Among winter’s long list of inconveniences (i.e. frigid water, drivers who are seemingly new to the concept of rain, lineups teeming with runoff), this season also offers much shorter days, meaning there’s a lot more after-dark hours available to…read. We fully acknowledge that skimming captions may be the extent to which many surfers read, and that most pro surfers rarely idle their days away with their heads buried in books, but we did manage to track down seven—possibly the only seven—who do claim to read, and had them offer up their winter recommendations.
Conner Coffin The Sicilian, by Mario Puzo
“One of the last books I read that I couldn’t put down was one by the name of The Sicilian by Mario Puzo. I am a sucker for most of Puzo’s books and have quite a fancy for his style of writing. He also wrote The Godfather, which is one of my favorite books as well as one of my favorite movies. Most of Puzo’s books are about the Italian Mafia in New York, but in The Sicilian he tells the story of a young boy growing up in Italy who becomes the leader of the Sicilian mafia. It is an intriguing story based around loyalty and courage that is full of suspense. In this story, the young boy reminded me a lot of myself and this made the story that much more interesting for me to read. I honestly read the book in two days.”
Pat Gudauskas The Last Juror, by John Grisham
“A book I just finished in Europe that I really enjoyed was The Last Juror by John Grisham. I like all his books, they’re kind of like suspense reads that allow you to leave wherever you are and immerse into another world. The town where this book took place in reminded me a lot of the small-town vibe of San Clemente, and with multiple plots and murders it was a damn good read.”
Warren Smith Propaganda and the Public Mind, by Noam Chomsky
“Well I’m reading an old Chomsky book at the moment: Propaganda and the Public Mind. And I’ve been trying to work on The Chomsky Reader, but it’s a freaking doosie.”
Dane Reynolds The Road to Los Angeles, by John Fante.
“The Road to Los Angeles by John Fante It’s the writing. You feel like you are Arturo, conquering crabs and obsessing over match scratches. Something about his bizarre perception resonates with me.”
Liz Clark The Long Way, by Bernard Moitessier
“The title of my current favorite book is The Long Way by Bernard Moitessier. This is a personal account of this French navigator’s experiences at sea during the first single-handed, non-stop race around the world by sailboat in 1968. His free-flowing, intimate writing style and unique perspective capture the essence of life at sea in a way I relate to endearingly. The feat of the voyage itself is incredible, but beyond the physical difficulties, Bernard gains and shares insights into life that have become very poignant in my own life. I hope to write my own version of this book someday. Bernard is my hero!”
Lakey Peterson A Voice in the Wind, by Francine Rivers The Good Egg, by David Peterson & Ann Marsh
“I love the book A Voice in the Wind because it makes me really appreciate life and what I have. I am very blessed and it helps me see that. Also, a book called The Good Egg. It’s about my grandfather. As some might know, my grandpa invented the Egg McMuffin, so it is a documentary on his amazing life.”
Fergal Smith Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know: The Autobiography, by Sir Ranulph Fiennes Deception Point, by Dan Brown
“I really liked Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ book, Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know: The Autobiography. Crazy man! I also just finished all the Dan Brown books, which were wicked. Not sure which was my favorite, they were all good. Maybe Deception Point.”