Yes, that's a sweet spot.
Right now I'm reading _The Starship and Canoe_, a twin biography of sorts of Freeman Dyson and his son George. Freeman did fundamental work in physics and is a sort of archetypal establishment genius, his son made his home in a treehouse in BC and built his own kayaks. Nothing too cage rattling (so far).
Also try _The Long Way_ by Bernard Moitessier, or _Sailing Alone around the World_ by Joshua Slocum, both solo circumnavigators.
For cheap books, try getting them used at amazon or abebooks.com. I've had good luck with them both.