Ultimately, this book is of most use to those who like collecting the junk that comes up on the beach. In fact, this book may be described as a love letter to those who collect and study the waste of our logistical routes and who care about the damage that we are doing to the oceans as a result of our carelessness in shipping. All of this is well and good, but the author spends too much time talking about her obsession with a rock, her visits to a therapist who seems bored to hear about her obsession with objects found on the beach, and making jokes about scaring guys away.
While all of these may be interesting to read for someone who already likes or appreciates the author, as someone who has no particular strong feelings for or against, I found the oversharing a bit off-putting and awkward. The author does a good job at explaining and keeping track of the difference between flotsam stuff that floats on the ocean , jetsam stuff that falls off or is thrown off of boats , and lagan stuff thrown off of boats that sinks to the bottom.
If you want a good exploration of sea junk and even space junk that becomes sea junk, this is a book that has some value even for those who are not won over by the author's approach. Mar 07, Grace rated it liked it. A quick, interesting read, but it lacks a good narrative. It's really a collection of unsourced anecdotes, many of them historical, of the various types of flotsam and jetsam found on beaches around the world. I found it confusing to follow at times, since each short paragraph was a different anecdote, without much reflection and the lack of sources was a disappointment.
The last quarter of the book was the most interesting, having to do with currents, gyres, and unfortunately, the enormous garb A quick, interesting read, but it lacks a good narrative. The last quarter of the book was the most interesting, having to do with currents, gyres, and unfortunately, the enormous garbage patches in our oceans. As an avid beachcomber and sea glass collector, I was disappointed that there was little to no mention of this hobby! There is a wonderful community of sea glass collectors out there and some truly amazing pieces and collections. I found the author's apparent distaste for sea glass amusing, since she evidently enjoys collecting bits of plastic on the beach.
Also amusing was her patronizing use of "beachcomber", preferring to call herself a "flotsamist". At the end of the day, whatever we call ourselves, we enjoy collecting what many think is junk off the beaches. I just found her insistent distinction between the two a little grating. It took me over a year to read this book.
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I read small sections so that I could absorb the information before moving on. The book focuses on flotsam and jetsam which then becomes a lesson in all things about the sea. I often read the book with my iphone handy so that I could look up definitions for words such as lagan and photos of species and other artifacts that were discussed such as ambergris. It was a very interesting book. My one critique though is that it needs a glossary and many, many p It took me over a year to read this book. My one critique though is that it needs a glossary and many, many photographs for those of us who have little to no knowledge of marine life and history.
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Dec 02, Kayrene Smither rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction , five-stars. If you love nature, the ocean and the beach, you'll probably really enjoy this book. If you're a hard core beachcomber, especially a flotsam beachcomber, you'll love this book. As I, loved it! Lots and lots of humor in this book; tales of laying in the wrackline of seaweed, to try a little beauty treatment just one of the many humorous and relatable stories in this work. Thank you, Skye Moody. I hope you are continuing to enjoy life and nature and the beach. I was sorry you were not able to join If you love nature, the ocean and the beach, you'll probably really enjoy this book.
I was sorry you were not able to join the SBS in Texas. Hope to meet you sometime. Mar 25, Clare rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction. I was fascinated by what I learned in this book. Skye Moody does a wonderful job of relating facts about flotsam, jetsam and lagan, along with poking fun at her own relentless search for something she threw back on the beach and later wished she hadn't.
She delves into such items as ambergris, messages in bottles, cargo lost at sea, scientists who use flotsam to map ocean currents and her own obsession with the stuff thrown onto the sand by the sea. Sep 06, Lesley rated it really liked it. I really enjoyed this book. Always quirky, at times it was very serious and sometimes just plain funny. I haven't lived near the ocean in 33 years and miss it terribly, but I never did much beach combing other than for shells.
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Now I desperately want to revisit Seattle and Cape Cod and go flotsam-ing. Like talking to a smart person who happens to be slightly drunk. Scary facts are woven in with silly anecdotes. The stories are fun and in some cases outrageous - I had to confirm the beach whistles with a friend who grew up in Jersey. The environmental impact is described, but from a casual observer's perspective, without the doom and gloom that you might expect. A fun read for someone who loves to walk the beaches wondering how these "treasures" got there.
Sep 23, Maggiebierbodge rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. Amusing journey through the worlds oceans and waterways as the detritus and evidence of human life gets strewn around the world. Launches you into a complete new understanding of the ocean, environmental issues, and man's inability to cope with natural disasters and those created by men themselves.
Jul 04, Anwen rated it it was amazing. An entertaining foray into the world of flotsamists as opposed to the more casual beachcomber. Chatty, informative and never dull, it introduces the reader to a bewildering array of flotsam, jetsam and lagan, and proves, once and for all, that beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder.
It also finally clears up the mystery of the floating stone. Jan 04, Michele Karmartsang rated it it was ok. This book got a lot of buzz, but it wasn't quite what I expected. I expected more pictures.
I actually expected a lot of pictures. It was a bit of a ramble, fun at times, a reasonably enjoyable book, but I'm not sure I get all the buzz. Maybe it's just local buzz, as it is a Pacific Northwest author. Dec 03, Birgit rated it it was ok. What a great idea! Shame the author was only able to line up the contents of her treasure trove like so many fact-lets. The book contains plenty of interesting, lovely, funny and curious detail but a better narrative would've made it a good read. Jul 09, Jason added it Shelves: social-science. About what washes up on shores, where it comes from, the journey it takes to get there, and the people that collect these flotsam as a hobby.
Not a genre I'd normally read and not a topic I'd ever really considered, but it was surprisingly interesting. Nov 22, Jeannie rated it it was ok Shelves: i-own. I enjoyed most of this book but it seemed to drag over long in spots. I found myself bored about half way through but the ending did pick up, all in all just an ok read.
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Jan 30, Sarah rated it liked it Shelves: out-and-about. I nearly abandoned this one as it felt so slow going at the start, but really liked it by the end. It turned in to more of the book I was expecting, I think. Jan 26, Victoria rated it it was amazing Shelves: library. Nice scary read about the crap that never dies.
Scary and sad. Jul 13, Todd Kruse rated it liked it. The Patch is not a big garbage dump, but rather, something more akin to soup, with pieces of garbage no larger than confetti — and in many cases, so small as to be accurately regarded as particulate matter — suspended in the water. Most believe that the Patch developed over the course of decades, slowly collecting in one central place.
How did it all get this junk get there?
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- The Great Pacific Garbage Patch;
The magnitude and direction of ocean currents move everything in their reach toward this one central location. This — and the sheer size of the Patch — make any efforts and remediation at least given our current technology futile.
Related Washed Up: The Curious Journeys of Flotsam and Jetsam
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