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.

Alice in Wonderland Retellings

Alice in Wonderland was first published in 1865 and has since been adapted and retold hundreds of times. From zombies to nightmare creatures to the Queen of Hearts, these stories explore Wonderland and all it encompasses. So, follow us down the rabbit hole with these Alice in Wonderland retellings!

*All descriptions are from the publisher.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook, Overdrive audiobook, and hoopla audiobook.

A Blade so Black by L.L. McKinney

The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she’s trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.

Life in real-world Atlanta isn’t always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice’s handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she’ll need to use everything she’s learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head… literally.

Accessible as an Overdrive audiobook and hoopla audiobook

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real.

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook and hoopla ebook.

Splintered by A.G. Howard

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook, hoopla ebook, and hoopla audiobook.

Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

This is not the story of the Wonderland we know. Alice has not fallen down a rabbit hole. This is a Wonderland where beneath each smile lies a secret, each tart comes with a demand, and only prisoners tell the truth.Dinah is the princess who will one day reign over Wonderland. She has not yet seen the dark depths of her kingdom; she longs only for her father’s approval and a future with the boy she loves. But when a betrayal breaks her heart and threatens her throne, she is launched into Wonderland’s dangerous political game. Dinah must stay one step ahead of her cunning enemies or she’ll lose not just the crown but her head.

Available as a hoopla ebook and hoopla audiobook.

And if you want to check out the original Alice in Wonderland story by Lewis Carroll, it’s accessible through different formats on Overdrive and hoopla.

Also, check out our other posts featuring Beauty and the Beast retellings and Cinderella retellings.