97 books like Shadow Divers

By Robert Kurson,

Here are 97 books that Shadow Divers fans have personally recommended if you like Shadow Divers. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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

Tyler LeBlanc Author Of Acadian Driftwood: One Family and the Great Expulsion

From my list on making you never want to step foot on a boat again.

Who am I?

I grew up on the tip of a peninsula jutting out into the raging Atlantic ocean. Both of my grandfathers spent their lives at sea. The power, and fear, that the ocean inspires has been a constant in my life, and most recently while working on Acadian Driftwood. Spending years working on a story so closely tied to tragedy, and the sea, I’ve consumed a lot of nautical disaster stories. While not everything on the list is a disaster (Nansen got his ship stuck in the ice on purpose) each story will make you rethink whether you ever want to head out to sea.  

Tyler's book list on making you never want to step foot on a boat again

Tyler LeBlanc Why did Tyler love this book?

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. 

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. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

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…


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

John Barylick Author Of Killer Show: The Station Nightclub Fire, America's Deadliest Rock Concert

From my list on disaster & survival.

Who am I?

I have a passion for this type of book because I have always craved truly immersive reading experiences.  Ever since cutting my teeth on Hardy Boys adventures, I've loved well-told stories of peril and derring-do.  And I find narrative non-fiction to be the most engrossing because, in the reader's mind, they know that "this really HAPPENED"!  After the Station Nightclub Fire occurred in 2003, and after I spent seven years as an attorney working on its legal aftermath, I knew that someone had to tell its definitive story, casting blame where deserved, and lavishing praise where earned.  It had to read like a novel, but inspire and educate in the process.  To judge from its reception in reader communities as diverse as heavy metal fans and fire service professionals, it seems to have achieved that goal.

John's book list on disaster & survival

John Barylick Why did John love this book?

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. 

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…


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

John Barylick Author Of Killer Show: The Station Nightclub Fire, America's Deadliest Rock Concert

From my list on disaster & survival.

Who am I?

I have a passion for this type of book because I have always craved truly immersive reading experiences.  Ever since cutting my teeth on Hardy Boys adventures, I've loved well-told stories of peril and derring-do.  And I find narrative non-fiction to be the most engrossing because, in the reader's mind, they know that "this really HAPPENED"!  After the Station Nightclub Fire occurred in 2003, and after I spent seven years as an attorney working on its legal aftermath, I knew that someone had to tell its definitive story, casting blame where deserved, and lavishing praise where earned.  It had to read like a novel, but inspire and educate in the process.  To judge from its reception in reader communities as diverse as heavy metal fans and fire service professionals, it seems to have achieved that goal.

John's book list on disaster & survival

John Barylick Why did John love this book?

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.)

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…


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

Robert Averill Author Of NeuroAdventures: The Art and Science of Hunting and Gathering Happiness

From my list on peak and transformative human experience.

Who am I?

I’ve always craved outdoor adventure. My earliest preschool memories include frog hunting in the fields behind my house, and careening down hills around the neighborhood on my metal-wheeled skateboard. In middle school, I progressed to BMX, spearfishing and surfing. After college, I added snow and water skiing, windsurfing, and eventually mountain biking to the mix, and was fortunate to have a career that allowed time and resources to travel the world extensively seeking adventure. Now well into my sixties, I research and write about science, extreme sports, nature and philosophy in between daily hikes and mountain bike rides around the homebase and monthly journeys to destinations unknown.

Robert's book list on peak and transformative human experience

Robert Averill Why did Robert love this book?

I have always enjoyed reading a well-written subjective account of my fellow outdoor enthusiasts’ experiences during their chosen adventures. This book took it to another level.

While we all accept that the substantial rewards from our activities can carry substantial risks, we attempt to mitigate these risks whenever possible through experience and sound judgment. But sometimes Nature has her own agenda.

This heart-wrenching saga of a failed Everest expedition reinforced my motivation to prepare for the unexpected and served as a stark reminder that we have to be willing to pay the ultimate price for our rewards. But it also illustrated the fierce determination and selfless heroism that can be found in the human spirit.

By Jon Krakauer,

Why should I read it?

15 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…


Book cover of The Last Days of the Incas

Andrew R. Thomas Author Of The Canal of Panama and Globalization: Growth and Challenges in the 21st Century

From my list on the Panama Canal and the Panama Railroad.

Who am I?

My twenty-five books have explored topics around global trade, transportation networks, security, and development. Prior to becoming a writer, I had a moderately successful global business career; that came with the opportunity to travel to and conduct business in more than 120 countries on all seven continents. Being American (by birth) and Panamanian (by marriage), the role of Panama and both the Canal and the Railroad in the history of the world always fascinated me. My most recent book on the present and future of the Canal and Panama has been the fulfillment of much passion and interest over many years.

Andrew's book list on the Panama Canal and the Panama Railroad

Andrew R. Thomas Why did Andrew love this book?

Any understanding of transport networks across the Isthmus (road, river, railroad, and Canal) must consider the conquest of the Inca Empire.

MacQuarrie’s book illustrates how Panama was the staging ground for Pizarro’s small band of entrepreneurs who conquered the largest empire ever in the Americas. And, later, how the gold and silver from Peru was transported back to Spain across Panama.

Moreover, the book details how a bloody civil war between the conquerors almost cost them the fruits of their original victory. All of this set the stage for what would later come to much of Latin America.

By Kim MacQuarrie,

Why should I read it?

4 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…


Book cover of Angels & Demons

E. Chris Ambrose Author Of The Mongol's Coffin

From my list on weaving adventure and history.

Who am I?

