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If you are interested in adventures on the high seas, you may want to read some of these books selected by our reader advisors.
20,000 Leagues under the Sea by Jules Verne
Read by Hal Tenny. Reading time 15 hours 42 minutes.
Written in 1869, this science fiction novel is almost prophetic in its account of the first submarine, Nautilus, whose skipper, Captain Nemo, is a mad genius.
Download 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, DB13748
Admiral of the Ocean Sea: A Life of Christopher Columbus by Samuel Eliot Morison
Read by Lynn Smith. Reading time 26 hours 41 minutes.
A condensation of the author's two-volume work of the same title, published at the same time. The two-volume biography of Columbus concentrates on the voyages, with much discussion of the problems and methods of navigation, and it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1942.
Download Admiral of the Ocean Sea: A Life of Christopher Columbus, DB29444
Aquagenesis: The Origin and Evolution of Life in the Sea by Richard Ellis
Read by Richard Hauenstein. Reading time 20 hours.
Marine biologist traces the evolution of ocean life from the earliest microbes to the myriad species discovered in the twentieth century. Includes discussion of hydrothermal vents, land mammals that adapted to the sea, and the humans who study these creatures. 2001.
Download Aquagenesis: The Origin and Evolution of Life in the Sea, DB54352
Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories by Simon Winchester
Read by Lou Harpenau. Reading time 15 hours 39 minutes.
Author of Krakatoa (DB/RC 55879) traces the history of the Atlantic Ocean from its formation 370 million years ago to its predicted obliteration in about 170 million years. Includes geographical descriptions and accounts of explorers and maritime battles. 2010.
Download Atlantic, DB72681
The Bounty Trilogy: Comprising the Three Volumes Mutiny on the Bounty, Men against the Sea, and Pitcairn's Island by Charles Nordhoff
Read by Jack Fox. Reading time 27 hours 4 minutes.
Three classic sea stories set in the 1780s South Pacific. In Mutiny on the Bounty Captain Bligh and eighteen loyal men are set adrift in a twenty-three-foot open launch. Subsequent tales depict Bligh's harrowing thirty-six-hundred-mile voyage and the fates of Fletcher Christian and his fellow mutineers. 1932.
Download The Bounty Trilogy, DB72062
Burning Cold: The Cruise Ship Prinsendam and the Greatest Sea Rescue of All Time by H. Paul Jeffers
Read by Bob Moore. Reading time 8 hours 24 minutes.
Journalist describes the dramatic 1980 rescue of a Dutch cruise ship that caught fire near Alaska. After spending up to sixteen hours in lifeboats, all of the more than five hundred staff and passengers--many of whom were elderly--were saved by the coast guard, air force, and nearby tankers. 2006.
Download Burning Cold, DB70137
Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk.
Read by Ed Blake. Reading time 20 hours 19 minutes.
During World War 2, the crew of the Caine mutinies against Captain Queeg, accusing him of incompetence. The novel reaches its climax during the court-martial when they must prove their charges.
Download The Caine Mutiny, DB31442
The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat.
Read by Patrick Horgan. Reading time 18 hours 8 minutes.
Men at sea during the World War 2 Battle of the North Atlantic are pitted against a relentless, merciless sea in a never-to-be-forgotten struggle. Strong language.
Download The Cruel Sea, DB25171
Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy.
Read by Merwin Smith. Reading time 17 hours 19 minutes.
The entire crew of Red October, a new Soviet submarine under the command of Marko Ramius, is defecting to the United States. Most of the Russian navy is sent to the United States Atlantic coast to find and destroy the submarine. Jack Ryan, a CIA data analyst, gets the job of making contact with Ramius, and the United States mobilizes all its resources to protect our shores and the submarine. Jack Ryan series, Book 1. Some strong language. Also available as a descriptive video, DV 53.
Download Hunt for Red October, DB 21513
Lieutenant Hornblower by C.S. Forester
Read by Graeme Malcolm. Reading time 7 hours 48 minutes.
In this sequel to Mr. Midshipman Hornblower (RC 26915, BR 11552), Horatio Hornblower emerges from his apprenticeship as midshipman to assume the responsibilities forced upon him by the war between Napoleon and Spain. Also follows his career on board HMS Renown up to his promotion to captain.
Download Lieutenant Hornblower, DB46117
The Lion at Sea by Max Hennessy.
Read by David Cutler. Reading time 10 hours 42 minutes.
The bold adventures of midshipman Kelly Maguire of the Royal Navy during World War 1. He begins the war aboard an obsolete battle cruiser and is captured by the Turks after Gallipoli. Escaping, Maguire is later involved in the Battle of Jutland. Kelly Maguire series, book 1. Some violence and some strong language.
Download The Lion at Sea, DB51322
Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian.
Read by Steven Crossley. Reading time 15 hours 2 minutes.
Historical sea tale chronicles the adventures of Jack Aubrey of the Royal Navy, master and commander of the brig Sophie, as he and his crew battle the French and Spanish in the Mediterranean during the Napoleonic wars. Aubrey-Maturin series, Book 1.
Download Master and Commander, DB33485
Midshipman Bolitho by Alexander Kent.
Read by Jim Zeiger. Reading time 8 hours 1 minute.
Only 16 but already a veteran of four years in the king's navy, Richard Bolitho joins his second ship in 1771. Its mission is to investigate the brutal slave trade on Africa's west coast. This proves to be much more perilous than he expected. Some violence. Richard Bolitho series, Book 1.
Download Midshipman Bolitho, DB49764
Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery; the U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842 by Nathaniel Philbrick
Read by Butch Hoover. Reading time 15 hours 44 minutes.
Bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea (RC 50271) recreates the adventures of the U.S. expedition commanded by lieutenant Charles Wilkes that set sail in 1838 to explore the southern hemisphere. Examines the mission's scientific and historical contributions and considers why the unprecedented naval operation has largely been forgotten.
Download Sea of Glory, DB58902
Sea of Thunder: Four Commanders and the Last Great Naval Campaign 1941-1945 by Evan Thomas
Read by Gordon Gould. Reading time 14 hours 50 minutes.
World War II naval battles in the South Pacific from the perspectives of Americans Admiral William Halsey, fleet commander, and destroyer commander Ernest Evans; and Japanese admirals Takeo Kurita, a battleship commander, and Matome Ugaki, the kamikaze leader. Ends with the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944. Violence. 2006.
Download Sea of Thunder, DB 64038