Maine Maritime Academy
Prospective Students Alumni Parents Students Directions Home

Suggested Maritime Reading


Admiral of the Ocean Sea - Samuel Elliot Morrison
      A life of Christopher Columbus.

The Arctic Schooner Bowdoin - Virginia Thorndike
     A history of the historic schooner Bowdoin, Maine Maritime Academy training vessel, a national historic landmark, and the official sailing vessel of the state of Maine.

The Captain: A Sailor’s Story - Jan De Hartog

The Captain’s a Woman - Deborah D. Dempsey (MMA ’75)
     Tales of the first woman captain in the U.S. merchant marine.

Cod: A Fish that Changed the World - Mark Kurlansky
     Wars have been fought over it, revolutions have been spurred by it, national diets have been based on it, economies have depended on it, and the settlement of North America was driven by it. In this deceptively whimsical biography of a fish, the author brings a thousand years of human civilazation into captivating focus.

The Control of Nature - John McPhee
     McPhee details the strategies and tactics through which people attempt to control nature.

Dark Voyage - Alan Furst
     A new historical espionage placed in Europe on the eve of World War II aboard the tramp ship Noordendam.

Endurance - Alfred Lansing
     A story of survival about Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton and the crew of the Endurance.

Grey Seas Under - Farley Mowatt
     The perilous rescue mission of North American salvage tug.

The Hungry Ocean - Linda Greenlaw
     A swordboat Captain's journey.


In Peril - Skip Strong (MMA ’85)
     A daring decision, a Captain's resolve, and the salvage that made history.

In the Heart of the Sea - Nathaniel Philbrick
     The tragedy of the whaleship Essex.

Longitude - Dava Sobel
     The true story of a lone genius who solved the greatest scientific problem of his time.

Looking for a Ship - John McPhee
     An extraordinary tale of life aboard merchant marine ship. John shadows MMA professor Andy Chase (MMA ’83) during a sabbatical aboard M/V Stella Lykes.


The Perfect Storm - Sebastian Junger
     A true story of men against the sea.

The Riddle of the Ice - Myron James
     A scientific adventure into the Arctic.

Salt Water Poems and Ballads - John Masefield

The Secret Life of Lobsters - Trevor Corson
     In this intimate portrait of an island fishing community and an essentric band of renegade biologists, the author escorts the reader onto the slippery decks of lobster boats, through danger filled scuba dives, and deep into the churning currents of the Gulf of Maine to learn about the secret undersea lives of lobsters.

The Serpent’s Coil - Farley Mowatt
     An incredible story of hurricane-battered ships and the heroic men who fought to save them.

The Ship and the Storm - Jim Carrier
     Hurricane Mitch and the lost of the Fantome.

Tall Ships Down - Dan Parrott (MMA faculty)
     Tragic stories of the final voyages of five majestic sailing ships.

Two Years Before the Mast - Richard Henry Dana
     This early nineteenth century tale traces the ocean route from Boston, around Cape Horn, to California. Dana shares his 24 month odyssey in the days of wooden ships and iron men.

Typhoon and Other Stories - Joseph Conrad
     Tales from the sea.

Youth - Joseph Conrad
     A story portraying a young man’s first sea voyage to the East.

Maritime Adventure Series



The Dirk Pitt series - Clive Cussler
     This modern day eco-warrior (part Jacques Cousteau, part James Bond) and the Naval Underwater & Marine Agency (NUMA) span the globe to solve a variety of ecological and archeological mysteries.

The Jack Aubrey series - Patrick O'Brian
     A valiant officer of the English crown, Aubrey's exploits include Master and Commander.

Horatio Hornblower series - C.S.Forester
     This multi-volume series follows Horatio Hornblower from midshipmen to admiral aboard her majesty’s ships of the line during the Napoleanic Wars.

The Kydd Sea Adventure series - Julian Stockwin
     Follow the at-sea adventures of Thomas Paine Kydd, from a bright, naive lad pressed into the service of his majesty's Navy in the late 1700's to a seasoned and decorated mariner.

The Alan Lewrie series - Dewey Lambdin
     More exciting tales about another fine mariner from his majesty's naval fleet.

The Classics



Captains Courageous - Rudyard Kipling
     A spoilt son of a falls overboard from an oceanliner and, rescued by a fisherman, reluctantly joins the crew of a fishing schooner for the summer.

Kon-Tiki - Thor Heyerdahl
     A true record of an astonishing 4,300 nautical mile adventure across the Pacific Ocean by raft.

Moby Dick - Herman Melville
     Epic tale of Captain Ahab’s quest for the white whale.

Robinson Carusoe - Daniel Defoe
     A saga of a shipwrecked mariner on a deserted island who taught himself how to survive with the barest of essentials and, after 24 years of solitude, finds a footprint in the sand.

Sea Wolf - Jack London
     Humphrey Van Weyden is plucked from the cold waters of San Francisco Bay by the Ghost and forced to be a cabin boy by its demonic Captain Wolf Larsen..

Swiss Family Robinson - Johann Wyss
Swept off course by a raging storm, a Swiss pastor, his wife, and their four young sons are shipwrecked on an uncharted tropical island. A classic tale of survival and adventure.

Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
     Young Jim Hawkins lives an adventure of treachery, greed, and daring with the most memorable villian in literature, Long John Silver.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne
     Professor Arronax bravely joins a mission to hunt a killer sea monster aboard the Nautilus, a secret submarine helmed by the mysterious Captain Nemo.

A Nautical Fiction List
Quick Links