100 books like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

By Jules Verne,

Here are 100 books that 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea fans have personally recommended if you like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Meet Me in Atlantis: My Obsessive Quest to Find the Sunken City

Jennifer McKeithen Author Of Atlantis On the Shores of Forever

From my list on Atlantis if you love adventure.

Who am I?

I'm a novelis who's had a lifelong fascination with travel, lost civilizations, aquariums, swashbuckling stories (both true and fictional), dancing, dusty old bookstores and libraries, sangria, and sunny beaches. I grew up in beautiful south Louisiana and my earliest memories were in New Orleans. Living in “America's first melting pot” taught me to appreciate cultures, languages, cuisine, and music from a young age. Ancient and Medieval history and folklore remain major influences on my writing.

Jennifer's book list on Atlantis if you love adventure

Jennifer McKeithen Why did Jennifer love this book?

Mark Adams is simply a delightful writer. In this book, he dares to ask the age-old question: did Atlantis actually exist? He sifts through the facts and the fiction, taking the reader with him in his traipse across the globe to find answers. Like his other books, Meet Me in Atlantis is a fun read, where you’ll learn a lot and have some laughs along way.

By Mark Adams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Meet Me in Atlantis as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times Bestselling Travel Memoir! 

The author of Turn Right at Machu Picchu travels the globe in search of the world’s most famous lost city. 

“Adventurous, inquisitive and mirthful, Mark Adams gamely sifts through the eons of rumor, science, and lore to find a place that, in the end, seems startlingly real indeed.”—Hampton Sides

A few years ago, Mark Adams made a strange discovery: Far from alien conspiracy theories and other pop culture myths, everything we know about the legendary lost city of Atlantis comes from the work of one man, the Greek philosopher Plato. Stranger still: Adams…


Book cover of Atlantis: The Antediluvian World

Jennifer McKeithen Author Of Atlantis On the Shores of Forever

From my list on Atlantis if you love adventure.

Who am I?

I'm a novelis who's had a lifelong fascination with travel, lost civilizations, aquariums, swashbuckling stories (both true and fictional), dancing, dusty old bookstores and libraries, sangria, and sunny beaches. I grew up in beautiful south Louisiana and my earliest memories were in New Orleans. Living in “America's first melting pot” taught me to appreciate cultures, languages, cuisine, and music from a young age. Ancient and Medieval history and folklore remain major influences on my writing.

Jennifer's book list on Atlantis if you love adventure

Jennifer McKeithen Why did Jennifer love this book?

Though this is a pseudo archaeological work, Donnelly's theories remain the source of many of our modern-day ideas about Atlantis. Written in 1882, at a time when much of the world was still mysterious to Westerners, Donnelly proposed an argument that all cultures and peoples originated from Atlantis, which he claimed was destroyed during the Great Deluge described in the Book of Genesis. Today, in the 21st century, experts have debunked most of his theories. However, many of the questions he raised remain unanswered. Despite its many flaws, it’s an interesting glimpse into Western thought during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

By Ignatius Donnelly,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Atlantis as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This edition of Atlantis: The Antediluvian World contains every vital illustration and table from the original, 1882 edition.

This text represents the sum of Senator Ignatius Donnelly's attempts to prove, through numerous sources, the existence of the lost city of Atlantis beneath the Atlantic Ocean. Numerous pieces of evidence are cited, with Donnelly's central thesis being that there was certain cross-migration between the Europe, North Africa and the American continent via the city whilst it was afloat in ancient times.

To this end, Donnelly demonstrates similarities in the architectural styles, writing, art and cultures of civilisations either side of the…


Book cover of The Maracot Deep

Jennifer McKeithen Author Of Atlantis On the Shores of Forever

From my list on Atlantis if you love adventure.

Who am I?

I'm a novelis who's had a lifelong fascination with travel, lost civilizations, aquariums, swashbuckling stories (both true and fictional), dancing, dusty old bookstores and libraries, sangria, and sunny beaches. I grew up in beautiful south Louisiana and my earliest memories were in New Orleans. Living in “America's first melting pot” taught me to appreciate cultures, languages, cuisine, and music from a young age. Ancient and Medieval history and folklore remain major influences on my writing.

Jennifer's book list on Atlantis if you love adventure

Jennifer McKeithen Why did Jennifer love this book?

