Book review: Finding North by George Michelsen Foy


Reading books is something I love to do, Science Fiction, Thrillers, Fantasy, Biographies, Popular Science, everything that seems interesting to me. I read a lot while traveling, when on board and at home.
And the above pictured book: Finding North by Georg Michelsen Foy definitely seemed to float my boat (pun intended ;-D ): informative, well written, human elements and, last but not least: about navigation.

(Full disclosure: I was asked if I was interested in reviewing the book by the publisher so I received a free electronic copy of the book to do so.)

And when I finished I wasn’t disappointed…not at all. On the contrary.
The writer who comes from a seafaring family and has some nautical experience himself  as well runs through the history of navigation while at the same time describing himself navigating the always difficult process of dealing with the loss of a loved one. And he does so admiringly but, when I say “run through through the history” I do actually mean so. The history of navigation is long & elaborate and goes off in many ways, the author does touch on that and highlights some parts of that history but for me, this book left me wanting more in that aspect.

Still: I’ve learned things from this book that I didn’t know before and at the same time the book touches upon things that worry me as a professional seafarer: the loss of navigational awareness among people. Not only on land but also at sea, and what I didn’t realize: the effects this seem to have on our brains.

I enjoyed the way the author tries to find out what happened in the last day of his grand fathers life and to recreate for himself the way ships were navigated in those (& other) times, the struggle he has with astro-navigation I know well and I admire him for not giving up and going the easy (GPS-led) way.

All in all I spend an enjoyable time reading the book, learned stuff about a few subjects, recognized other things (sometimes too well) but was left wanting more on other aspects. I do feel that a little bit more in depth information here & there would have made the book more interesting for me personally.

I recommend this book to anybody having a bit of interest in navigation, amateurs or professionals; it takes you to places you didn’t expect and at the same time makes you recognize other subjects. And all done in a colorfull and well phrased language. Well done!

While you go look for this book in your favorite online shopping centre I’m off to see what other books the author has written.