100 books like Sailing Alone Around the World

By Joshua Slocum,

Here are 100 books that Sailing Alone Around the World fans have personally recommended if you like Sailing Alone Around the World. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Moby-Dick

Jonathan Howland Author Of Native Air

From my list on books about men in love (who aren’t lovers).

Why am I passionate about this?

During a lonely stretch of primary school, I recall discussing my predicament with my mother. “You only need one friend,” she said by way of encouragement. Some part of me agreed. I’ve been fortunate to have had (and to have) several friends in my life, never more than a few at a time, more men than women, and each has prompted me to be and become more vital and spacious than I was prior to knowing them. The books I’m recommending—and the one I wrote—feature these types of catalyzing, life-changing relationships. Each involves some kind of adventure. Each evokes male friendship that is gravitational, not merely influential, but life-defining.

Jonathan's book list on books about men in love (who aren’t lovers)

Jonathan Howland Why did Jonathan love this book?

It centers on and celebrates becoming—molting from one skin to another. For Ishmael this is a transition from a tired and limiting worldview to something fresh and alive.

The “bosom buddies” at the heart of the novel, Ishmael and Queequeg, seem comprised of opposites, but Ishmael’s etherealizing is grounded by Queequeg’s pragmatic ingenuity in ways that quiet and expand the young pagan-Presbyterian’s buzzing, anxious mind. Theirs is a friendship of succor, probably sex, and survival—all of it shadowed by the delusional obsessions of their mad captain.

By Herman Melville,

Why should I read it?

20 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.


Book cover of Jane Eyre

Jawahara Saidullah Author Of We are...Warrior Queens

From my list on transporting you across time and place.

Why am I passionate about this?

Travel and writing are my two great passions. Since I was a child, I escaped reality by escaping into my own mind. I had relied on my stories of the warrior queens ever since I learned about them as a child. It was only a few years ago, when I lived in Geneva, that I had a memory flash at me of the statue of Queen Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi on a rearing horse with a curved sword held in one hand. I knew then that it was time to tell a story—my own story and that of my favorite warrior queens.

Jawahara's book list on transporting you across time and place

Jawahara Saidullah Why did Jawahara love this book?

This is one classic that everyone should read because it’s a pleasure to do so. I read this as a 13-year-old, and it quickly became the yardstick against which I measured every other love story. Yes, it’s a love story, and that is the heart of this book, but it’s not a sappy romantic tale. 

This book explores class structures, mental disorders, and a glimpse into another time. Intense yet leashed emotions form the backbone of the story. As a teen and even now, the brooding, dark quality of this tale really appeals to me.

By Charlotte Brontë,

Why should I read it?

33 authors picked Jane Eyre as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, and 11.

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…


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

Benjamin Hruska Author Of Valor and Courage: The Story of the USS Block Island Escort Carriers in World War II

From my list on the human superpower of teamwork overcoming challenges.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been drawn to narratives where a group of individuals needs to collectively overcome a seemingly insurmountable challenge. And, as someone who loves reasonable outdoor challenges such as whitewater rafting trips, I love stories that combine the two. I have been lucky enough to partake in two private float trips of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. With no internet, or electricity for 16 days at a time, a carefully crafted book list is key for any river descend. All these books at their core are narratives of individuals digging in deep, and cultivating that collective human superpower known as teamwork, to overcome challenges many thought could not be overcome.

Benjamin's book list on the human superpower of teamwork overcoming challenges

Benjamin Hruska Why did Benjamin love this book?

Even though shot at while participating in the Spanish-American War, and even shot in the chest by a would-be assassin while running for President decades later, the most dangerous adventure of Theodore Roosevelt took place in the jungles of Brazil after he was President.

Millard in this fantastic work seamlessly marries two complex topics. First being the personality of our 26th President whose varied accomplishments included writing over 30 books and being the first American to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The second is the ecosystems of the Amazon, which damn near killed Roosevelt on his descent down an uncharted tributary of the river. 

By Candice Millard,

Why should I read it?

7 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.…


Book cover of The Wall

Lisa Currie Author Of Guidebook to the Unknown: A Journal for Anxious Minds

From my list on journeying into the unknown.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Australian author and artist who is quite cautious and introverted by nature, but very curious and playful at heart. I make books that help people untangle what’s on their mind today and shift their thinking in creative ways, often using visual metaphors. My latest book, Guidebook to the Unknown, was created during the long lockdowns we had in Melbourne (and all over the world of course) during the pandemic. It was my way of exploring how to calm an anxious mind and find meaning in my daily life, right here and now, without knowing what tomorrow will bring.

Lisa's book list on journeying into the unknown

Lisa Currie Why did Lisa love this book?

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.

By Marlen Haushofer,

Why should I read it?

4 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…


Book cover of The Alchemist

Diana Drake Long Author Of Dream It, Design It, Live It: The Ultimate Guide to Manifesting Your Next-Level Life

From my list on creativity, happiness and success in life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been enthralled with the idea of “dreams come true” for as long as I can remember. In middle school, I discovered the field of psychology. I made weekly trips to the library and read books on personal development, spirituality, and memoirs. This commitment to learning and growth has never wavered. Those early seeds that I planted and nurtured have bloomed into my long-standing career of professional coaching, facilitation, and leading transformational retreats. My passion is empowering others to believe in their dreams and goals and bring them to life. 

