Books

Books I'd recommend to my friends

shadow-diversShadow Divers, by Robert Kurson

When Robert Kurson first offered to write about the New Jersey U-boat wreck John Chatterton and I identified, I thought he would write about the subject as I saw it; the true story of divers trying to solve a 60 year old enigma, an unknown Nazi U-boat lost with her entire crew. The second component of the story to me was the advent of technical diving, the amped on steroids big brother to what most people know as scuba diving.  The truth is Shadow Divers is not the book I thought Kurson would write. I never expected him to probe so deeply into, and detail so much about our lives.  Kurson is an incessant researcher, and it is disconcerting to have such personal details, dare I say secrets, out there for the world to see. But, he was correct in figuring out how to tell the story, and as despite my discomfort at this level of exposure, he wrote a book that went on to be a bestseller and one I am proud to be a part of.

titanic-last-secretsTitanic’s Last Secrets, by Brad Matsen

In 1969, I sat mesmerized in front of a flickering black and white television watching as Niel Armstrong took those first steps on the moon. Like nearly every other kid of that era, I wanted to be an astronaut and the seed of exploration took root in my soul. Although space travel would not figure in on my resume, I did find my way to being an explorer, as a diver in the depths of the sea. Fast track to 2005 and I find myself descending an aluminum ladder into a different kind of spacecraft, just as technically advanced, and every bit as dangerous as spaceflight. For a brief moment, I was transported back 36 years and smiled at the parallels. Brad Matsen chronicles not only the events leading up to the 2005 expedition to Titanic and our discoveries, but brought to life the major players in the conception and construction of ”the ship of dreams”. Matsen was with us as the investigation led us to dive the wreck of Titanic’s sister ship, the HMHS Britannic, and perfectly chronicled the essence of a technical dive expedition to what I consider to be the real Mount Everest of shipwreck dives.

diving-with-legendsDiving with Legends, by Peter McClean Millar

Millar originally intended “Diving with Legends” to be just a single chapter in a book he was writing.  It was about the DOXA watch company, and how that unique timepiece has contributed to the advancement of diving for the past forty years.  But, as he collected more and more first person stories from the divers who had worn them, he realized this one chapter grew into a book of its own.  Backed by the DOXA watch company, Peter published a nicely bound large format coffee table book, richly illustrated with photographs and sketches on nearly every page. Peter collected twenty-four stories written by some of the foremost underwater explorers of our time. Divers like George Bass, Zale Perry, Stan Waterman, James Delgado and Jarrod Jablonski each detail adventures and insights into the diverse world of scuba diving and underwater exploration. This book is a must read for anyone who loves diving.

basics-of-rebreather-divingThe Basics of Rebreather Diving, by Jill Heinerth

Anyone interested in diving rebreathers will want to read this book. Well written and lavishly illustrated with photos, diagrams, and tables, Jill covers every aspect of what can be a complex subject in an easy to understand format. Covering many of the currently available models of rebreathers on the market, Jill explains the pros and cons of each type in a non-partisan way.  For those who are trying to figure out if a rebreather is right for them, Jill answers many of the most common questions. For those of you already diving with a rebreather, this book is a must for your technical diving toolbox.

reclaiming-historyReclaiming History, by Vincent Buliosi

If you are one of the many folks who believe that the assassination of President John F Kennedy was a conspiracy by the (pick one or feel free to combine): US Government/CIA/Fidel Castro/ Italian Mafia/space aliens, and if you believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was an innocent man set up by the CIA, and Jack Ruby was part of this will orchestrated plan to change the course of history, then you must read this book. I will say I had my doubts about it all at first. After reading this very large tome, (which reads like a novel), I have no doubts whatsoever that the Warren Commission reached the tragic and even more frightening conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone, killed the most powerful man in the world. Doubt me? Then read the book. Or you can peruse the 888 page Warren Commission report and then get back to me! 

