The mail finally came through! Yesterday when I opened my box I had two books, in almost mint condition, all for the cost of less than a dollar a piece from the Amazon Marketplace.
O'Brian's Desolation Island and The Fortune of War are now in my possession and waiting to be read. It almost presents something of a dilemma, since I'm already in the midst of The Count of Monte Cristo and Don Quixote.
The truth is that I'm a very impulsive reader. I do tend to get in a groove of reading certain kind of books and not want to get out of it. Right now I'm leaning more toward historical fiction with the occasional dabbling in science fiction. More specifically, I'm hooked on tales of the British Navy during the Napoleonic War era.
I discovered my interest in that world inside the covers of C.S. Forester's series about Horatio Hornblower and was able to follow it, more than a year later, in Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Marturin series. The idea of these ships, with only sails for power, carrying everything that they need and sailing halfway around the world to do battle is fascinating. I wouldn't ever have wanted to live that life, but it sure is interesting to read about.
I think it would be pretty awesome to have a sea worthy vessel of my own that I could take out on the ocean. In fact, I've always talked about having a yacht of my own one day and setting out on the high seas. My taste for adventure may have mellowed a bit as I grew up, but I could easily imagine taking my own ship across the Atlantic and visiting England and France on one very long and enjoyable vacation.
And that's one reason I enjoy the beach so much. I like the thought of standing at the water's edge and knowing I can make it almost anywhere in the world if I had a map and a boat. At the beach, you're standing in the same waters that Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the world in, where submarines wage their silent wars, where the Battle of the Atlantic was fought...There are countless stories out there and wonders that mankind has yet to discover.
It's enough to make me wish it was warm enough for a vacation.