Diana's book list on creativity, happiness and success in life

Diana Drake Long Why did Diana love this book?

International bestseller Paul Coelho wrote this book, and it is a classic and the perfect gift for yourself or others. This book is a vibrant story about a shepherd boy who dares to pursue his dreams. The book holds wisdom on every page.

One of my favorite quotes from the book: "Why do we have to listen to our hearts?" the boy asked. Because when you listen to your heart, that is where you will find your treasure." I like to revisit this little book for a dose of sweet inspiration and motivation. Our inner wisdom is always nudging us in the direction of our dreams; it's up to us if we heed the call!

By Paulo Coelho,

Why should I read it?

25 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…


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

James G. Stavridis Author Of The Sailor's Bookshelf: Fifty Books to Know the Sea

From my list on to know the sea.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a retired 4-star Admiral who spent over forty years at sea, rising from Midshipman at the Naval Academy to Supreme Allied Commander at NATO. I studied literature and published eleven books, many dealing with the oceans. My PhD from Tufts University, where I served as Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, centered on the Law of the Sea Treaty. My father was a seagoing US Marine, my wife grew up in the Navy with a father who was a Navy pilot, and my daughter was a Navy nurse. Finally, my basset hound is named Penelope, after the wife of Ulysses who waited for her husband to return from ten years at sea.

James' book list on to know the sea

James G. Stavridis Why did James love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of South: A Memoir of the Endurance Voyage

David Barrie Author Of Supernavigators: Exploring the Wonders of How Animals Find Their Way

From my list on the sea and navigation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been a sailor all my life and fell in love with the art of navigation when I was crossing the Atlantic in a 35-foot yacht at the age of 19. Learning how to fix my position in the middle of a vast, featureless ocean by the light of the sun and stars was a life-changing experience. Since then I have sailed all over the world and made many long ocean passages. My book Sextant describes the crucial role that celestial navigation played in the exploration and charting of the world's oceans, and how the development of GPS is profoundly changing our relationship with the natural world.

David's book list on the sea and navigation

David Barrie Why did David love this book?

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…

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…


Book cover of Finding Your Way Without Map or Compass

David Barrie Author Of Supernavigators: Exploring the Wonders of How Animals Find Their Way

From my list on the sea and navigation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been a sailor all my life and fell in love with the art of navigation when I was crossing the Atlantic in a 35-foot yacht at the age of 19. Learning how to fix my position in the middle of a vast, featureless ocean by the light of the sun and stars was a life-changing experience. Since then I have sailed all over the world and made many long ocean passages. My book Sextant describes the crucial role that celestial navigation played in the exploration and charting of the world's oceans, and how the development of GPS is profoundly changing our relationship with the natural world.

David's book list on the sea and navigation

David Barrie Why did David love this book?

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…

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…


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

David Barrie Author Of Supernavigators: Exploring the Wonders of How Animals Find Their Way

From my list on the sea and navigation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been a sailor all my life and fell in love with the art of navigation when I was crossing the Atlantic in a 35-foot yacht at the age of 19. Learning how to fix my position in the middle of a vast, featureless ocean by the light of the sun and stars was a life-changing experience. Since then I have sailed all over the world and made many long ocean passages. My book Sextant describes the crucial role that celestial navigation played in the exploration and charting of the world's oceans, and how the development of GPS is profoundly changing our relationship with the natural world.

David's book list on the sea and navigation

David Barrie Why did David love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of Treasure Island

Len Travers Author Of The Notorious Edward Low: Pursuing the Last Great Villain of Piracy's Golden Age

From my list on curing you of DPS (Disney Pirate Syndrome).

Why am I passionate about this?

Let's face it: pirates of the Golden Age are just cool. No one would actually want to encounter them, but they have been the stuff of escapist dreams since childhood. Adventure, fellowship, treasure–the “romantic” aspects of piracy are what make these otherwise nasty individuals anti-heroes par excellence. As an adult and academic and as an occasional crewman on square riggers, I adopted pirates as a favorite sub-set of maritime history. As with other aspects of the past, I view the history of pirates and piracy as really two narratives: what the records tell us happened and why and what our persistent fascination with them reveals about us.

Len's book list on curing you of DPS (Disney Pirate Syndrome)

Len Travers Why did Len love this book?

In my humble opinion, this is the greatest adventure tale in the English language!

Robert Louis Stevenson practically invented pirates for the modern world, particularly his chief antagonist, the crippled but formidable Long John Silver. Highly intelligent, cunning, crafty, ruthless, yet somehow appealing, Silver set the standard for all pirate heroes to come.

Whenever I get bogged down studying pirates, I turn to Treasure Island to remember what it is to enjoy my subject!

By Robert Louis Stevenson,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Treasure Island 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?

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!

Interested in circumnavigation, explorers, and France?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about circumnavigation, explorers, and France.

Circumnavigation Explore 20 books about circumnavigation
Explorers Explore 96 books about explorers
France Explore 870 books about France