upcoming events and news


april 11 • Kirkus [starred review]

Into the Raging Sea received a prestigious starred review from Kirkus. 

"A pulse-pounding, Perfect Storm–style tale of a shipping disaster.

In this riveting account of the demise of El Faro, the merchant ship that sank off the Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin on Oct. 1, 2015, killing all 33 crew members, Boston-based journalist Slade uses a variety of sources—e.g., hundreds of pages of audio transcriptions from the ship’s black box, interviews with family members of the victims and with Coast Guard personnel—to compile a nerve-wracking, tension-filled narrative."
Read more here: kirkusreviews.com


april 10 • gcaptain

Michael Carr reviewed Into the Raging Sea for the maritime industry website GCaptain. "A riveting sea story of disaster and death. Many readers will likely leave it at that, but Into the Raging Sea is so much more. It speaks to the struggles and challenges faced by all mariners making a living on the sea, and the impact our society has on people when it makes cold, detached decisions and laws based solely on economics and return on investment."
Read more here: gcaptain.com


april 18 • publishers weekly [starred review]

Into the Raging Sea received a prestigious starred review from the international book publishing weekly. 

"This well-crafted and gripping account lays out the circumstances which led to the deaths of 33 crew members of the container ship El Faro when it sank east of the Bahamas in 2015 during a hurricane. Journalist Slade frames the tragedy with a meticulous review of all the ways in which it could have been avoided...Slade had access to 26 hours of audio on the ship’s voyage data recorder, and she presents the actual conversations crew members had before the end, highlighting their stoicism. This is a painful and poignant narrative."
Read more here: publishersweeklycom


april 27 • the boston globe

Nina McLaughlin of the Boston Globe writes, "Boston journalist Rachel Slade’s harrowing, moving first book tells the story of the sinking of the El Faro...The depth of research and reporting, and Slade’s skill at pacing and selecting the telling details produce a richly detailed narrative, tense and sad and true." Read more here.


amazon's best books of the month

Into the Raging Sea hits #1 on three Amazon bestseller lists: Maritime Stories, Natural Disasters, and Transportation Industry, and is named one of the top four "Best Nonfiction Books of the Month" on Amazon, determined by Amazon's editors. Check out the impressive list: amazon.com


the national book review's "5 hot books"

Into the Raging Sea is named one of the "5 Hot Books" by literary website National Book Review: nationalbookreview.com


May 1 • new york times book review

Bestselling author Douglas Preston reviewed Into the Raging Sea for the New York Times Book Review (in print 5/20). He writes, "Unlike the authors of The Perfect Storm and other books about marine catastrophes, Slade did not have to resort to reasonable inference and guesswork about the vessel’s final moments. She was able to quote the actual words spoken on the bridge. The mundane remarks about the fetching of coffee, the complaints about the company, the jokes, the giving and taking of routine orders and the wistful asides about home, children and spouses left behind — these details paint a poignant and tragic picture of ordinary people heading to their deaths...A powerful and affecting story, beautifully handled by Slade, a journalist who clearly knows ships and the sea." Read the review here: nytimes.com


May 3 • Maine Public Radio

Rachel was joined by former El Faro Second Mate Charlie Baird – who went off duty just a week before the ship's final voyage – in the studio with Jennifer Rooks to talk about Into the Raging Sea, life in the merchant marine, and the El Faro tragedy on Maine Calling, an interactive radio program. Listen to their conversation here: mainepublic.org (50 minutes)


all things considered, npr

WGBH Boston radio host Barbara Howard takes an in-depth look at the story of El Faro with Rachel Slade and Jenn Mathias, whose husband Jeff was an engineer on El Faro during the ship's final run. Air date TBD.

For more information, wgbh.org


May 16 @ 7:00 PM • Brookline Booksmith, brookline, MA

Rachel launched her book at the Brookline Booksmith.
Location: 279 Harvard St., Brookline, MA, 617-566-6660.

For more information, brooklinebooksmith.com


May 18  • nyt summer reading list

Into the Raging Sea made Janet Maslin's prestigious summer reading list in the New York Times, along with sixteen other magnificent books including Ryan Walsh's Astral Weeks, which began as a Boston magazine story. Bonus trivia: Ryan pitched his original magazine story about Van Morrison's brief yet prolific time in Boston (the album Astral Weeks was “planned, shaped and rehearsed in Boston and Cambridge”) to then-editor-in-chief Carly Carioli while at a party in Rachel's apartment.


May 27  • 8 new books we recommend this week

Into the Raging Sea made Gregory Cowles's list of recommended books this week in the New York Times. The impressive roster inclues Fascism: A Warning, by Madeline Albright with Bob Woodward, and Last Stories, by the late William Trevor.


june 1  • outside magazine summer reads

Into the Raging Sea made Eva Holland's "Best Books of Summer" list in Outside magazine's June issue. In Holland's review, she calls the book "intimate, eerie, and gripping."


June 8 @ 7:00 PM • BookMark, Neptune Beach, FL

Join us for exciting evening in Jacksonville at one of Florida's premier indie bookstores, The BookMark.
Location: 220 1st St., Neptune Beach, FL, 904-241-9026. For more information, bookmarkbeach.com


june 11 @ 8:00 PM• Books & Books, Miami, FL

Join Rachel at the tony indie bookstore Books & Books for a reading, discussion, and book signing.
Location: 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables, FL, 786-554-1764.

