The Book Queue: Salty Sea-Dog Edition

Since I’ve basically depleted the last Book Queue, it’s time to embark upon my Salty Sea-Dog Era of reading. You might notice a certain bias towards science fiction (and certain realms of non-fiction covering subjects like film or technology) in previous book queues, so I figure it’s worth exploring some other areas. For various reasons, a few different books kept cropping up as “Hmm, I should go out and read that.” and they all happened to take place at sea. I’m going to include one that I’ve already read, but this’ll perhaps motivate me to pick it up again and do a full review here. So here goes:

  • Nostromo by Joseph Conrad – This is the one I’ve already read and am planning to review in full soon. It’s long been on the larger book queue and I did finally pull the trigger last year. Lots of complicated thoughts about this highly respected literary novel, but that’ll have to wait for the review. True, much of the story takes place in a mining town, but it’s a coastal town, the titular Nostromo is basically the head longshoreman, and enough of the novel takes place on the sea that its subtitle is literally “A Tale of the Seaboard.” More to come.
  • Moby-Dick by Herman Melville – I suppose no introduction needed here, one of the most famous Great American Novels ever written. At one point a few years ago, I read the first chapter or so on a whim and found it surprisingly engaging, but never got around to reading the full thing. I plan to rectify that this summer.
Moby Dick illustration from the 1902 edition
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson – When I was growing up, my parents had a bookshelf filled with some sort of series of hardback books of classic novels. One was Moby-Dick, daunting due to it’s size, but another was Treasure Island, an evocative title that always thrilled me. I was perhaps too young when I first picked it up, but never circled back to it, even once I got the reading bug. (Funny to note, the title of the first chapter literally has “sea-dog” in it, though it doesn’t say “salty”, even if I’m sure said sea-dog is actually quite salty.)
  • Beat to Quarters (aka The Happy Return) by C. S. Forester – The first novel (going by publication) in Forester’s popular Horatio Hornblower series. I’ve read enough novels influenced by this series, particularly ones billed as “Horatio Hornblower in Spaaaace”, that I figure I should probably take a gander and see what all the fuss is about.
  • Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian – The first novel in the Aubrey/Maturin series, one that most would be familiar with because of the underseen film adaptation. I remember quite enjoying the film, though I have not seen it in quite some time. Might be good to revisit in book form.

So there you have it, lots of salty sea-dog fun. Obviously not a ton of novels on this list, but there are two starts to famously long-running series that could provide ample further reading.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *