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Book reviews: Classics relaunched

Four beloved books have returned in distinctive republications that feature celebrity introductions.

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Bloomsbury Publishing has produced paperback reissues of William Bligh’s Mutiny on Board HMS Bounty, Jack London’s The Sea Wolf, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s South and Jules Verne’s sci-fi classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Each sells for $14 ( Mutiny, with a foreword by adventure sailor Pete Goss, not only includes Bligh’s original text, but also opposing accounts of the mutiny, giving readers the chance to explore the fullest version of this legendary maritime story. Sea Wolf includes a foreword by Man vs. Wild reality TV star Bear Grylls, who offers insight into the character of seaman Wolf Larsen. South, with a foreword by adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, features detailed maps so readers can follow the crew during Shackleton’s last Antarctic expedition. 20,000 Leagues, with a foreword by zoologist and TV host Miranda Krestovnikoff, is based on the original translation, which popularized the novel in the English-speaking world.

Wealth of wisdom

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In The Art of Seamanship, master mariner Ralph Naranjo describes the skills and attributes required for voyaging (International Marine, $50). The nearly 500-page text is stuffed with practical advice from three decades of experience. Chapters focus on planning, boat and line handling, anchoring, navigation, reading the sea and sky, heavy-weather boat handling and coping with the unexpected. “The science of seamanship surrounds us,” U.S. Naval Academy graduate Naranjo writes, noting new technologies that make sailing safer, easier and more comfortable. “And yet, all too often we hear of crews being helicopter-lifted to safety … so perhaps good seamanship calls for more than what science and technology have to offer.”

A living book

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Young people and the young at heart will enjoy Ocean: A Photicular Book, by Dan Kainen and Carol Kaufmann (Workman Publishing, $25.95). Kainen, an early pioneer of holographic imagery, incorporates a patented technology that creates fluid photography of marine life that “moves” as each page turns. Brightly colored clownfish, moray eels, octopuses, sea horses, sharks and others seem to swim. Kaufmann, a former National Geographic staff writer, penned the informative descriptions of each subject, creating a work that entertains as it enlightens. Ocean follows Kainen’s photicular book Safari.

This article originally appeared in the August 2015 issue.