Reality Chuck already took Moby Dick, which is what I came in here to say. The book is chock full of more than you ever wanted to know about whaling, which I found fascinating, myself. Read this book side by side with Victor B. Scaffer’s The Year of the Whale and you’ll be a whale expert.
Actually, lots of novels have information. Damned near anything by Jules Verne has lots of well-researched information. Mysterious Island will teach you how to survive on a desert island, ru n a balloon, and make nitroglycerine.
Frederick Forsyth’s novels have detailed information, but it’s probably best to check it elsewhere. read Day of the Jackal and learn how to pick locks, set up a hit, get a false passport (outdated), contact a forger, build an assassin’s rifle, how explosive bullets work (criticized as unworkable in this Board), track down an international hit man, and sneak things through customs.
C.S. Forester’s novels are full of information, too. Read his Horatio Hornblower novels (or his other seafaring books) to learn curious examples of running a British warship during Napoleonic times, from tricks for trimming the ship, naval tactics, and disciplinatry methods.