10 books like Shadow Divers

By Robert Kurson,

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

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In the Heart of the Sea

By Nathaniel Philbrick,

Book cover of In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

A small lifeboat is spotted off the coast of Chile in 1821, below the gunnels skeletal men cling to a pile of human bones. Nathaniel Philbrick opens his National Book Award-winning story with an almost incomprehensibly brutal scene and rarely takes a breath for the remaining 300-odd pages. Considered to be the inspiration for Herman Melville's Moby Dick, In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex is the true story of a ship stove in by a whale in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and the harrowing survival of some of its crew. 

In the Heart of the Sea

By Nathaniel Philbrick,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked In the Heart of the Sea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The epic true-life story of one of the most notorious maritime disasters of the nineteenth century - and inspiration for `Moby-Dick' - reissued to accompany a major motion picture due for release in December 2015, directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker and Cillian Murphy.

When the whaleship Essex set sail from Nantucket in 1819, the unthinkable happened. A mere speck in the vast Pacific ocean - and powerless against the forces of nature - Essex was rammed and sunk by an enraged sperm whale, and her twenty crewmen were forced to take to the open sea…


Into the Raging Sea

By Rachel Slade,

Book cover of Into the Raging Sea: Thirty-Three Mariners, One Megastorm, and the Sinking of El Faro

In most nautical disaster stories, we’re left to speculate what went through the minds of the victims as their fates unfolded. However, when the container ship El Faro steamed into the teeth of a hurricane in 2015, the voices of its crew were captured for posterity on a shipboard “black box” which was later recovered by divers. Author Rachel Slade was able to accurately reconstruct the fatal combination of bad luck, outdated technology, and outright hubris that brought this huge ship and its crew to their terrible end. A fascinating account of maritime disaster in the modern age. 

Into the Raging Sea

By Rachel Slade,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Into the Raging Sea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the tradition of The Perfect Storm and Into Thin Air, Rachel Slade's Into the Raging Sea is a nail-biting account of the sinking of the container ship El Faro, the crew of thirty-three who perished onboard, and the destructive forces of globalisation that put the ship in harm's way.

On 1 October 2015, Hurricane Joaquin barreled into the Bermuda Triangle and swallowed the container ship El Faro whole, resulting in one of the worst shipping disasters in decades. No one could fathom how a vessel equipped with satellite communications, a sophisticated navigation system, and cutting-edge weather forecasting could suddenly…


102 Minutes

By Kevin Flynn, Jim Dwyer,

Book cover of 102 Minutes: The Unforgettable Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers

102 Minutes chronicles the critical moments of the 9/11 attack on New York’s World Trade Center, introducing us to characters whose survival, as often as not, turn on simple luck-of-location and early decisions made by them. Authors Dwyer and Flynn know that it’s necessary to occasionally “press the pause button” between chapters of stomach-tightening tension. They understand that the reader simply cannot sustain this story’s relentless pace without some relief. (It’s a technique that I borrowed for Killer Show, interspersing “lesson chapters” about the economics of rock tours, the science of pyrotechnics, and developments in burn medicine with the narrative of the nightclub fire, itself.)

102 Minutes

By Kevin Flynn, Jim Dwyer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 102 Minutes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At 8:46 a.m. that morning, fourteen thousand people were inside the World Trade Centre just starting their workdays, but over the next 102 minutes, each would become part of a drama for the ages. Of the millions of words written about this wrenching day, most were told from the outside looking in. "New York Times" reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn draw on hundreds of interviews with rescuers and survivors, thousands of pages of oral histories, and countless phone, e-mail, and emergency radio transcripts to tell the story of September 11 from the inside looking out. Dwyer and Flynn have…


Into Thin Air

By Jon Krakauer,

Book cover of Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster

Jon Krakauer lives to tell and write the tale of two misguided climbs up Mount Everest taking place the same weekend in May 1996. He’s there on a magazine assignment that morphs into a powerful book about bravery and also the hazards of hubris. Two world-class mountaineers (New Zealander Rob Hall and American Scott Fischer) take the risk of escorting commercial clients up Everest, some of whom have no business being there beyond the ability to pay about $60,000 apiece. Eight people perish in wicked weather, including Hall and Fischer. Seven others have to be rescued.