Master storyteller Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had a few things to say about Atlantis. In The Maracot Deep, young zoologist Cyrus Headley travels to the edge of a deep ocean trench with a team of explorers. Suddenly, a giant sea monster attacks them and hurls them down into the trench. The explorers are rescued by the survivors of the destroyed Atlantis, who have dwelled on the seafloor for the past 8,000 years. Will Headley and his companions ever return to the surface again, or will they remain trapped for the rest of their lives like the Atlanteans? Readers expecting this novel to be like his earlier Sherlock Holms stories are in for a surprise, as it explores the spiritual and occult ideas he pondered later in his life.

By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Maracot Deep as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Maracot Deep is one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's less known works that definitely deserves major recognition for its craft and originality. One of the first works of literature since the ancient historians, it explores the theme of the lost city of Atlantis in an enchanting tale about the expedition of Professor Maracot and his team of explorers to the bottom of the ocean.


Book cover of Ascension

Jennifer McKeithen Author Of Atlantis On the Shores of Forever

From my list on Atlantis if you love adventure.

Who am I?

I'm a novelis who's had a lifelong fascination with travel, lost civilizations, aquariums, swashbuckling stories (both true and fictional), dancing, dusty old bookstores and libraries, sangria, and sunny beaches. I grew up in beautiful south Louisiana and my earliest memories were in New Orleans. Living in “America's first melting pot” taught me to appreciate cultures, languages, cuisine, and music from a young age. Ancient and Medieval history and folklore remain major influences on my writing.

Jennifer's book list on Atlantis if you love adventure

Jennifer McKeithen Why did Jennifer love this book?

Nia's lifelong dream is to become an avatar, one of the ruling mermaids of Atlantis. But when she is passed over for the opportunity, she must embark on a quest to prove herself. This journey takes her far beyond the sea and everything she knows to the world of dry land. Arthurian legends, mermaids, magic, Atlantis, a heroine’s journey – how can you go wrong?

By Kara Dalkey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ascension as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

The sea is the birthplace of legends.

Nia, a young mermyd of the Bluefin clan, has had one wish all her life - to be an Avatar in her beloved home of Atlantis.

The ten Avatars rule the beautiful and peaceful undersea city alongside the ancient Farworlders, whose magic keeps their world alive. To be an Avatar is an honour and a great responsibility, and Nia dreams of taking her place among the noble ten.

Now, at sixteen, Nia has a chance to see her dream come true. Atlantis is choosing its next Avatar, and Nia knows she is supremely…


Book cover of The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier

Helen Scales Author Of The Brilliant Abyss: True Tales of Exploring the Deep Sea, Discovering Hidden Life and Selling the Seabed

From my list on the ocean and seas.

Who am I?

Dr. Helen Scales a marine biologist, broadcaster and bestselling writer whose books include Spirals in Time and Eye of the Shoal. Her stories about the ocean appear in National Geographic Magazine, The Guardian, New Scientist, and others. Helen co-hosts the Catch Our Drift podcast, teaches at Cambridge University and is a scientific advisor to the marine conservation charity Sea Changers. She divides her time between Cambridge, England, and the wild French coast of Finistère.

Helen's book list on the ocean and seas

Helen Scales Why did Helen love this book?

Urbina gives a shocking and vital account of the human and environmental troubles that are taking place across the ocean, out of sight beyond the horizon. From cases of modern-day slavery and murder aboard fishing vessels to the tricks played by whaling ships and cruise ships to avoid detection of their environmental crimes.

By Ian Urbina,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Outlaw Ocean as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Just incredible' NAOMI KLEIN

**New York Times bestseller**

The Outlaw Ocean is a riveting, adrenalin-fuelled tour of a vast, lawless and rampantly criminal world that few have ever seen: the high seas.

There are few remaining frontiers on our planet. But perhaps the wildest, and least understood, are the world's oceans: too big to police, and under no clear international authority, these immense regions of treacherous water play host to the unbridled extremes of human behaviour and activity.

Traffickers and smugglers, pirates and mercenaries, wreck thieves and repo men, vigilante conservationists and elusive poachers, seabound abortion-providers, clandestine oil-dumpers, shackled slaves…


Book cover of Lady With a Spear: A Young Marine Scientist's Memoir

Helen Scales Author Of The Brilliant Abyss: True Tales of Exploring the Deep Sea, Discovering Hidden Life and Selling the Seabed

From my list on the ocean and seas.

