1. Do you have any sailing experience?
a. Do you think the author did a good job of describing the experience?
b. Do you have a preference for fresh or salt water sailing?
c. Did you find the use and explanation of sailing terms useful?
2. Do you have a favorite Great Lake?
a. Did one lake seem more ‘favored’ than another in the book?
b. Did the author make you want to learn more about a particular lake?
3. Have you ever experienced living in tight quarters?
a. Do you think the author described the relationships realistically?
b. Do you think that the experience is the same (cramped quarters) on both land and sea?- why or why not?
4. Librarians will use the phrase, “non-fiction that reads like fiction” to describe a book that is factual, but reads like a novel. Do you think that this describes The Living Great Lakes? Why or why not?
5. There are several “stories” in this book:
a. the actual sailing adventure
b. the natural history of the Great Lakes
c. the relationships between crew members
d. the sailing differences between the Great Lakes and the ocean
e. maritime history of the Great Lakes
f. memoir of author’s experience
Did you find one story more compelling than another? Are there too many stories?
6. Which character did you identify with in the book? Why?
7. Have you read many sea stories? Would you class The Living Great Lakes in this genre? Why or why not?
8. Does this book make you proud to live in Michigan? Why or why not?
9. Jerry Dennis discusses the demise of Michigan’s forests by logging. Has this book changed your perspective on Michigan’s natural resources, especially its water? Do you feel motivated to take care of our resources?
10. What is something you learned in this book that you did not know before?