Jonathan White’s Tides will hold a distinct place in literature as the story of tides on our planet, and perhaps beyond, unfolds. His book is not cursory, nor exhausting mathematically or astronomically. The author does impart substantive understanding, linkages to human dimensions, and speaks to the ephemeral nature of our existence. No one who is the least bit intrigued by the subject will have satisfied their interest in tides without reading this book. I believe it will be the classic work on the topic for the long foreseeable future.
From a true sailor with an adventurous intellect, this beguiling compendium of tides and time is deeply researched, laced with startling personal detail, written with a lyrical sensibility and a waterman’s need for the sea.
This is not really a book “about” tides, though tides are a main character. It’s about life’s literal ups and downs. About mysterious pulls and invisible forces. About rhythms and pulses and seasons and the flowings of vast living migrations along coasts and through deep oceans. Along the way, you learn a lot of things about actual tides. Astounding things that you never knew you didn’t know. A wondrous book, full of heart.
Tides is an enriching meditation on the motions, eccentricities, and ebbs and floods of the 71 percent silent majority covering the planet’s surface. In clear, poetic verse, White paints the ocean for what it really is: less a static mass and more a living, breathing being swayed by the rhythms of the universe that, in ways large and small, interconnects all life on Earth.
Jonathan White has the ocean in his veins, and with Tides he has written a gorgeous elegy to its monumental presence, its ageless mystery. A sailor, a surfer, a scientific mind, and a seeker, White goes deep beneath the surface with the grace of a poet. Be prepared for some serious magic when you read these pages.
Newton’s death mask, bore tide waves on a Chinese river, a grounded sailboat in Alaska, a French monastery, the slowing of the Earth’s rotation, world class surfing, alternative energy, and more come together in Jonathan White’s wonderful Tides, a book for every lover of the sea and for those who think—mistakenly—that tables and charts contain everything worth knowing about the perpetual rise and fall of the sea.
Let me be clear. This is one of the most fascinating, engaging, relevant, and impeccably brilliant books I have ever read. It has profoundly changed my sense for the earth, the oceans, the sky, and how they are deeply interwoven with the course of human thought and history.
Jonathan White’s tidal explorations drew me in with just the right mix of science, history, and storytelling, propelled throughout by the author’s infectious curiosity and sense of wonder. Beautifully written, impeccably researched, and filled with unexpected connections and discoveries, Tides is a splendid book – highly recommended.
I loved this book. Jonathan White weaves the science throughout his travel stories…As a physical oceanographer, I understand the tides from a scientific viewpoint. I really enjoyed learning the history of tidal theories, the spiritual meaning the tides have for many people around the world, and how the tides affect so many places in such varied ways. I recommend it to both scientists and non-scientists.
Jonathan White provides us in this fine, fascinating book with a clear understanding of the infinitely complex and wild nature of our planet’s tidal forces in all their mystery and beauty.