If you’re into historical novels, you'll want to check out "FDR on His Houseboat: The Larooco Log, 1924-1926," edited and annotated by Karen Chase. This fascinating book covers the Jazz Age when Franklin Delano Roosevelt began suffering from polio and spent the winter months retreating to his new houseboat in the hopes that warm water and air would help him recover. From 1924 to 1926, Roosevelt explored the Florida Keys, fished, swam, entertained, and faced down engine mishaps and his own difficult health, all while recording the day's passing events in the Larooco's nautical log. A fairly concise read at 210 pages, Chase includes Roosevelt's log entries and numerous photographs from the world during the Roaring Twenties to contrast outside events with a personal glimpse so rarely seen of this famed man.
This daily log wasn't publically known until Chase stumbled upon it while she researched polio for her own memoir, "Polio Boulevard."
"Karen Chase has put together an absolutely fascinating edition of the log describing Franklin Roosevelt's winter cruises along the Florida coast in 1924-26. Wonderfully illustrated and edited, this is a book that will appeal to historians, FDR aficionados, Floridians, fishermen, and boaters of all kinds," reported Nathaniel Philbrik, author of "In the Heart of the Sea," "Mayflower," and "Bunker Hill."
David B. Roosevelt, FDR’s grandson, also praised, “With personal understanding and feeling, Karen Chase has performed a masterful edit of this revealing journal. A fantastic read!”
The novel was officially released this month and can be purchased for just $19.95.
Karen Chase, editor and annotator of "The Larooco Log," is also the author of "Polio Boulevard: A Memoir," "Land of Stone: Breaking Silence Through Poetry," and three volumes of poetry: "Kazimierz Square," "BEAR," and "Jamali-Kamali: A Tale of Passion in Mughal India."