Courtesy of Oxford University Press

“Here is a new book, published in 2023, that I got from the Portland library and I really learned a lot from.

“In 1569, after being sent away from their ship, an uneducated English sailor, David Ingram, along with two other English sailors walked 3,000 miles all the way from Mexico to Cape Breton in Canada, where they were rescued. The book tells an amazing story of the English and Spanish slave trade and of searching for gold and spices through Africa and Mexico in the 16th century. The sailors learn to travel through many native towns and villages and how to survive in the unfamiliar land, all the way from the warmth of the South to right here in southern Maine. They came to learn what items would sell to local people and who to avoid, as well. Ingram eventually made it back to England or, of course, we wouldn’t know about his journeys. After the sailors were rescued and they told their story, it made the English want America more for their pursuit of riches. Snow delves into the difficulties more than 400 years later about who to believe: the educated royal archivers at the time – who had their own agenda in relaying the story of the shipwreck that Ingram survived – or what Snow believes is the true story that Ingram himself told.”  — JOAN MAJARONE, Portland

Mainers, please email to tell us about the book on your bedside table right now. In a paragraph or two, describe the book and be sure to tell us what drew you to it. As spring unfurls, as beach season nears, we want to hear what you are reading and why. Send your selection to, and we may use it as a future Bedside Table.

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