This was my ship, and that is a whale.
In Alaska I read "Pride and Predjudice," my first ever Jane Austen novel. I lusted after Mr. Darcy and feared that I wasn't as spirited and rosy cheeked as Elizabeth and would never get the chance to run breathlessly across a moor.
I read "Gulliver's Travels" and felt like the at times huge at times tiny traveller of strange and foreign lands.
I read "Hero With a Thousand Faces." Isn't that pretentious? But I was really really trying to make sense out of the Hero's Journey, particularly those journeys upon which the hero repeatedly encounters a whale.
I read the prose-poet W.S. Merwin, particularly those prose-poems involving icebergs.
I read Poe's "Annabel Lee" because Avo the deck-hand had set it to music and kept singing it to the elderly guests after dinner.
I read a select few traditional Hebrew prayers because my mother sent them to me.
I read "She's Come Undone," the Wally Lamb novel about the obese woman who goes through therapy.
I read a Chinese poem about ghosts and drowing that the Chief Steward gave me one day in a card, with a rose.