10 books like Sailing Alone Around the World

By Joshua Slocum,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Sailing Alone Around the World. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Moby-Dick

By Herman Melville,

Book cover of Moby-Dick

Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick is a book that only became understandable after multiple readings. When I was younger, I was bored struggling through this book; I didn’t enjoy the whaling history or whale biology and none of it added up to a novel. Still, I wanted to know why so many people believed it was the finest novel ever written. And now, having read the book at least a dozen times, I see that Melville’s wild construction justifies the epic confrontation between whale and man. I see the relationship of the Old Testament God to the White Whale that Ahab cannot best. I can honestly say that I love this book I once hated.

Moby-Dick

By Herman Melville,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Moby-Dick as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Melville's tale of the whaling industry, and one captain's obsession with revenge against the Great White Whale that took his leg. Classics Illustrated tells this wonderful tale in colourful comic strip form, offering an excellent introduction for younger readers. This edition also includes a biography of Herman Melville and study questions, which can be used both in the classroom or at home to further engage the reader in the work at hand.


Jane Eyre

By Charlotte Brontë, Charlotte Brontë,

Book cover of Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre is a book I read and teach at least once a year. Its early section about childhood is, for me, the archetype of all impossible childhoods. Jane is orphaned, misunderstood, oppressed by the awful relatives who take her in, and abused by officials of Lowood School, the institution they palm her off on. Deprivation and hunger are the daily facts of her life. Humiliation, physical “punishment,” and the threat of hell are used to control her fellow wards. She is not so easily controlled. She watches while some of her fellow children, including her beloved friend Helen Burns, die because of infections caused by unhygienic conditions and malnutrition.

Despite it all, she retains an authenticity, a sense of herself that she refuses to violate to curry favor or reduce the harshness of her treatment. She remains a truth-teller, a natural detector of the pompous and hypocritical. She questions…

Jane Eyre

By Charlotte Brontë, Charlotte Brontë,

Why should I read it?

24 authors picked Jane Eyre as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Introduction and Notes by Dr Sally Minogue, Canterbury Christ Church University College.

Jane Eyre ranks as one of the greatest and most perennially popular works of English fiction. Although the poor but plucky heroine is outwardly of plain appearance, she possesses an indomitable spirit, a sharp wit and great courage.

She is forced to battle against the exigencies of a cruel guardian, a harsh employer and a rigid social order. All of which circumscribe her life and position when she becomes governess to the daughter of the mysterious, sardonic and attractive Mr Rochester.

However, there is great kindness and warmth…


The River of Doubt

By Candice Millard,

Book cover of The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

After soundly losing the 1912 presidential election to Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt wants to cleanse his mind and spirit. Rather than take a cushy ‘round-the-world cruise, he attempts the first unmapped trip down a rapids-choked, piranha-infested tributary of the Amazon. The name “River of Doubt” perhaps should have deterred him. But Teddy and his mates press on and persevere through disease, drownings, starvation, death, and Indigenous Indian attacks; providing Candice Millard with fodder for her wonderfully gritty book.

How hair-raising an adventure was it? Shortly after a frazzled Roosevelt returns to the comforts of home, two expeditions set out to duplicate his feat. One group quickly gets spooked by Indians shooting poison arrows and bails. The other expedition? Millard notes, “Its members were never seen again.”

The River of Doubt

By Candice Millard,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The River of Doubt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1912, shortly after losing his bid to spend a third term as American President to Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt with his son Kermit, a Brazilian guide and a band of camaradas set off deep into the Amazon jungle and a very uncertain fate. Although Roosevelt did eventually return from THE RIVER OF DOUBT, he and his companions faced treacherous cataracts as well as the dangerous indigenous population of the Amazon. He became severely ill on the journey, nearly dying in the jungle from a blood infection and malaria. A mere five years later Roosevelt did die of related issues.…


The Wall

By Marlen Haushofer,

Book cover of The Wall

This story has stayed with me for years. A woman takes a holiday in the Austrian mountains and wakes up to an inexplicable new reality—she’s totally alone in the world, so it seems, and has to learn to fend for herself. We journey into the unknown with her as she reports on the mental and physical challenges of her new daily life… and it stirs up so many interesting questions about who we are without connection and community, and where meaning can be found in the most stripped-back life.

