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Reading the Glass

On sale

2nd January 2024

Price: £12.99

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781529369373

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Brimming with knowledge and experience . . . delightful’

‘A fabulous compendium of terror and disaster, expertise and courage’
ADAM NICOLSON, author of The Seabird’s Cry

‘Evokes panoramas of sea and land with confident flair’

What’s in a cloud? What separates a tropical storm from a winter blizzard? And what exactly is El Niño? Elliot Rappaport, a captain of traditional sailing ships, has spent three decades at sea, where understanding weather is the difference between life and death.

From the icy seas of Greenland to the turbulent waters of the Strait of Gibraltar, from the powerful squalls near the equator to the ancient Polynesian explorers who ventured eastward against trade winds, Reading the Glass combines science and memoir to reveal the remarkable story of how weather has shaped our oceans, our history and ourselves.

‘An extraordinary book by a modern-day Melville . . . I can’t recommend this book highly enough’
MARK VANHOENACKER, author of Skyfaring

‘A gripping account of what weather is, how it feels to be in the middle of it, and what we can expect going forward!’
BILL MCKIBBEN, author of The End of Nature


Mark Vanhoenacker, author of SKYFARING
An extraordinary book by a modern-day Melville whose deep knowledge, boundless curiosity and endearingly wry humour make him the perfect guide to the world beyond our shores. Elliot Rappaport has completely transformed my awareness of the vast reaches of water that dominate our planet's surface, and of the debt we all owe to our ancestors who made a science and an art out of crossing them. I can't recommend this book highly enough
Bill McKibben, author of THE END OF NATURE
We live on a planet - easy to forget in your secure suburban home, but not out on the open sea. The author provides a gripping account of what weather is, how it feels to be in the middle of it, and what we can expect going forward!
Daniel Stone, author of THE FOOD EXPLORER
Part Bill Nye, part Captain Cook, Elliot Rappaport leads an around-the-world adventure filled with eye-popping insights from the deepest depths to the high atmosphere. For those of us too chicken to cross thousands of miles on ships, Rappaport's action-packed logbook is full of history, wisdom, and hilarious stories from life on the open seas
Mark Knoblauch, Booklist
Veteran captain Elliot Rappaport knows firsthand how winds, storms, and currents affect boats, from the smallest dinghies to great ocean liners. Here, he uses his considerable literary gifts to turn meteorology into a living science . . . While sailors will relate at once to Rappaport's prose, this book is a must-read even for landlubbers
Rappaport, who has been a sea captain since 1992 and teaches at the Maine Maritime Academy, makes his book debut with vibrant accounts of sailing around the world. Central to his spirited, informative narrative is weather . . . Fascinating journeys with an expert guide
Adam Nicolson, author of LIFE BETWEEN THE TIDES
I loved this book. What a fabulous compendium it is of terror and disaster, expertise and courage, by a man who knows with true intimacy what he calls "the vast planetary engine" of the weather. Chapter after chapter is filled with a vivid sense of being out at sea in storm and calm and every page has his decades of lived life embedded in it, years and years of looking, responding, making the good and necessary decisions. It feels written, in other words, by a man you would be more than happy to go to sea with
Relatable, reflective, and humorous . . . descriptive and insightful, it is perfect for those who love the sea, and wish to know more about the adventures of those who sail upon it . . . a genuinely immersive read
Tristan Gooley, Daily Telegraph
Each chapter is brimming with knowledge and experience. Rappaport can really write - and he's done his research too . . . Some of the most delightful passages have little to do with the sea or weather. They come when we get a real sense of what it's like to lead a crew at sea, and, equally interestingly, when moored up . . . Reading the Glass will be a must-have for serious weather-watchers or sailors with aspirations.
Wall Street Journal
Evokes panoramas of sea and land with confident flair