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Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Discussion: Seafaring Reading

My summer vacation will take me on a nautical journey to visit Maine and Nova Scotia, Canada.  It will be filled with lobster, scallops, the amazing tides of The Bay of Fundy, migrating whales, lighthouses, pirates (well, at least the places they used to frequent), Titanic burial grounds, and sea birds just to name a few of the nautically themed attractions.

To get in the spirit, I want to talk about nautical books for todays Monday Discussion.

I happen to be a sucker for Moby Dick.  Not only do I love the book, but books about that book intrigue me.  For example,  In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick and Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund.

The nautical adventures of Patrick O'Brian which began with Master and Commander have held up against the test of time and are a popular summer read for a wide range of patrons.

For fantasy fans, I highly suggest the Naomi Novik nautical novels which reimagine the Napoleonic Wars on the sea as fought by Admirals who can control dragons.  The captivating and popular Temeraire series begins with His Majesty's Dragons.

For the adventure reader, the benchmark nautical author is Clive Cussler.  If you have never read Raise the Titanic, I highly suggest giving it a try.  They used some of the techniques Cussler mentions in the book to actually raise the real Titanic.

And finally, for the horror fan, there is no better book of a sea voyage gone horribly wrong than Dan Simmons The Terror.

This is just a start.  Now it is your turn.  For today's Monday Discussion, share some nautical books that have captivated you.

Click here for the Monday Discussion Archive.


Kimberly said...

Three books I enjoyed that are related only by being about nautical themes:

Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz. Uncovering clues about Captain Cook as a person by following his route through the South Pacific.

My Old Man and the Sea by David Hays and Daniel Hays. Father and son sail a small craft around Cape Horn.

The Lobster Chronicles by Linda Greenlaw. The grueling, but somehow simpler life of a woman surviving off the coast of Maine on the lobster boat she owns and works and living on an island of only 47 inhabitants.

Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey and Maturin and C. S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower are the benchmark novels of the seaworthy series. My husband, who generally loves non-fiction over fiction, is captivated by these books and especially loves the audiobooks for his extended commutes. I’ve found the following “read alike” series and would welcome additions to my list:

The Fighting Anthonys by Michael Aye
The Fighting Sail Series by Alaric Bond
John Pearce by David Donachie
Richard Cutler by William C. Hammond
Midshipman Bolitho by Alexander Kent
Alan Lewrie by Dewey Lambdin
The Honor Series by Robert N. Macomber
Lord Ramage by Dudley Pope
Lt. Charles Hayden by Sean Thomas Russell
Kydd Sea Adventures by Julian Stockwin
Phillip Hazard by Vivian Stuart
Nathaniel Drinkwater by Richard Woodman
Novels of the Napoleonic Wars featuring Charles Edgemont by Jay Worrall

John BPL RA said...

This was tough. I'm not very into nautical fiction and the ones I do like seemed to have already been listed. One book that I have always loved is the Jules Verne classic 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. I think it may fall more into the category of Science Fiction but still, it's wonderful. The description of the ship and crew is so perfectly done that the story actually seems probable.

Jackie, BPL Youth Services said...

Like John, I am not into nautical fiction, mostly because I not a fan of anything beach/sea related. However, one youth book I read a few years ago was quite good.

Thunder From the Sea by Joan Hiatt Harlow tells the story of orphan Tom and the love of a heroic dog he names Thunder. After being adopted by fisherman Enoch and his wife, Fiona, Tom and Thunder become much more than companions, they become family after rescuing a pregnant Fiona from the raging waters near their home.

Anonymous said...


My favorite seafaing book
would be Ernest Hemingway's
"The Old Man and the Sea".
One of the few books I have
read more than once. The
story of a lone, elderly man's
struggle to accomplish his
goal only to see his efforts
come to nothing, yet not be
destroyed has always been in-
spiring to me.

Laurie C said...

Life of Pi by Yann Martel is the closest I can come to having a favorite in nautical fiction, although the audio edition of Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian was excellent.