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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

A Vote That Got Lost

For Brian Floca’s Lightship

This is from Tricia, and for some reason the site is not accepting it as a comment. Are any others having a similar problem?

The book opens with cutaway images on the endpapers of the Ambrose, labeled to show the important components of the vessel. In spare, but beautifully written text, Floca describes the lightship’s crew, daily life, and important job it is tasked with. The text is accompanied by ink and watercolor illustrations that range from close-ups of the crew and spaces in the ship, to double-page spreads of the ship, the sea, and passing ships. The beauty and genius of the pictures lies in the details, like the deckhand with several women’s names tattooed and crossed off on his arm, the captain using a sextant, the cat that shouldn’t be aboard the ship at all, the crew member snoring in his rack, and many more. The text is well-researched and provides a wonderful glimpse of a service and lifestyle no longer in existence. All-in-all, this is lovely book that will enchant anyone who picks it up.

Thanks for letting me share.


  1. Tricia Stohr-Hunt says:

    Thanks, Marc!

  2. I admired Lightship, too.

    Marc, yes, the site has dumped a comment or two when I’ve tried to post one lately.

  3. Marc Aronson says:


    I’ll look into the problem.

  4. Betty Carter says:

    The Cannon, highly recommended in the last post, was featured (along with several other great books) as an outstanding science book for teenagers. I absolutely agree with all of the enthusiasm surrounding this book, although the introduction (not the first lines as we’ve discussed before) does pay homage to the adult audience. But what a great read about how science surrounds us and how scientists think.

  5. Betty Carter says:

    And where was that book (The Cannon) posted? In the December 7 issue of Science. Sorry to leave out that not so small piece of information.