The Wall

By Marlen Haushofer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“I can allow myself to write the truth; all the people for whom I have lied throughout my life are dead…” writes the heroine of Marlen Haushofer’s The Wall, a quite ordinary, unnamed middle-aged woman who awakens to find she is the last living human being. Surmising her solitude is the result of a too successful military experiment, she begins the terrifying work of not only survival, but self-renewal. The Wall is at once a simple and moving talk — of potatoes and beans, of hoping for a calf, of counting matches, of forgetting the taste of sugar and the…


The Alchemist

By Paulo Coelho,

Book cover of The Alchemist

This book has the largest impact on my life personally as it just confirmed for me all the things that I believe. One of my favorite authors Paulo Coelho writes in such an engaging way encouraging you more with every turn of the page. The story talks about the importance of the universe and the role it plays in our life which has been a long-standing belief of mine. The message in this book is as powerful as it is digestible, a must-read. Also, I find it incredibly easy to read which is why I always recommend this book first, it makes getting in the habit of reading easy.

The Alchemist

By Paulo Coelho,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked The Alchemist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A global phenomenon, The Alchemist has been read and loved by over 62 million readers, topping bestseller lists in 74 countries worldwide. Now this magical fable is beautifully repackaged in an edition that lovers of Paulo Coelho will want to treasure forever.

Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. This is such a book - a beautiful parable about learning to listen to your heart, read the omens strewn along life's path and, above all, follow your dreams.

Santiago, a young shepherd living in the hills of Andalucia, feels that there is…


Atlas of Remote Islands

By Judith Schalansky,

Book cover of Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Island I Have Not Visited and Never Will

This fascinating little gem of a book is concerned with tiny, largely unknown islands scattered around the world. Schalansky essentially selected them largely for how far they are from big, continental lands. Even after spending a significant portion of my life at sea, I can only claim to have visited or even sailed within sight of about a dozen of them. Most of these small atolls are far from their mother countries. But each of these isolated islands has a story that is inextricably tied to the sea.

Atlas of Remote Islands

By Judith Schalansky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Judith Schalansky was born in 1980 on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall. The Soviets wouldn't let anyone travel so everything she learnt about the world came from her parents' battered old atlas. An acclaimed novelist and award-winning graphic designer, she has spent years creating this, her own imaginative atlas of the world's loneliest places. These islands are so difficult to reach that until the late 1990s more people had set foot on the moon than on Peter I Island in the Antarctic.

On one page are perfect maps, on the other unfold bizarre stories from the history of…


South

By Ernest Shackleton,

Book cover of South: A Memoir of the Endurance Voyage

South is a truly epic account of endurance and survival in the Antarctic. It describes how Shackleton and his crew stayed alive after their ship was crushed in pack ice, and how he and a handful of men crossed the wild Southern Ocean in mid-winter in a 20-foot sailing boat to bring help to those left behind. Not only did they have to cope with hurricanes and mountainous seas in freezing temperatures, but they also had to make an accurate landfall on a small island more than 800 miles away.

Even then their troubles weren't over, as they had to climb a range of high, unexplored mountains to reach help on the other side. As a sailor myself I'm awe-struck by Shackleton's voyage, and the extraordinary navigational feats it involved. If I ever think I'm having a bad day, I remember the terrible hardships that he and his men faced…

South

By Ernest Shackleton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

His destination Antarctica, his expectations high, veteran explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton set out, on the eve of the First World War, in pursuit of his goal to lead the first expedition across the last unknown continent. Instead, his ship, the Endurance, became locked in sea ice, and for nine months Shackleton fought a losing battle with the elements before the drifting ship was crushed and his crew marooned. Shackleton's gripping account of his incredible voyage follows him and his men across 600 miles of unstable ice floes to a barren rock called Elephant Island. It records how, with a crew…


