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seriouslyreadabook

Seriously, Read a Book!

Thoughts on books, often interpreted through the high-brow prism of cartoon (read: Archer) references. Wait! I had something for this...

Currently reading

The Sketchnote Handbook: The Illustrated Guide to Visual Notetaking
Mike Rohde
The Antidote
Oliver Burkeman
The Kind Worth Killing
Peter Swanson
Data Points: Visualization That Means Something
Nathan Yau
James Buchanan
Jean H. Baker, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.

Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II

Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II - Robert Kurson

Well, I've done some calculations, and it turns out that there are precisely one-bagillion ways to die while deep water diving. As I'm neither Boyle, nor Dalton nor Henry I won't be going into grave (as in watery grave) detail vis-à-vis the laws of physics that make humans so ill-equipped to brave the pelagic depths of the sea.* Things like nitrogen narcosis can impair even a master diver's decision-making skills, and those decisions can often be fatal. Wreck diving, the subject of this riveting read, adds a bevy of other hazards to the diving danger equation.

 

Decision Making Underwater

 

By the time you've thrown together the variables specific to John Chatterton and Richie Kohler's quest to identify a previously unexplored (and undocumented) U-boat found off the coast of New Jersey, splash time seems like suicide. However, this isn't just a story about people doing something extremely dangerous (which, admittedly, has an appeal). There's a reason that others have likened this book to John Krakauer's Into Thin Air and Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm. Shadow Divers Divers is a story with rich characters who are woven into a broader history that seems to almost inevitably lead to the adventure at hand.   

 

Richie Kohler and John Chatterton

 

This book will also get your heart pumping (which is ok, since your oxygen gauge isn't running low) if you're at all into WWII military history. Author Robert Kurson does a great job of making this about mystery and curiosity, while keeping a respectful distance from the politics of it all (not in a Hitler was a great guy kind of way, in a everyone wants to know what became of their loved ones kind of way). 

 

Type IXC U-Boat

 

I'm likely not doing this one justice, because it's the details and the slow build of the relationships, the thirst for knowledge and the love of the unknown that made this so worthwhile.

 

* If, like me, you find studying the various gas laws to be a fun leisure time activity, check out Andy Davis' The Physics of Diving page

 

Bonus example of something you do not want to happen while diving:

Scuba Gone Wrong - Archer