As an art school drop-out who'd been majoring in sculpture, I'm fascinated by material culture—artifacts created by early peoples that reveal their cultural values. Often, the relics and sites that engage both archaeologists and readers suggest unexpected depths of knowledge that show human ingenuity through the ages. I strive to incorporate the details of an artifact or monument's creation into the clues and descriptions in my work, hopefully illuminating a little-known historical realm, if only by torchlight as the adventure unfolds. The fact that I get to explore so many exotic locations, in research if not in person, is a definite plus!

E. Chris' book list on weaving adventure and history

E. Chris Ambrose Why did E. Chris love this book?

While most people associate Dan Brown with his more famous work, The DaVinci Code, this first novel in his Robert Langdon series really founded the archaeological thriller genre.

I loved how this book transports readers to the milieu so thoroughly that it was a bit of a spoiler when I recognized one key location from my own time in Rome before the secret was revealed—but that's a testament to how well he conveys the scene! Brown invites us behind the scenes of secret societies, sharing insider information to raise the stakes.

I had the great good fortune to take a workshop with Dan just before DaVinci Code came out, and benefit from his enormous skill as a teacher. The man tells a ripping yarn, full of puzzles that blend fact and fancy. 

By Dan Brown,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Angels & Demons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

CERN Institute, Switzerland: a world-renowned scientist is found brutally murdered with a mysterious symbol seared onto his chest.

The Vatican, Rome: the College of Cardinals assembles to elect a new pope. Somewhere beneath them, an unstoppable bomb of terrifying power relentlessly counts down to oblivion.

In a breathtaking race against time, Harvard professor Robert Langdon must decipher a labyrinthine trail of ancient symbols if he is to defeat those responsible - the Illuminati, a secret brotherhood presumed extinct for nearly four hundred years, reborn to continue their deadly vendetta against their most hated enemy, the Catholic Church.

Origin, the spellbinding…


Book cover of The Hunt for Red October

James Tarr Author Of Bestiarii

From my list on technically accurate thrillers.

Who am I?

For people who know something about a technical field, there is nothing that can ruin a book or movie faster than inaccuracies about that field. I’ve worked as an armored car driver, police officer, and private investigator in and around Detroit, and have been writing for outdoor magazines for close to twenty years, so not only do I know a lot about the featured subjects/characters of most thrillers, I care about how accurately they’re portrayed, and have brought that passion to my writing. I’ve written five thrillers set in Detroit, many of them featuring a private investigator, and when writing Bestiarii and its sequels did extensive research on dinosaurs.

James' book list on technically accurate thrillers

James Tarr Why did James love this book?

With The Hunt For Red October, unknown insurance salesman Tom Clancy single-handedly invented a genre—the “techno-thriller”. 

This has come to mean a thriller where the author has done everything they could to make sure even the tiniest details in their book were technically accurate—and nobody did it with a bigger splash than Clancy. The CIA read the book and immediately started searching for whoever had released the information in it, which they thought was still classified. 

THFRO was passed all around Washington D.C., and eventually even President Reagan publicly praised it. But beyond all the technically correct tech around Navy vessels in general and submarines in particular, THFRO is a darn good story, a thriller about a defecting Soviet submarine during the height of the Cold War. 

It showed people a novel could be both entertaining and exactingly accurate.

By Tom Clancy,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Hunt for Red October as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Also Available as an Audio Edition from Audible

Tom Clancy's rich imagination and his remarkable grasp of the capabilities of advanced technology give this novel an amazing ring of authenticity. It is a thriller with a new twist, a "military procedural" with an ingenious, tightly woven plot that revolves around the defection of a Soviet nuclear submarine--the USSR's newest and most valuable ship, with its most trusted and skilled officer at the helm.

A deadly serious game of hide-and-seek is on. The entire Soviet Atlantic Fleet is ordered to hunt down the submarine and destroy her at all costs. The…


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

Roy M. Griffis Author Of The Old World

From my list on history that reads like the most gripping fiction.

Who am I?

I love history that is about people. The discoveries they made or the adventures they had (or endured) are thrilling and fascinating, but it’s the people who make it compelling. From Ernest Shackleton dumping handfuls of gold on the ice to show his stranded men he was committed to getting them out of Antarctica alive, to a fussy young William Travis writing desperately for help that would never come, and being of the first to die during the attack on the Alamo…the best books make those events, the times, and the stakes very very real. And the very best histories give you the humanity of the choices and decisions that led them there.

Roy's book list on history that reads like the most gripping fiction

Roy M. Griffis Why did Roy love this book?

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…

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…


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

Roy M. Griffis Author Of The Old World

From my list on history that reads like the most gripping fiction.

Who am I?

I love history that is about people. The discoveries they made or the adventures they had (or endured) are thrilling and fascinating, but it’s the people who make it compelling. From Ernest Shackleton dumping handfuls of gold on the ice to show his stranded men he was committed to getting them out of Antarctica alive, to a fussy young William Travis writing desperately for help that would never come, and being of the first to die during the attack on the Alamo…the best books make those events, the times, and the stakes very very real. And the very best histories give you the humanity of the choices and decisions that led them there.

Roy's book list on history that reads like the most gripping fiction

Roy M. Griffis Why did Roy love this book?

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.

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…


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

Roy M. Griffis Author Of The Old World

From my list on history that reads like the most gripping fiction.

Who am I?

I love history that is about people. The discoveries they made or the adventures they had (or endured) are thrilling and fascinating, but it’s the people who make it compelling. From Ernest Shackleton dumping handfuls of gold on the ice to show his stranded men he was committed to getting them out of Antarctica alive, to a fussy young William Travis writing desperately for help that would never come, and being of the first to die during the attack on the Alamo…the best books make those events, the times, and the stakes very very real. And the very best histories give you the humanity of the choices and decisions that led them there.

Roy's book list on history that reads like the most gripping fiction

Roy M. Griffis Why did Roy love this book?

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.

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…


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