Finding Your Way Without Map or Compass

By Harold Gatty,

Book cover of Finding Your Way Without Map or Compass

Gatty was a remarkable, pioneering aviator from Tasmania and the first person to bring the art of natural navigation to a wide audience. During the Second World War, he taught navigation to US military airmen, and wrote a guide to survival at sea that was standard issue and probably saved quite a few lives: The Raft Book. Finding Your Way (which first came out in the 1950s under the title Nature Is Your Guide), builds on that earlier work and is a mine of fascinating information and anecdotes on which I drew extensively in writing Incredible Journeys.

Gatty was a real expert and discusses how all our senses can help us find our way, even in very difficult circumstances. For example, he tells of an Inuit hunter who, paddling his kayak in thick fog, was able to find the entrance of his home fjord by listening out for…

Finding Your Way Without Map or Compass

By Harold Gatty,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Finding Your Way Without Map or Compass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


During his remarkable lifetime, Harold Gatty became one of the world's great navigators (in 1931, he and Wiley Post flew around the world in a record-breaking eight days) and, to the benefit of posterity, recorded in this book much of his accumulated knowledge about pathfinding both on land and at sea.
Applying methods used by primitive peoples and early explorers, the author shows how to determine location, study wind directions and reflections in the sky, even how to use the senses of smell and hearing to find your way in the wilderness, in a desert, in snow-covered areas, and on…


East Is a Big Bird

By Thomas Gladwin,

Book cover of East Is a Big Bird: Navigation and Logic on Puluwat Atoll

East Is a Big Bird is a beautiful and inspiring first-hand account of the indigenous navigators of Micronesia. Their long training enabled them to make accurate landfalls after voyages of hundreds or even thousands of miles in outrigger sailing canoes, without maps or instruments, relying only on their observational skills and wits. These skills were on the point of dying out when Gladwin studied them, and had already been lost throughout Polynesia. Gladwin played an important role in helping ensure their survival as well as their revival in places like Hawai’i and Samoa. East Is a Big Bird is both an adventure story and a moving record of Gladwin’s research.

East Is a Big Bird

By Thomas Gladwin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked East Is a Big Bird as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Puluwat Atoll in Micronesia, with a population of only a few hundred proud seafaring people, can fulfill anyone's romantic daydream of the South Seas. Thomas Gladwin has written a beautiful and perceptive book which describes the complex navigational systems of the Puluwat natives, yet has done so principally to provide new insights into the effects of poverty in Western cultures.

The cognitive system which enables the Puluwatans to sail their canoes without instruments over trackless expanses of the Pacific Ocean is sophisticated and complex, yet the Puluwat native would score low on a standardized intelligence test. The author relates this…


Treasure Island

By Robert Louis Stevenson,

Book cover of Treasure Island

Treasure Island is my favourite childhood story. I used to dream of finding hidden treasure on some distant tropical island. My mother would wax lyrical about the Isle of Man, she had many holidays there in the 1920s and 1930s. She called it her ‘treasure island’ and told me about its clear harbour water and golden sands. Well, for those who don’t know, the IOM is a small island in the middle of the cold Irish Sea. Talk about a disappointment when I visited the island. It was freezing cold, wet, dismal, and its capital city Douglas was in the advanced stages of decline—a long way from Stevenson’s version of the Hispaniola and pirates of the Spanish Main. However, I still enjoy reading about Black Dog, Billy Bones, Dr. Livesey, Long John Silver, and the cabin boy Jim Hawkins and at the age of 79 I can still dream of…

Treasure Island

By Robert Louis Stevenson,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Treasure Island as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Penguin presents the audio CD edition of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Following the demise of bloodthirsty buccaneer Captain Flint, young Jim Hawkins finds himself with the key to a fortune. For he has discovered a map that will lead him to the fabled Treasure Island. But a host of villains, wild beasts and deadly savages stand between him and the stash of gold. Not to mention the most infamous pirate ever to sail the high seas . . .


5 book lists we think you will like!

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