I recommend the paperback edition, which has an afterward not included with the hardcover. The book resonates on a personal level. I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro on a Fischer-led trip two years before. Scott invited me on this expedition. I couldn’t go, so instead received a chilling phone message from his assistant at 2 o’clock…

Into Thin Air

By Jon Krakauer,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Into Thin Air as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The epic account of the storm on the summit of Mt. Everest that claimed five lives and left countless more—including Krakauer's—in guilt-ridden disarray. 

"A harrowing tale of the perils of high-altitude climbing, a story of bad luck and worse judgment and of heartbreaking heroism." —PEOPLE

A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was wrong. 

By writing Into Thin Air, Krakauer may have hoped to exorcise some of his own demons…


The Last Days of the Incas

By Kim MacQuarrie,

Book cover of The Last Days of the Incas

If you don’t know the story of the Spanish conquest of the Incas, read this book. For me, it is as good as Game of Thrones—except this is no fantasy. The events are real, the history meticulously researched. MacQuarrie’s narrative style is sweeping and engaging, giving readers a ground-level view of the dramatic final days of the Inca empire. Palace drama. Epic battles. Heroic resistance. How can you refuse?

The Last Days of the Incas

By Kim MacQuarrie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Last Days of the Incas is a popular epic history of the conquest of the powerful Inca Empire, the largest empire ever known in the New World, by 168 Spaniards, led by Francisco Pizarro, a one-eyed conquistador, and his four brothers. It describes the three-year conquest and the 37 year guerrilla war that followed as the Incas relocated from their capital, Cuzco, high in the Andes, to a new capital, Vilcabamba, deep in the Amazon jungle.

Because they brought with them two powerful weapons, horses and muskets, the Spaniards were able to conquer an Inca force that outnumbered them…


Jungle of Stone

By William Carlsen,

Book cover of Jungle of Stone: The Extraordinary Journey of John L. Stephens and Frederick Catherwood, and the Discovery of the Lost Civilization of the Maya

One of the real contagions of contemporary life (for anyone in any time, I suspect) is the way one can become complacent about the existence we are experiencing: we can take “what everyone knows” for granted. Like the Ferris Wheel, which was invented for the Chicago World’s Fair to outshine the previous Fair’s Effiel Tower. Now, any carnival midway or small circus has one. 

The same with many “ancient ruins.” Cruise ships stop at Minos or the Mexican pyramids for organized tours. But these places had been lost for millennia until they were re-discovered in the last 200 – 300 years. In Jungles of Stone, the initial discovery was almost an accident. Seen as an opportunity by Stephens and Catherwood, the magnificence and majesty of what they find converts their commercial enterprise into something more like a crusade. While the book recounts their arduous efforts to uncover the lost…

Jungle of Stone

By William Carlsen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New York Times Bestseller (Expeditions) * THE "MASTERFUL CHRONICLE"* OF THE DISCOVERY OF THE LEGENDARY LOST CIVILIZATION OF THE MAYA--AN "ADVENTURE TALE THAT MAKES INDIANA JONES LOOK TAME"* In 1839, rumors of extraordinary yet baffling stone ruins buried within the unmapped jungles of Central America reached two of the world's most intrepid travelers. Seized by the reports, American diplomat John Lloyd Stephens and British artist Frederick Catherwood-both already celebrated for their adventures in Egypt, the Holy Land, Greece, and Rome-sailed together out of New York Harbor on an expedition into the forbidding rainforests of present-day Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. What…


The Blood of Heroes

By James Donovan,

Book cover of The Blood of Heroes: The 13-Day Struggle for the Alamo--And the Sacrifice That Forged a Nation

One thing my selections have in common is my own awe for the amount of research that went into the work. In this instance, Mr. Donovan has gone back to original sources, found old letters, telegrams, newspaper reports, interviews with survivors, and so on, turning the famous participants (e.g. Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, etc.) from the stiff, stock characters of popular imagination or media and mockery into recognizable human beings: Jim Bowie with his tenacious will (see the description of a duel fought on an island in a river against several opponents) and a heart-broken by the death of a beloved wife, or Crockett, an out-of-office politician, and national figure, heading West in the hopes of finding a new beginning.