Who am I?

Dr. Helen Scales a marine biologist, broadcaster and bestselling writer whose books include Spirals in Time and Eye of the Shoal. Her stories about the ocean appear in National Geographic Magazine, The Guardian, New Scientist, and others. Helen co-hosts the Catch Our Drift podcast, teaches at Cambridge University and is a scientific advisor to the marine conservation charity Sea Changers. She divides her time between Cambridge, England, and the wild French coast of Finistère.

Helen's book list on the ocean and seas

Helen Scales Why did Helen love this book?

Eugenie Clark wrote this book about the early days of her amazing career as a marine biologist and shark specialist (she was later nicknamed the ‘Shark Lady’). In the 1940s, not only was she unusual for being a female scientist, but she set off on intrepid journeys around the world, studying fish around tiny islands across the Pacific and in the Red Sea, long before it was developed as a tourist destination. This book gives a glorious view of a pioneering scientist and what ocean science used to be like. I was lucky enough to meet her a few years before she died in her nineties. She was incredibly warm and generous, and was clearly still driven by the same boundless curiosity and adventurous spirit that you will see written across the pages of her book.

By Eugenie Clark,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lady With a Spear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Eugenie Clark, who received her Ph.D. in 1951, was one of the first women to do independent field work in ichthyology. In this youthful memoir, she describes her childhood excursions to Manhattan's old Aquarium, and the development of her education and her career specialty - plectognaths, the family that includes the blowfish, puffer, triggerfish, and other (sometimes poisonous) varieties. "Delightful autobiography." - Christian Science Monitor.


Book cover of The Log from the Sea of Cortez

Jennifer Silva Redmond Author Of Honeymoon at Sea: How I Found Myself Living on a Small Boat

From my list on nonfiction Baja that can transport you there.

Who am I?

I grew up on Southern California beaches—Manhattan Beach, Venice Beach, Ocean Beach, La Jolla—but first experienced Baja as an adult. It was like a different world. Returning repeatedly over the next decade, I came to know the stunning shorelines and quiet bays of the peninsula’s midriff as intimately as my home state’s beaches. Swimming and diving Baja’s clear blue waters and hiking its dusty trails and palm-studded mountains, I have admired the many moods of this unique desert peninsula. A writer and editor, I have read extensively from the vast selection of books about Baja, both new and classic works.

Jennifer's book list on nonfiction Baja that can transport you there

Jennifer Silva Redmond Why did Jennifer love this book?

I first read this book long before I ever set foot south of Ensenada, and was immediately captivated by it—I loved how Steinbeck would wax deeply philosophical at times, but never lost the thread of the story of their journey.

This book is funny too! When Russel and I were sailing in the Sea of Cortez, we would pick it up and read the sections about the temperamental outboard engine Steinbeck dubbed the “Sea Cow,” and laugh out loud at his anecdotes. I am also fascinated by science and the ocean, and reading the book was like an overview class on oceanography and marine biology.

By John Steinbeck,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Log from the Sea of Cortez as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1940 Steinbeck sailed in a sardine boat with his great friend the marine biologist, Ed Ricketts, to collect marine invertebrates from the beaches of the Gulf of California. The expedition was described by the two men in SEA OF CORTEZ, published in 1941. The day-to-day story of the trip is told here in the Log, which combines science, philosophy and high-spirited adventure.


Book cover of Fathoms: The World in the Whale

Jim Lynch Author Of The Highest Tide

From my list on cool facts about whales.

Who am I?

I began as a journalist and turned into a novelist who uses extensive research to build my imagined stories. So, I tend to end up writing novels about whatever is fascinating enough to send me down research rabbit holes. I’m finishing a novel now about the wonders and mysteries of whales and the researchers who commit their lives to try to understand them. During the last three years, I have interviewed whale researchers, gone on expeditions with them, and have read countless scientific papers and quite a few books on whales. These books I’m recommending here were some of my favorites.

Jim's book list on cool facts about whales

Jim Lynch Why did Jim love this book?