For more information, booksandbooks.com


june 18 • inc. magazine's summer reads list

Inc. magazine named Into the Raging Sea one of five new business books "you should read before the end of the summer." Editor Jeff Haden writes, "Slade's account of the El Faro tragedy is a cautionary tale for leaders who think they have all the answers, for employees who choose not to speak up... and for organizations that rely on systems and processes that don't provide the information its people need to make the best decisions."


june 19 @ 7:00 PM • tewksbury public library, MA

Join Rachel at the Tewksbury Public Library for a reading, discussion, and book signing. The Book Oasis will be on-site with copies of the book for sale.
Location: 300 Chandler St., Tewksbury, MA, 978-640-4490.

For more information, tewksburypl.org


june 21 @ 7:00 PM• camden public library, ME

Join Rachel at the Camden Public Library for a reading, discussion, and book signing. Owl & Turtle Books will be on-site with copies of the book for sale.
Location: 55 Main St., Camden, ME, 207-236-3440.  For more information, librarycamden.org.


june 21 • maritime safety act of 2018 * UPDATE: Passed the house! onto the senate!*

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure released a proposed bill, H.R.6175, addressing many of the regulatory shortcomings that led to El Faro's sinking. Although this bill is not comprehensive in scope, it is a major step in the right direction. Please contact your senator to encourage him or her to support this important legislation that will improve America's commercial shipping industry and protect our mariners.
For more information about the Maritime Safety Act of 2018, please visit the advocacy page.


July 10 @ 8:00 PM• nantucket atheneum, MA

Join Rachel at the Nantucket Atheneum for a talk, discussion, and book signing. Mitchell's Book Corner will be on-site with copies of the book for sale.
Location: One India St., Nantucket, MA, 508-228-1110.  For more information, nantucketatheneum.org.


July 17 @ 6:00 PM • Merrill Memorial Library, yarmouth, mE

Join Rachel at the Merrill Memorial Library for a reading, discussion, and book signing. Royal River Books will be on-site with copies of the book for sale.
Location: 215 Main St., Yarmouth, ME.  For more information, yarmouthlibrary.org.


July 19 @ 7:00 PM • belmont books, belmont, ma

Join Rachel at indie bookstore Belmont Books for a reading, discussion, and book signing.
Location: 79 Leonard St., Belmont, MA.  For more information, belmontbooks.com.


amazon best nonfiction books of 2018 so far

Into the Raging Sea was selected by Amazon editors as one of the best 20 nonfiction books published this year, as of August 1. Included among its picks is the wonderful Feather Thief, a terrific read about the intensely secretive world of fly-tiers and a brazen theft of 299 exotic bird skins from the British Museum.


duck boat tragedy, branson, mo

The deaths of 17 tourists on a duck boat in Branson, MO, in July 2018 was horrific but sadly, not the first accident of its kind. Rachel's thought piece in the Ideas section of the Sunday Boston Globe examines this tragedy in the context of maritime safety culture in America: "The maritime industry predates the laws of this country, and maritime culture has shaped how it is regulated, yielding a crazy patchwork of laws. Nearly all of the rules are reactive — that is, written in response to major marine casualties." Read it here.


august 6 @ 2:00 PM • edgartown books, martha's vineyard

Join Rachel at Edgartown Books for a reading, discussion, and book signing.
Location: 44 Main St., Edgartown, MA.  For more information, edgartownbooks.com.


august 17 @ 6:00 PM • east end books, provincetown, ma

Join Rachel at Provincetown bookstore East End Books for a reading, discussion, and book signing.
Location: 389 Commercial St., Provincetown, MA.  For more information, eastendbooksptown.com.


September 12 @ 5:30 PM • Athenaeum of Philadelphia

Rachel is honored to speak at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia about El Faro which was built in 1975 at the now defunct  Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Chester, PA. Address: 219 S. 6th St., Philadelphia, PA, (215) 925-2688. For more information, philaathenaeum.org


September 13 @ 7:30 PM • bala cynwyd library, PA

Rachel is delighted to return to her hometown where she will do a reading at the Bala Cynwyd Library (no, that's not a typo). Main Point Books will be on-site with copies of the book for sale. Address: 131 Old Lancaster Rd., Bala Cynwyd, 610-664-1196. For more information, lmls.org.


September 18 @ 5:00 PM • portland marine society, portland, me

It is a tremendous honor for Rachel to be a guest speaker at one of America’s oldest marine societies, Portland Marine Society, founded in 1796. It remains a vibrant association of retired ship’s masters, officers, engineers, and maritime friends. This evening will be especially moving because many members in attendance knew officers aboard El Faro. For more information, portlandmarinesociety.com.


September 18 @ 7:00 PM • wcvb5 abc chronicle

Emmy-award winning journalist Erika Tarantal of New England’s premier newsmagazine, Chronicle, hosts a 25-minute segment dedicated to Into the Raging Sea and the story of El Faro. She visits with several of the New England-based sources in Rachel’s book as well as the author herself. “The Wreck of the El Faro” aired on September 18, but can be viewed online as four individual segments: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.


October 13 @ the boston book festival

For the first time, the Boston Book Festival will be hosting a series of 12-minute TED-like talks, featuring Rachel's story of the mystery of El Faro. Rachel will be speaking at 12:45 on Saturday at Emmanuel Parish Hall, 15 Newbury Street. The event is free, but please RSVP: bostonbookfest.org.


October 17 @ the wardroom club, Boston

Rachel presented the story of El Faro and the importance of the merchant marine to members of the prestigious Wardroom Club. More than 140 retired Navy, Coast Guard, Marine, and Merchant Marine officers were in attendance at the dinner, held at the Boston headquarters of the Coast Guard. Rachel donated her speaking fee to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and the Wardroom Club matched her contribution.