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Culture

WLRN #FridayReads: What Are You Reading?

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What are you reading? WLRN wants to know — and we'll share what we, and other people in the South Florida community, are reading every week in this space.

Tell us what you're reading by replying in the comments, or tweet us @WLRN with the hashtag #FridayReads

Cesar Becerra, Miami historian and lead tour guide for Educational Field Trips

I am now reading the thickest book possible on all of George Washington’s things that he owned. Each actual item. I’m coming to the conclusion that George Washington, literally – this is a stretch – fought the war for the right to continue to buy things for himself. Honest to Betsy Batman! He used these things in clever ways in dinners and in his house. He knew just what to purchase and buy. He’d actually have his crest imprinted in the knives, the forks, the mantel, everything. It’s almost like he was branding himself for greatness before he was great.

It’s called “The George Washington Collection at Mount Vernon.”

You know when books are kind of scattered around the lobby of hotels? Well, this was in the Trump International Hotel in D.C. So I decided to borrow it. I may not bring it back. A book from our president — to read about another president. I couldn’t resist. I have to be honest, I took the book. And I can’t stop reading it.

Brad Bertelli, curator at the Keys History & Discovery Center and co-author of “A Local’s Guide to Bloodline”

Lately I have been reading through Nikki Beare’s “Pirates, Pineapples and People, tales and legends of the Upper Florida Keys” published in 1961. Some of the people and events she writes about are still fresh in the memories of the people who lived them. Too often the versions I hear passed around are second and third-hand tales.

I’m also developing a new exhibit at the museum about Cuban chugs and have been reading through a dissertation on “Cuban Migrant Crafts: Preserving a Fading History,” written by Lee Pape in 2016 to satisfy requirements for a Master’s degree in Maritime Archaeology. I wouldn’t want to float in a pool on some of those vessels, much less trust them crossing the Florida Straits. It is an important story to tell.

Michael Crosby, president and CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory

I’m reading a very, very interesting book that my wife gave me. The title is “How To Read Water.” I spent a number of years in the Pacific and the great navigators there can literally read the water and read the ocean and that’s how they navigate. What this author is writing about is how one looks at any body of water, no matter how big, no matter how small, this canal out here, a puddle of water, a river a lake, an ocean and how by observing that body of water and its characteristics, how it is moving, you can learn so much more than just what you’re seeing. It’s important for us to understand that traditional knowledge, listening to the people that live and work on the water all of their lives and through generations, they have much to teach us from their observations.