Giggs is first and foremost a great writer. Her powers of description and analysis pop off the page. The first 100 pages of Fathoms are particularly strong as she zeroes in on disturbing and fascinating topics such as all our garbage showing up in the bellies of stranded whales or scavenger ecosystems created by whale carcasses once they fall to the ocean floor.

By Rebecca Giggs,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Fathoms as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION
WINNER OF THE NIB LITERARY AWARD
FINALIST FOR THE KIRKUS PRIZE FOR NONFICTION
HIGHLY COMMENDED IN THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE FOR WRITING ON GLOBAL CONSERVATION

A SUNDAY INDEPENDENT BOOK OF THE YEAR

'There is a kind of hauntedness in wild animals today: a spectre related to environmental change ... Our fear is that the unseen spirits that move in them are ours. Once more, animals are a moral force.'

When Rebecca Giggs encountered a humpback whale stranded on her local beach in Australia, she began to wonder how the lives of…


Book cover of Dune

Mark Joyner Author Of Simpleology: The Simple Science of Getting What You Want

From my list on self-help books masquerading as sci-fi.

Who am I?

I'm an author, inventor, military veteran, (mostly) self-taught scholar, and an entrepreneur. Every internet-connected person interacts with things I invented (the tracking pixel, the ebook, etc) every day, but I'm best known for my books about business and personal development. As I write this, I'm serving as the Founder and CEO of a software platform called "Simpleology." It's designed to solve what I think is one of mankind's greatest threats to survival as a species:  "The Complexity Gap." It's the gap between the amount of information in the world and our ability to navigate it. It solves this by guiding you to focus on what we call "HIME" (high impact, minimal effort).

Mark's book list on self-help books masquerading as sci-fi

Mark Joyner Why did Mark love this book?

This book presents perhaps the most prescient and today-relevant sci-fi premise ever: how could technology evolve without thinking machines?

After reading this book, I finally understood that my thinking does not have to be constrained by the "scientific consensus" of the day. The book presents a future so radically different from what most futurists are envisioning that it not only freed my thinking about science and futurism...it freed my mind of all constraints.

Even further, it beckoned me to explore the limits of my own human potential.

By Frank Herbert,

Why should I read it?

51 authors picked Dune as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Before The Matrix, before Star Wars, before Ender's Game and Neuromancer, there was Dune: winner of the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards, and widely considered one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.

Melange, or 'spice', is the most valuable - and rarest - element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person's lifespan to making interstellar travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world of Arrakis.

Whoever controls Arrakis controls the spice. And whoever controls the spice controls the universe.

When the Emperor transfers stewardship of…


Book cover of The Time Machine

James Papandrea Author Of From Star Wars to Superman: Christ Figures in Science Fiction and Superhero Films

From my list on thought-provoking time travel.

Who am I?

I am a lifelong fan of science fiction, and especially all things time travel. However, I do get annoyed by time travel stories where the time travel is never really explained or it’s just reduced to a magical vehicle for the story setting. I want my science fiction to ask the big questions of humanity. I have a PhD in history and theology, and in my research for my book From Star Wars to Superman, I combined a lifetime of enjoying science fiction and time travel with a career studying those big philosophical questions, and I’ve come to the conclusion that true sci-fi has to be thought-provoking.

James' book list on thought-provoking time travel

James Papandrea Why did James love this book?

I had to include this book because this is the book that opened up the whole world of time travel for me.

I read it as a young teenager and have loved everything about the concept of time travel ever since. I think the reason is that there is this implied desire to fix the mistakes of our past or something, and that whole idea bubbles under the surface of Wells’ classic.

Of course on the other side of that coin is that I would later come to learn that Wells was an atheist, and so that brings up the whole question of whether time travel is a human attempt to play God, and whether time travel is only possible in a universe where there is no God. 

By H.G. Wells,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked The Time Machine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

A brilliant scientist constructs a machine, which, with the pull of a lever, propels him to the year AD 802,701.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket-sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition of The Time Machine features an introduction by Dr Mark Bould.

The Time Traveller finds himself in a verdant, seemingly idyllic landscape where he is greeted by the diminutive Eloi people. The Eloi are beautiful but weak and indolent, and the explorer is perplexed by…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in submarines, deep sea exploration, and the ocean?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about submarines, deep sea exploration, and the ocean.

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