that have banished every campaign for civilization in the past two hundred years.

Twelve Days of Terror: Inside the Shocking 1916 New Jersey Shark Attacks

by Richard G. Fernicola M.D.

In July 1916, a time when World War I loomed over America and New York City was in the midst of a deadly polio epidemic, the tri-state area sought relief at the Jersey shore. The Atlantic’s refreshing waters proved to be utterly inhospitable, however. In just twelve days, four swimmers were violently and fatally mauled in separate shark attacks, and a fifth swimmer escaped an attack within inches of his life. In this thoroughly researched account, Dr. Richard Fernicola, the leading expert on the attacks, presents a riveting portrait, investigation, and scientific analysis of the terrifying days against the colorful backdrop of America in 1916. The wave of attacks is said to have been the inspiration for Peter Benchley’s JAWS. Volume 28 • Issue 2 23

Untamed Seas: One Woman’s True Story of Shipwreck and Survival

by Deborah Scaling Kiley

One late autumn day in 1982, the fifty-eight-foot yacht TRASHMAN set sail on a routine trip from Annapolis to Florida, with Deborah Scaling and four others aboard. When the boat sailed into a seventy-knot gale, it went down quickly, leaving the crew adrift in the Atlantic in a rubber dinghy that was quickly surrounded by sharks. Five harrowing days and nights later, when a Russian freighter finally came to their rescue, only two crew members remained. Powerful, adrenaline-charged, utterly consuming, Untamed Seas is a brave, unforgettable story that plunges to the depths of the human psyche and surfaces with the strength to survive.

Adrift: Seventy-six Days Lost at Sea

by Steven Callahan

Steven Callahan shares his dramatic tale of survival at sea in this undeniable seafaring classic. His engrossing firsthand account reveals how he survived more than a month alone at sea, fighting for his life in an inflatable raft after his small sloop capsized only six days out. Racked by hunger, buffeted by storms, scorched by the tropical sun, Callahan drifted for 1,800 miles, fighting off sharks with a makeshift spear and watching as nine ships passed him by. A must-read for any adventure lover.

66 Days Adrift: A True Story of Disaster and Survival on the Open Sea

by William Butler

The lure of paradise was unmistakable, and Bill Butler was on a quest to find it with his wife Simonne―riding the Pacific currents on their sloop Siboney, with a world of possibilities ahead. But, twelve hundred miles from land, the alluring ocean showed its deadly side when, without warning, a pod of pilot whales attacked their sailboat, battering it until it sank beneath the waves. In this powerful account of their 66-day odyssey, Butler tells a gritty, harrowing tale of their battles against nature, despair, and their own demons. He reveals how he and Simonne found the strength to survive despite the ravages of hunger, storms, and sharks. Based on Butler’s faithful log entries, 66 Days Adrift is both a chilling cautionary tale for sailors with big ideas and an inspiring story of love, faith, and survival against long odds.

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