The fire extinguisher; the airline safety card; the lifeboat. Until September 11, 2001, most Americans paid homage to these appurtenances of disaster with a sidelong glance, if at all. But John Stilgoe has been thinking about lifeboats ever since he listened with his father as the kitchen radio announced that the liner Lakonia had caught fire and sunk in the Atlantic. It was Christmas 1963, and airline travel and Cold War paranoia had made the images of an ocean liner’s distress—the air force dropping supplies in the dark, a freighter collecting survivors from lifeboats—seem like echoes of a bygone era. But Stilgoe, already a passionate reader and an aficionado of small-boat navigation...
Grace Winter, 22, is both a newlywed and a widow. She is also on trial for her life. In the summer of 1914, the elegant ocean liner carrying her and her husband Henry across the Atlantic suffers a mysterious explosion. Setting aside his own safety, Henry secures Grace a place in a lifeboat, which the survivors quickly realize is over capacity. For any to live, some must die. As the castaways battle the elements, and each other, Grace recollects the unorthodox way she and Henry met, and the new life of privilege she thought she'd found. Will she pay any price to keep it? The Lifeboat is a page-turning novel of hard choices and survival, narrated by a woman as unforgettable and complex as the events she describes.
Uncommon times call for uncommon wisdom. It’s inspiring to hear from people who’ve graduated from the school of hard knocks, yet kept a sense of humor. People like Twain, Voltaire, Oscar Wilde. People who've said the thing so well that we all wish we'd said it. People who've been there, done that, and refuse to sugarcoat what they've learned. People who know, as Sherry Hochman puts it, that "Every day is a gift—even if it sucks." From Kathryn and Ross petras, curators of craziness (and surprising smarts), comes a timely collection of reassuring reality: "Why is there so much month left at the end of the money?"—John Barrymore "October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks in. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February." —Mark Twain "I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much."—Mother Teresa "When one burns one's bridges, what a very nice fire it makes."—Dylan Thomas "If you think you have it tough, read history books."—Bill Maher And Voltaire: "Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats."
Singing in the Lifeboats expresses my views on aging, environmental concerns, religion and a variety of other themes. The one common thread throughout is the task we have for creating the meaning and purpose in our lives. Ive included what I call rambles short philosophoical observations. In addition Ive indulged myself in rants - full throttle screeds on subjects that really annoy me, particularly the arrogance and smugness of true believers. In addition, there is a section of some of my song lyrics with the website where songs can be sampled and downloaded. Id like to think that what Ive written is accessible to most readers; the testimonies on the front of the book prove that.
Today we find ourselves exhausted and depleted by natural and economic disruption. Worse, we face more of the same but on a greater, even more frightening scale. Hopeful and provocative, this book considers the principal social and ecological threats facing Australia, and outlines ways in which these crises need to be confronted and addressed. Brendan Gleeson wants to rouse us and his book makes a big statement about our collective future.