None of them planned on being a hero, but, at the end, were willing to die for their friends and their adopted home of Texas.

The Blood of Heroes

By James Donovan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For almost two centuries, the last stand at the Alamo has been recognized as a defining moment in America's history. On February 23, 1836, a Mexican army thousands of soldiers strong attacked a makeshift garrison of about 200 Texas settlers-among them, Davy Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis-holed up in the abandoned mission on the outskirts of San Antonio. The Texans refused to surrender, and for almost two weeks, the immense force lay siege to the fort, bombarding its occupants with a constant barrage of artillery fire. Then, in the predawn hours of March 6, the Mexican troops unleashed…


Into Africa

By Martin Dugard,

Book cover of Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley & Livingstone

This is another story that has been parodied out of any semblance of the magnificently foolish endeavor that ended up becoming almost noble. While today the idea would be risible, this book contextualizes the time and culture that created a national hero of the Reverend Livingstone, a clergyman traveling to “darkest Africa” to spread the Good Word to the savages and why finding him became a Western obsession. The insights into the day-to-day life and difficulties of the many and varied characters, tribes, and nations are balanced nicely against the struggles of the main characters to find their way through Africa and life itself.

Into Africa

By Martin Dugard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1866 Britain's foremost explorer, Dr David Livingstone, went in search of the answer to an age-old geographical riddle: where was the source of the Nile? Livingstone set out with a large team, on a course that would lead through unmapped, seemingly impenetrable terrain into areas populated by fearsome man-eating tribes. Within weeks his expedition began to fall apart - his entourage deserted him and Livingstone vanished without trace. He would not be heard from again for two years.
While debate raged in England over whether Livingstone could be found in the unmapped wilderness of the African interior, James Gordon…


This is New Jersey from High Point to Cape May

By John T. Cunningham,

Book cover of This is New Jersey from High Point to Cape May

John Cunningham Was a journalist who became a historian -- and a great one. The World War II veteran and Newark Evening News columnist wrote innumerable books about his native state, and they were all great. Perhaps his most significant contribution to the state’s story was This is New Jersey, a classic which has remained in print since its initial publication in 1953.

This is New Jersey from High Point to Cape May

By John T. Cunningham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This is New Jersey from High Point to Cape May as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Large, heavy hardback edition with 165 illustrations and 22 full page maps...


On the Road

By Jack Kerouac,

Book cover of On the Road

On the Road is the mother of all 20th-century American road trips. It’s a mad rush West, an impetuous quest for life and friendship, as experienced by the protagonist, Sal Paradise. This is Kerouac’s episodic account of his own restless relationships among transients who question, postpone, reject, or can’t afford the post-World War II American dream of house, spouse, car, career, and kids. What I love about this iconic American road story is Kerouac’s authenticity, his thirst for life, his human fallibility, his truth. 

On the Road

By Jack Kerouac,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked On the Road as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The legendary novel of freedom and the search for authenticity that defined a generation, now in a striking new Pengiun Classics Deluxe Edition

Inspired by Jack Kerouac's adventures with Neal Cassady, On the Road tells the story of two friends whose cross-country road trips are a quest for meaning and true experience. Written with a mixture of sad-eyed naivete and wild ambition and imbued with Kerouac's love of America, his compassion for humanity, and his sense of language as jazz, On the Road is the quintessential American vision of freedom and hope, a book that changed American literature and changed…


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