i-like-divingI Like Diving by Tom Eadie

Tom Eadie is a legend amongst US Navy salvage divers. While tasked with raising the sunken US submarine S-4, his perseverance to rescue a fellow diver who had become hopelessly entangled, earned him a Medal Of Honor during “peacetime”! Tom Eadie and the other hard hat divers of his generation were pushing the limits of diving and salvage with turn of the century equipment and a limited understanding of diving physics. These men literally helped write the books about deep diving and salvage. A must read for wreck divers!

barnetteEncyclopedia of Florida Shipwrecks, Volume 1, Atlantic Coast by Michael Barnette

When I grow_fluid up, I want to be like Mike. A tireless researcher and unflappable technical diver, Barnette is one of those guys who is wet more often than dry. His passion for diving has him exploring the Florida caves when the wind blows, but his first true love and passion in diving has always been shipwrecks. Like me, Barnette loves the stories behind the wrecks. Whether it’s the passion and pathos of a ship and her crew fighting to stay afloat or the pedigree of a long serving vessel whose time has come to serve now as an artificial reef, Barnette is interested. Each shipwreck has a story to tell, and Barnette tells them wonderfully in an alphabetical listing of 1,300 shipwrecks along the east coast of Florida. Packed with photographs, this book includes many wreck coordinates that are a must-have for fishermen and divers alike.

wolfpackWolfpack, U-boats at War 1939-1945 by Philp Kaplan and Jack Currie

I have 234 books concerning all aspects of U-boat operations in both World Wars.  Yes, I counted them.  I would be hard pressed to pick one as my favorite.  Das Boot, by Lothar Buchheim is fantastic (and if you liked the film, you must read the book), as well as his pictorial book U-boat War.  Operation Drumbeat by Michael Gannon provides fantastic insight into not only the day-to-day life aboard a Type IX, but a blow-by-blow into the opening German offensive against the East coast of the United States.  That being said, if I had to recommend just one book for someone to get a good overview of the Battle of the Atlantic, it would be Wolfpack by Philip Kaplan and Jack Currie.  Wonderfully illustrated with historical and modern-day photographs, this large format book touches on everything in such as way that satisfies, yet leaves you hungry for more. 

The Unseen Britannic9780752497716[1] by Simon Mills

Simon Mills latest book dispels many of the myths associated with Titanic's lesser known sister and provides a detailed look at the last of the Olympic class liners. Packed with diagrams, historical and underwater photographs, Mills brings the reader on a well paced look at this Olympians pedigree, construction, baptism into war and on to her ultimate tragic fate. Due to its depth, remote location and difficulty navigating the bureaucracy to access her, I think Britannic is a Mount Everest for shipwreck divers, and is one of my favorite shipwrecks to explore.

georginas-grief-200

Georgina's Grief  by Charlie Hudson

Fans of Charlie Hudson's scuba-themed novels will find more adventure and some touching moments as underwater investigator Chris Green helps unravel a mystery composed of far more layers than most people realize. SIf you haven't read Charlie Hudson yet, log onto her web site at www.charliehudson.net to see her other fiction and non-fiction.

rebreather why notRebreather: Why Not?  by Francesco D'Aquino, Luca Luarini and Fabio Perozzi

a new book about the most appreciated (and yet controversial) technical diving equipment today, the rebreather. The book is beautiful, Italians do everything with style! Printed on heavy gloss paper this book is thick with stunning photography of shipwrecks and caves, by some of the best international technical underwater photographers around. If your looking at rebreather options or just appreciate learning more about technical diving with fantastic underwater photography than this is for you!

Fiction Authors /books I Like:

Michael Crichton: Andromeda Strain, Sphere, Congo

Alistair Maclean: HMS Ulysses, Where Eagles Dare

Ken Follet:  Eye of the Needle, Key to Rebecca

Robert Kirkman: The Walking Dead, compendiums of graphic novels and 3 novels