Reading on the High Seas: Maritime Books For World Ocean Month!

In honor of National Ocean Month, check out these books from different genres featuring an ocean theme! Included are mysteries, historical fiction, historical nonfiction, and a classic in fiction you may recognize! Check them out for free on Overdrive with your library card.

Mysteries

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

In this novel of psychological suspense, journalist Lo Blackwood is embarking on a luxury cruise ship on assignment. The cruise ship Aurora is sailing its maiden voyage to the Norwegian Fjords. Suffering from the tramatic aftershock of recently being the victim of a home invasion, Blackwood witnesses a murder on board ship.

Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen

Number eight of the enjoyable Royal Spyness cozy mystery series set in the 1930s, Queen of Hearts features Lady Georgiana Rannoch who, despite being of Rannoch Castle in Scotland, lives in gentile poverty and often finds herself embroiled in mysteries, aided by love interest and detective Darcy O’Mara. In Queen of Hearts, Georgiana’s actress mother takes her on a transatlantic cruise to New York so her mother can obtain a divorce and marry yet another lover. The first book in the series is Her Royal Spyness. The latest book will come out in August 2020; The Last Mrs. Summers. Rhys Bowen has been a recipient of the Agatha Award.

Fiction

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Sea was written by Ernest Hemingway in 1952. It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the Nobel Prize for Literature. In this story, an older fisherman named Santiago has been not catching fish of late. His young friend, Manolin, wants to go out fishing with him but his parents said to fish with a more successful fisherman. One day Santiago takes his boat out into the Gulf Stream, north of Cuba and finally catches a great marlin, and a terrific battle ensues.

History

Mayflower: A Story of Courage Community and War by Nathaniel Philbrick

As well as writing In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, Philbrick writes the history of the pilgrims arriving in Plymouth, Massachusetts aboard the ship the Mayflower, and their relationship with the Wampanoag people. There is the first Thanksgiving, where the pilgrims and the Wampanoag join together to celebrate, and also the tragic King Philip’s War, which marked the eventual conflict between the indigenous people and the pilgrims. This historical account is brought to life by Nathanial Philbrick’s skillful writing.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken is the heroic story of Louis Zamperini, a World War II veteran. Written by the brilliant writer Lauren Hillenbrand (author of Seabiscuit). When Zamperini in his Army Air Forces bomber flies over the Pacific Ocean, his plane crashes into the water and he is stranded at sea. When he finally gets to land on the coast of Japan, he becomes a prisoner of war. 

Historical Fiction

The Light between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

The Light between Oceans is a historical fiction novel set in the early 1900s. Tom Sherbourne became a lighthouse keeper in Australia after serving in World War I. Marrying Isabel Graysmark, he unhappily tried to conceive a child with her, only to suffer miscarriages and a stillbirth. Then a small boat washes to shore carrying a deceased man and a surviving baby. Isabel is blissfully happy to think of having a baby at last and wants to keep the child as their own. Tom agrees until they find out about the baby’s biological mother still grieving for the child and her husband, who she thinks are dead. The novel was adapted into a film and released in 2016.