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A New York Times Bestseller
A Forbes Top 10 Conservation and Environment Book of 2016
Read the sea like a Viking and interpret ponds like a Polynesian—with a little help from expert navigator Tristan Gooley, New York Times-bestselling author of The Secret World of Weather and The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs
In his eye-opening books The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs and The Natural Navigator, Tristan Gooley helped readers reconnect with nature by finding direction from the trees, stars, clouds, and more. Now, he turns his attention to our most abundant—yet perhaps least understood—resource.
Distilled from his far-flung adventures—sailing solo across the Atlantic, navigating with Omani tribespeople, canoeing in Borneo, and walking in his own backyard—Gooley shares hundreds of techniques in How to Read Water. Readers will:
- Find north using puddles
- Forecast the weather from waves
- Decode the colors of ponds
- Spot dangerous water in the dark
- Decipher wave patterns on beaches, and more!
About the Author
New York Times–bestselling author Tristan Gooley has led expeditions on five continents, climbed mountains in three, and is the only living person to have both flown and sailed solo across the Atlantic. His more than two decades of pioneering outdoor experience include research among tribal peoples in some of the remotest regions on Earth.
“Mr. Gooley misses little in his paean to Earth’s most abundant resource. . . . He starts small, at a mud puddle watching ripples fan out from a pebble drop, and ends big, in the frigid reaches of the Arctic Sea. Along the way he asks and answers many questions. If you like water, as I do, you will learn a lot.”—The Wall Street Journal
“[Gooley’s] detailed observations are breathtaking as he patiently explains how to see. Jam-packed with information, birders, naturalists, hikers, hunters, and anyone interested in the natural world will find much of use.”—Forbes
“Gooley is your man. . . . With unflappable practicality, he shares simple ways to understand your surroundings, whether you’re beside a stream or on the open sea at night, without instruments.”—Discover
“Even if you don’t live near a lake, river or ocean, this fascinating book teaches you how to read water patterns in rain puddles and any other place water gathers.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“With the help of this book, and with careful attention and observation, anyone can learn how to interpret the messages water offers to aid in everything from navigation to weather forecasting. A riveting and highly accessible book that will appeal to water enthusiasts and nature lovers of all kinds.”—Library Journal
“Avid and budding outdoorspeople will appreciate Gooley’s breadth of knowledge and accessible approach.”—Publishers Weekly
A Sunday Times “Must Read” book
“This inspired guide to water in all its forms will make a big splash. . . . Gooley has done his subject proud—this is seriously fascinating stuff.”—Times
“This study of the behavior of rivers, lakes, and seas brims over with astonishing facts. . . . His observational skills can be breathtaking. . . . Gooley's infectious delight in knowledge translates into a gleeful hoarding of words . . . . The joy of these words and phenomena is that they make you yearn to observe them in the real world. . . . Gooley even manages to explain tides coherently and excitingly in just 14 pages, which is quite some feat, given that they are a lot more complicated than being a mere effect of the moon's gravity.”—Sunday Times
“The quirks and habits and secrets of good old H2O were crying out to have a book written about them. That said, it had to be written by the right person. . . . Fortunately, the job went to Tristan Gooley. . . . His tales recount wisdom gathered on the ground (literally), often by trial and error, and his joy at discovering something almost makes you feel you did the work yourself. . . . The book doesn't just cover the rural sections of the waterfront: urban dwellers get a look-in too.”—Spectator
“Quite apart from being well written and an enjoyable read, there is plenty in the book that is revelatory.”—The Royal Institute of Navigation
“He writes with passion, humor, and clarity, and engages so deeply with the tributaries of inquiry that reading it feels as exhilarating as being towed by a dolphin. . . . There's so much here that I can't do it justice; chapters on water at night; currents and tides; reading waves; the coast. This is an absolute gem of a book. A must-have for anyone who loves the water.”—The Outdoor Swimming Society
“The goal of the author is to have his readers never look at water the same way after reading this book. He has certainly achieved his objective and I doubt I will now ever be able to walk past a lake or even a pond without checking for surface patterns.”—thebookbag.co.uk
“Gooley, who has single-handedly been reviving natural navigation in this age of GPS, has the birdwatching skills of Bill Oddie and the deductive powers of Sherlock Holmes. He can make you feel that you've spent half your life walking about with your eyes only half-open. He does it again with this fascinating guide to watching and interpreting water, everywhere from the garden pond to the Pacific.”—Telegraph
“This book is a treasure is in its un-ironic display of joyful curiosity, and its serious pursuit of this curiosity to knowledge that is a pleasure in itself.”—Washington Free Beacon
2016 Foreword INDIES Bronze Winner