Sailing and the Sea - Book Suggestions

My father loves Patrick O’Brian’s “Aubrey Maturin” books, and any books that deal with sailing or the sea. Can anybody suggest other books in a similar vein that my father might enjoy?

Thanks ahead!

Having not read O’Brian, I can’t tell how similar a vein it’s in, but I quite enjoyed Jack London’s The Sea Wolf.

Perhaps some of the works of Edward Rowe Snow, though I’m not sure how widely they’re still available.

English Passengers by Matthew Kneale isn’t really about sailing, but about half the story takes place on board ship (1850’s, a voyage from the Isle of Man to Tasmania and back), and there’s probably enough detail to satisfy a sailing enthusiast.

And it’s an awesome read.

Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition. :smiley:

I used to work with a Jeezoid back in the '80s, who suggested I was gay because of my earring. When I retorted that ‘Pirates wore them!’, he turned up the title. I found a copy and bought it a couple of years ago, but haven’t gotten round to reading it yet. Sounds like a scholarly work, so I don’t know if your dad would like it; but it might be good for a laugh.

I saw Under the Black Flag at a local marine store a couple of days ago. According to reviews on amazon (linked above), it’s either a total waste of time and money, or it’s well-written and readable. I may have to pick up a copy.

Two Years Before The Mast is a classic written by a sailor who actually ‘went there and did that’ aboard a ship bound for colonial California. I’ve read this book, and it seems to give an accurate account of the hardships endured by seamen who sailed in wodden ships.

Kon-Tiki is an account of Thor Heyerdahl’s voyage from South America to the South Seas, which was undertaken to demonstrate the feasibility of his theory that Polynesia could have been settled from the east. While the theory has been discredited, the Kon-Tiki expedition was an incredible adventure. The documentary is also available on DVD.

Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim is a classic about a guy with strong ideals who realises he’s a coward and strives to live the relevation down. Personally, it bored the hell out of me.

If he likes O’Brien, have him try some Alexander Kent. There’s about twenty-five volumes of 18th century British sailing there.

Dudley Pope also has endless Royal navy fighting sail series.

Browse around this link for more inspiration.

I’ll second London’s Sea Wolf. Check out Sterling Hayden’s Voyage and Wanderer. Also the Bounty trilogy.

I forgot one of my all time favorites: The Death Ship by B. Traven.

I’ll second Two Years Before The Mast and Kon-Tiki.

Two Years Before The Mast is one of my favorite books. And Kon-Tiki is interesting.

He might like some books by Tristan Jones, particularly The Incredible Voyage or Saga of a Wayward Sailor.

Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi is interesting and another one of my favorites.

I read through the thread twice before determining that nobody mentioned CS Forester. He wrote the Horatio Hornblower novels, which are fantastic - I think they’re best read in the order they were written, starting with I think Beat to Quarters.

Are more modern, non-fiction stories applicable? If so, then I recommend Sails Full and By by Dom Degnon (my favorite).

Also, Hal Roth’s Always a Distant Anchorage is delightful as well.

And I mustn’t forget Fair Winds and Far Places by Zane Mann.

All of these are marvelous.

Sorry. I dorked up the link on Zane Mann’s book

[Note to self: copy, THEN paste. Got it]

Here you go.
Fair Winds and Far Places

Also Richard McKenna’s The Sand Pebbles.

Farley Mowat’s The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float is great fun from an excellent author detailing his misadventures with his boat.

For a more serious sea adventure, you can’t beat the story of Shackleton’s last expedition: Endurance.

I’d also reccommend anything by Edward Rowe Snow. Short write ups, each chapter being a different story, and so varied and clearly written.

For a more modern take on the sea story, I’d suggest any of Captian Edward L. Beech’s books. He’s most well known for his Run Silent, Run Deep but had a number of other titles, too. I particularly liked his account of the maiden voyage of the USS Triton: Around the World Submerged.

I’d also suggest Robb White who wrote a number of books, the most famous being Up Periscope!. These are normally considered ‘adolescent’ books, but I still enjoy 'em.

A rather different look back at the age of sail is the account of the wreck of the French frigate Medusa. This is a bit of a difficult read, but written by a pair of survivors. It uses stark language to make the experience’s horror very vivid.

Sam Llewellyn has a number of mysteries (contemporary era) that have a maritime theme, mostly yacht racing. Sort of the Dick Francis of the sea.

Oh, and James L. Nelson has two series out, one dealing with a Yankee captain during the revolutionary war, and another dealing with an almost-reformed pirate in Virginia(?) around 1700.

Oh, another good one focusing on the age of sail: Tim Powers’ On Stranger Tides. A classic of the ‘Steampunk’ genre, it also works as both horror and fantasy. Personally, I liked it for it’s meticulously researched look at the Caribbean pirates. Frankly the book seems to be what what the Pirates of the Caribbean movie stole more than a few plot points from. Also a bit bloody (It is a Tim Powers books, after all.) but none of it gratuitous.

Looking at the price Amazon has for it, ACK! Anyone want a paperback copy in decent condition? I’ll beat Amazon’s price by 50%. (And still make out like a bandit.)

I second this nomination.

Also, around the time I finished reading the Aubrey-Maturin novels, I read a non-fiction book The Custom of the Sea, by Neil Hanson. It was extremely interesting and gripping. From

That would be Mr. Midshipman Hornblower to start with, but I’m glad you mentioned him.

A few days ago I picked up Under the Black Flag by David Cordingly, who was the curator of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Patrick O’Brian liked it a lot, so it will probably be good.