~ Reading ~

The ever-evolving Swell library…

Favorite Stories and Classics
The Long Way by Bernard Moitessier  …I LOVE this book! I particularly relate to Bernard’s inner evolution at sea. After nearly finishing the first Golden Globe Race, a solo, non-stop circumnavigation in the Southern ocean, Bernard decides to drop out of the race and civilized world and turn back for the South Pacific…
Paddling My Own Canoe by Audrey Sutherland  …Audrey is a true hero of mine–a pioneer female adventurer who never let fear or money stop her from enjoying the outdoors. This is the story of her solo summer swims/paddles along the rugged north coast of Molokai. I love you, Audrey!
The Practice of the Wild by Gary Snyder  …Gary poetically helps me understand our link to the way we lived before the modern era and this book had a profound impact on how I view our human connection to nature and Earth.

Fatu Hiva by Thor Heyerdahl …1930s–Thor’s fabulous and romantic first adventure with his wife, Liv, in their early twenties. As a part of his university studies, Thor and Liv decide to ‘return to nature’ and choose to leave Norway for an island called Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas to live out their trial of going back to a lifestyle without modern conveniences and routines.

We the Navigators by David Lewis  …Rather textbook-like and a bit western-minded, but a very interesting study–sadly some of the only published knowledge that exists–about the Polynesian navigators who sailed all over the Pacific using star-charts, wave forms, bird life and all sorts of amazing techniques that connected them closely to sea and spirit.

The Future of Life by Edward O. Wilson  …Wilson spells out the state of our environmental crises in terms everyone can understand. Although it’s now slightly outdated, I still think it’s a great book for awakening to the realities we face as humans on this Planet. READ IT!!

Following the Equator by Mark Twain  …Twain was so ahead of his time. In this story of his journey around the world by steamship, he uses his classic wit to criticize racism, missionary actions, and imperialism he witnesses as he goes.

Typee by Herman Melville …I adore Melville’s works, especially this one! In this true story, Melville deserts his crew position on a whaling ship on a stopover in the Marquesas Islands. He escapes into the lush valley and is eventually captured by the ‘Typee’ tribe–a notoriously fearsome people–and yet has quite and amazing experience living among them for many months!
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls  …If you think your childhood was hard, read this. Jeannette is a truly amazing writer and brings her memoir to life in an unforgettable, warm, and wonderful way. I couldn’t put it down.
My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir  …I wish I could have roamed the Sierras with Muir on this summer he describes in this book!! His loving descriptions of nature, his adventurous spirit, his simple pleasures and spontaneous ways…If only he were still alive, I’d propose!..:)
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran  …poetic in format, timeless wisdoms and truths that inspire me over and over when I pick it up.
Kon Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl  …Following Heyerdahl’s adventure on Fatu Hiva, wherein he gathers clues about the origin of Polynesians, he sets out to prove the possibility that Polynesians came from or at least had contact with South America. He was such a radical adventurer–he and his buddies build a balsa raft and float across the Pacific to prove the theory!!
Moby Dick by Herman Melville  …If you can get through some of the thick beginnings, this classic has every aspect of amazing literature and storytelling within.
Oceans, The Threats to Our Seas and What You Can Do to Turn the Tide edited by Jon Bowermaster  …A book of collected essays–includeing mine!–about how and why we need to save our oceans from further destruction.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho …This classic re-inspires me no matter how many times I pick it up. Could be classified below as well or taken more for the literal story…
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway  …I’m a sucker for the classics…especially ocean classics and especially Hemingway.
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut  …And so it goes…
The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle  …Boyle is such a great writer. He uses this story to portray the oblivion and heartless attitude of Californians in regards to Mexican immigrants.
Bones of the Master by George Crane  …Great book. George gets adopted by an exiled Tibetan monk living in New England and while translating his poetry transforms his life and accompanies him on a journey to China to visit the bones of his deceased spiritual master.
Radical Simplicity by Dan Price  …Dan’s lifestyle is a tribute and embodiment to the joys that come from simple living!
Walden; or, Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau  …A green crusader’s staple and one of our first American environmentalists.
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman  …Walt has a poem and insight for every day of the year!! He’s just great.
Fragrant Palm Leaves by Thich Nhat Hanh  …Renown for his Buddhist teachings, this book gives an autobiographical glimpse into his young life and the development of his ideals and struggles before being exiled from Vietnam in 1966.
Dan Eldon: Safari As a Way of Life by Jennifer New  …The visual travel journal to top all…Dan was a passionate spirit, died too young, but left behind his art journals from his wild life as an adventurer, activist, and crusader of benevolence.
The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks  …Rumi is radical, mysterious, and wise…and this collection of poems never leaves me less thoughtful.
Dove by Robin Lee Graham  …The book that started it all…I developed a rather large crush on Robin and began to envision my own sailing dream when I read this book when I was 9 years old. He sets off to sail around the world alone at 16 years old in 1965…I always wished that his lover, Patti, wrote her own version of the tale!!
Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum  …A must read for anyone considering solo sailing. Slocum was the first to circumnavigate solo, and has a humble humorous way of telling his story that I just love.


