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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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First You Have to Row a Little Boat: Reflections on Life & Living Paperback – June 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (June 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446670030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446670036
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 10 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bode ( Blue Sloop at Dawn ) uses his great love of sailing as a metaphor for the tides of life. Describing his own introduction to sailing at age 12, he stresses the importance of mastering the simple, small things before attempting more complicated actions. Later the author purchases a blue sloop, matures and, as a grown man with children, decides to sell the sloop and sail into new, uncharted waters, assuming he will never forget the many important lessons the boat taught him. Other themes include complacency ("Going with the Wind"), confusion ("Fogbound"), forgiveness ("A Forgiving Boat"), and violence ("A Lazy Sailor at Heart"). Determinedly inspirational, this book will appeal to admirers of Robert Fulghum et al.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

Good-natured parables in which the lessons learned from sailing are translated into lessons about living. Bode (Blue Sloop at Dawn, 1979) looks back across a half century to his boyhood years on Long Island Sound, where he fell in love with boats and learned to sail. In the title piece, the author, as a 12-year-old eager to sail, is first made to row a small boat, and from the experience comes to understand the importance of mastery not over the boat or the elements but over himself. Sailing with a favorable wind teaches him the dangers of complacency and, from a frightening collision, he learns to handle his fears about the unpredictable. Even sailors' knots become metaphors as Bode likens a sturdy square knot to a good marriage and an improperly tied granny knot to a mismatched couple who ``scrape and chafe against each other.'' Getting lost in fog teaches him not to thrash about wildly in confusion but to wait calmly for ``the one constant in the swirling mist that would set me on my rightful course''--a lesson that serves him well in midlife when his private life collapses and he's lost in a different kind of fog. Sailing also teaches him to attend to details, for, as he puts it, ``everything significant is small and slow.'' A frequent contributor to Reader's Digest, Bode is adept at pulling messages out of ordinary experiences. The images he creates are simple and clear, and so are the lessons he derives from them. A warm, fuzzy read for those who like to curl up with cozy philosophizing. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

I have read this book twice; once years ago and the second just now.
GaJack
This little book will give you all the guidance you need to get through life without a lot of fuss and muss.
Christine Lauber
If you are a sailor too you will easily relate to this book in that same way as I have.
Jeff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Joan Mazza on June 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
From Joan Mazza, author of DREAMING YOUR REAL SELF, DREAM BACK YOUR LIFE, FROM DREAMS TO DISCOVERY and THINGS THAT TICK ME OFF.
Richard Bode has given us a beautiful book to savor and ponder. I read this straight through in one day-a rare event for me, since I always read several very different books at a time. FIRST YOU HAVE TO ROW A LITTLE BOAT had me totally engaged and I kept marking paragraphs and writing WOW in the margins. On page 145 he says, "If every man and woman were to take the meaning of their life and pursue it passionately, they would alter the social landscape overnight. In fact, that's how lasting revolutions are made-not by the raised arm of the masses, not by the military seizure of power, not by the political coup d'état, but by individuals asserting who they are one at a time." WOW.
His use of sailing as metaphor worked beautifully for me, even though I don't sail. His comments (page 32) about listening to the wind instead of holding tightly to dogma and rigidity were eloquent bordering on poetry. Very inspiring.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jeff on February 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is just a good book. I would recommend this book to anyone who is in love with the water. First you have to Row a Little Boat by Richard Bode is a wonderful book about reflection on life and living. I can truthfully say that this book is the best book I have ever read. R. Bode uses his young life as a sailor to show philosophical views on life, and what views they are! I feel a connection to Mr. Bode's childhood. I too have a little blue boat that I love so much and sail during the summer. In this book I have learned that the fastest way to a certain spot is not a strait line, but a zig zagging one. Just simple sailing lessons like this one can relate to everyday life and help a person through it. If you are a sailor too you will easily relate to this book in that same way as I have. The wonderful way that Richard Bode writes this book is that everyone, who is a sailor, can relate, but in his/her own ways. Everyone draws from his/her own experiences but gets the same result, understanding life. I really enjoyed reading this book. It brought up ideas in my mind that I would have never though of otherwise. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes sailing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bud on November 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
I was a bit skeptical when first starting to read this book, however the author has made many astute observations using sailing metaphors. I have done a fair bit of sailing throughout my life, and I can relate to the observations made. It is a very well written book with quite a bit of substance, and a fast read.
There were sections in the book that made me laugh and then cry as the points made were so on the mark.
I recommend this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Kulcsar on February 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
My best friend recommended this book to me. I picked it up, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am a high school teacher, and I distribute this book to each of my seniors when they graduate. (Normally, I don't have a lot of seniors in my classes. :-) ) I found this book very thought-provoking, and it gave me a very unique perspective on life. This book is definitely worth the read - it's short and light, and you'll be reading it more than once.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Grant Simmons on August 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
Bode uses his obvious love for sailing as the basis for lifes' learning experiences, and it works to the point that everyone should be given a boat at birth! If only we could all have lived in his childhood to share those 'building blocks of life' in the first person, but this book is the next best thing. Sailors like myself gain even more from his experiences, because although we might have been there, Bodes grabs us back to that joy and disappointment, the thrill and inspiration that sailing has given us. If you haven't got the idea that I heartily recommend this book, perhaps my writing isn't as elequent as Bodes... buy this book!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Johnny T on January 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
I first got this book a couple years ago at Christmas. The title appealed to me as I love the water, but when I began to read it I was not 'hooked.' I set it down and figured I'd read it sometime.

I picked the book up this December to read while waiting in the hospital for my mom who was having surgery. After the first chapter I asked myself why I hadn't read the book before now.

What a book! I love the way he uses sailing a boat as a metaphor for life. Each chapter has meaning and good advice. I cannot tell you what a good book this is to read and learn about life and oneself!!! I learned a lot about me that I already knew, I learned of some things I could do, could do differently, should do, and shouldn't do. It is all good common sense, but you know what they say about common sense and that is that it isn't too common anymore!

I have recommended this book to many friends and some have enjoyed it as well. I wish I'd have read this a couple years ago when I first received it, I might have viewed some things in life a bit differently.

I highly recommend this book for anyone going thru difficulties in life be it a job change, career change, divorce, graduation, etc!!

I will keep this book and read it again, and again. I know there is more in there than what I found. I know as I did re-read a couple chapters and got more out of it the 2nd time around. I read a lot of books, and I rate this one very high!

Loved every minute of it!!!!
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