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.

Pining for Playoffs

When the novel coronavirus pandemic sent us to seclusion, affecting all aspects of our lives, it also caused a dramatic impact on the world of sports, with major sporting events being cancelled or postponed. This left fans looking for other ways to stay connected to various sports.

ESPN’s timely release of Last Dance, a 10-part documentary about NBA legend Michael Jordan, immediately became hugely popular among sports fans. The series takes an in-depth look at Chicago Bulls’ dynasty through the lens of the final championship season in 1997-98. It features exclusive footage and interviews with athletes and journalists.

If you are into the sports and would like to read and watch more about basketball – or any other sports subjects – Abbot Public Library has much to offer.

These books are available through Overdrive/Libby with your library card.

Basketball: A Love Story is a book written in conjunction with the ESPN series of the same name, released at the end of 2018.

It is a story about basketball: its invention in Canada, its expansive history, and the game’s trailblazing players.

Authors interviewed more than 100 players, coaches, and journalists to collect their insight. The book seems to cover every issue pertaining to basketball, including fighting for racial and gender equality.

Another popular team sport, baseball, is the subject of Alex Speier’s Homegrown.

The book is an excellent record of the exceptional accomplishment of the Boston Red Sox winning the 2018 World Series and about building one the best baseball teams of all the time.

Marking the 40th anniversary of the US men’s hockey team winning a gold medal in the 1980 Olympics, beating four-time medalists from the USSR, team captain Mike Eruzione’s book, The Making of a Miracle, recounts that 1980 Lake Placid game in detail. Dubbed “Miracle on Ice,” it is a tale of the underdog, as an amateur team of young American college students faced off against seasoned professional players from the Soviet Union and, against all odds, came out victorious.

Historian and National Book Award-winning author Nathaniel Philbrick (author of In the Hurricane’s Eye among other titles) takes on sailing in his book Second Wind, recounting his triumphs in regattas in his youth and going back to competing 15 years later, following vigorous retraining.

First-person accounts of major league athletes offer a unique perspective into the lives of people participating in professional sports. Numerous biographies of various sports players can be found in Overdrive/Libby when you click on the images: 

The following charming and heartwarming stories will make you smile. They are about sports, but also they are about creating a bond between humans and animals. Christopher McDougall writes about training a rehabbed donkey for the World Championship of burro racing – a very particular type of competition in which humans and donkeys run together. Training a donkey is a big job!

The author of Finding Gobi came across a stray dog while running an ultramarathon in the middle of the Gobi Desert – and gained a running buddy for the rest of the route. Click the images below to view these ebooks in Overdrive.

hoopla, a free service brought to you by the Abbot Public Library, contains an entire sports movie section, where you will find documentaries, biographies, instructional videos to learn new skills (or sharpen existing ones) in a particular sport, and more!