On the Path…Books for Awakening!! …These books have helped me transform my life by looking within for change rather than pointing fingers  and have led me to an extremely fulfilling, non-dogmatic spiritual life. I offer these suggestions with hope for happiness and inner peace for All!

The Four Agreements by don Ruiz Miguel  …Four very simple, yet incredibly powerful and life-changing Toltec wisdoms. The first book that helped me stop blaming others and deal with anger, pain, and frustration.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle  …The book that speaks to so many of us searching for a way to worry less, and enjoy more. Learning about ego and letting go of past and future, changed the way I looked at life, myself, and my reactions to every situation that arrives. All Eckhart’s books are fantastic if you’re feeling stuck or bummed out about where you are in your life.
The Power of Flow by Charlene Belitz and Meg Lundstrom  …This book speaks to the miraculous fact that when you are positive and in alignment with your truth and intuition, your life ‘flows’ easier and you attract what you need when you need it!

Jivamukti Yoga by Sharon Gannon and David Life  …since I don’t always get to go to classes, I need yoga books to keep my practice fresh. This one’s great.
Ashtanga Yoga by David Swenson  …I found this book at a used bookstore and it has turned into my favorite yoga book on board.

Awakening Loving-Kindness by Pema Chodron  …Pema is an American Buddhist nun. I adore her and cherish the wisdom she offers in any and all of her many books. This and the following are the those I’ve read so far…

Start Where You Are by Pema Chodron  …No one is too far gone to heal themselves. Pema lets us be exactly who we are as we learn to forgive, soften, open up, and restart again and again on our wild human ride…

The Places that Scare You by Pema Chodron  …So good!! Helps pinpoint and gives tips for working on the things that we deny, shy away from, fear, and resist in ourselves.

The Kindness of Others by Geshe Jampa Tegchok  …Shantideva helps us realize that all our true earthly happiness is rooted in our kindness and compassion towards others!!

Power vs Force by David Hawkins  …Hawkins has a lot figured out. I highly recommend this read.

Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan  …This book contains some seriously powerful truths. Whether you believe some, none, or all of this disputed story, the wisdoms Morgan learns on her walk across the Australian Outback with an Aborigine tribe  are undeniable and will find you re-evaluating the way we live.

Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch  …I can’t say whether it happened or didn’t, but the answers that Walsch transcribes here impacted my life PROFOUNDLY. If you’ve never been comfortable with the word ‘God’, this ‘conversation’ has a LOT to offer.








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  1. Ricardo

    Lizzy Hi!:

    Its great to check your new website I enjoyed so much your photos and dreamed about one day visiting you! I need to win the lottery!:)…also, I am quite tired of living at the city and all. At my age now 56 I feel like its time to get out again for a few years away from people and city dwelings…Anyway, hope someday we can meet in person or better share sometime at sea. And surf! of course…I just was dropping by to check your readings and suggest to read Naomi James book another classic sea adventure..Alone at Sea…I think its the name of book. Best whishes, big big hug, many kisses and my soul its always taking care of you. Bless you.

  2. GB


    I luv your whole gig and lifestyle, wish i could do it too. I think you’ll like these books.
    The Devils teeth & every book written by Kem Nunn

  3. Deborah J. Brasket

    I love what you’ve been doing and the way you write about it. Our family completed a 6-year circumnavigation back in the 90′s and I’ve only started blogging about–it still enriches me after all those years. As for books go, you might want to check out Peter Matthiessen’s Far Tortuga too.

  4. behan

    that is a spectacular reading list… love the titles I’m familiar with, will now look up the balance!

    loved meeting you…hope to see you again in the blue marble somewhere…we are off to png soon.

  5. Tim Derry

    Great list! Some of my favorites also. I got a chance to paddle with Audrey about 25 years ago, been in love with her ever since. Here are a couple of suggestions for you to try out;
    The Animal Dialogues- Craig Childs
    Sailing Home -Norman Fischer

  6. Charlie

    All are wonderful selections. Some I’ve read, I’ll read the ones I haven’t picked up yet.
    As far as fiction goes, l recommend the ‘Bloody Jack’ series; an account of the life and adventures of midshipman Mary ‘Jacky’ Faber. A great collection by L. A. Meyer for kids of all ages.

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