100 books like Survive the Savage Sea

By Dougal Robertson,

Here are 100 books that Survive the Savage Sea fans have personally recommended if you like Survive the Savage Sea. 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 The Soul of a New Machine

Alex Tapscott Author Of Web3: Charting the Internet's Next Economic and Cultural Frontier

From my list on technological innovation and what drives it.

Why am I passionate about this?

It was while on the job as an investment banker that I first heard about this new thing called Bitcoin, before the word "web3" entered the vernacular. Initially I was skeptical but curious. But I became convinced the underlying technology of blockchains was ushering in nothing short of a new internet. My father Don Tapscott and I agreed to collaborate on a major research initiative that became the international best-seller, Blockchain Revolution. Since then, I have traveled to 40 countries and seen first-hand how blockchain and now Web3 is changing the world, setting the stage for a new digital age. My new book charts a course for this coming transformation.

Alex's book list on technological innovation and what drives it

Alex Tapscott Why did Alex love this book?

Kidder’s book follows the lives of a group of brilliant, funny, and maniacally driven entrepreneurs as they race to get their new minicomputer, the “Data General Eclipse MV/8000,” to market.

The technology is totally obsolete – who under the age of 40 has heard of a minicomputer? – but the story is somehow timeless. The book won the Pulitzer and is still a fun and riveting tale of what it takes to get a product to market on an ever-changing technological frontier.

By Tracy Kidder,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Soul of a New Machine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Tracy Kidder's "riveting" story of one company's efforts to bring a new microcomputer to market won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and has become essential reading for understanding the history of the American tech industry.

Computers have changed since 1981 when The Soul of a New Machine first examined the culture of the computer revolution. What has not changed is the feverish pace of the high-tech industry, the go-for-broke approach to business that has caused so many computer companies to win big (or go belly up), and the cult of pursuing mind-bending technological innovations.

The Soul…


Book cover of House

Witold Rybczynski Author Of Charleston Fancy: Little Houses and Big Dreams in the Holy City

From my list on architecture for non-architects.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania. Although I’ve written more than twenty books on a variety of subjects, I was trained as an architect and I’ve designed and built houses, researched low cost housing, and taught budding architects for four decades. I was architecture critic for Wigwag and Slate and I’ve written for numerous national magazines and newspapers. Perhaps more important, my wife and I built our own house, mixing concrete, sawing wood, and hammering nails. I wrote a book about that, too.

Witold's book list on architecture for non-architects

Witold Rybczynski Why did Witold love this book?

Architecture is always a collaboration between the architect who conceives the project, the builder who must realize it, and the client who starts it—and pays for it The protracted building process, which is often stressful, is always a complicated pas de trois. No one has written about this better than Tracy Kidder, who describes the complex choreography by following (in real-time and in detail) the construction of a family home in New England.

By Tracy Kidder,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the New York Times bestseller House, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Tracy Kidder takes readers to the heart of the American Dream: the building of a family's first house with all its day-to-day frustrations, crises, tensions, challenges, and triumphs.

In Kidder's "remarkable piece of craftsmanship in itself" (Chicago Tribune), constructing a staircase or applying a coat of paint becomes a riveting tale of conflicting wills, the strength and strain of relationships, and pride in skills. With drama, sensitivity, and insight, he takes us from blueprints to moving day, shedding light on objects usually taken for granted and creating a vivid cast…


Book cover of The Medical Detectives: The Classic Collection of Award-Winning Medical Investigative Reporting

Edith Forbes Author Of Tracking a Shadow: My Lived Experiment with MS

From my list on curious people on the hunt for new knowledge.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a novelist, I am endlessly curious about people and like hearing their stories. As an erstwhile computer programmer and farmer, I also have a lifelong interest in science and natural history. When I find those two divergent interests have cross-pollinated in a single gracefully-written book, I am a very happy reader. I love books that weave together an intriguing scientific question with the human story of the scientists pursuing an answer to that question.

Edith's book list on curious people on the hunt for new knowledge

Edith Forbes Why did Edith love this book?

Ever since my seventh-grade science teacher used my flyaway hair to demonstrate static electricity, I have loved science, and I also like mystery stories. This classic collection of short pieces is a favorite in both arenas. It is like a true crime series in which the villains are microorganisms and molecules. Unraveling puzzles involving all manner of medical issues, from rabies to toxic chemicals, these case-study stories kept me riveted from beginning to end. Mostly written from the 1940s to the 1960s, they also touch on some shocking medical practices that one hopes are now outdated.

By Berton Roueché,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Medical Detectives as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The classic collection of award-winning medical investigative reporting.

What do Lyme's disease in Long Island, a pig from New Jersey, and am amateur pianist have in common? All are subjects in three of 24 utterly fascinating tales of strange illnesses, rare diseases, poisons, and parasites-each tale a thriller of medical suspense by the incomparable Berton Roueche. The best of his New Yorker articles are collected here to astound readers with intriguing tales of epidemics in America's small towns, threats of contagion in our biggest cities, even bubonic plague in a peaceful urban park.

In each true story, local health authorities…


Book cover of The Wooden Horse: The Classic World War II Story of Escape

Peter Grose Author Of A Good Place to Hide: How One French Community Saved Thousands of Lives in World War II

From my list on World War 2 from several different perspectives.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve now written three histories of World War 2. A Very Rude Awakening tells the story of the Japanese midget submarine raid into Sydney Harbour on the night of 31 May 1942. An Awkward Truth deals with the Japanese air raid on the town of Darwin in northern Australia on 19 February 1942. (The raid was carried out by the same force that hit Pearl Harbor ten weeks earlier.) These two books have both been filmed. My third book, A Good Place To Hide, is my pairing for this page. Last but not least, if you want a signed copy of my books, then do my friend Gary Jackson and me a favour by going here and clicking on the link "Buy Books and DVDs."

Peter's book list on World War 2 from several different perspectives

Peter Grose Why did Peter love this book?

This is, quite simply, the greatest escape story of all time.

I’ve chosen this book because I’ve read it so often, at least five times, mostly when I was a teenager. It is brilliant storytelling, and it may just be the book that most got me hooked on World War 2 history.

It tells the story of a tunnel dug from under a vaulting horse in the middle of an exercise yard in a German POW camp. The original plan was for a mass escape of prisoners through the tunnel, but in the end, only three prisoners made it back to England and freedom. All brilliantly told.

By Eric Williams,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Eric Williams, Royal Air Force bomber captain, was shot down over Germany in 1942 and imprisoned in Stalag Luft III, the infamous German POW camp. Digging an underground tunnel hidden beneath a wooden vaulting horse, he managed to escape after ten months and, accompanied by a fellow officer, made his way back to England. In this thinly fictionalized retelling, Williams relates his story in three distinct phases: the construction of a tunnel (its entrance camouflaged by the wooden vaulting horse in the exercise yard) and hiding the large quantities of sand he dug; the escape; and the journey on foot…


Book cover of The Sea Was in Their Blood: The Disappearance of the Miss Ally's Five-Man Crew

Carol Moreira Author Of Riptides

From my list on the beauty and threat of the natural world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m fascinated by the relationship of humanity to nature. When I was young, we moved all the time – my dad was in the military and we moved to a new base every 18 months. All those military bases were located in the British countryside and, in the absence of other forms of continuity, nature became like a best friend. I still walk every day. Reconnecting with trees, grass, the sounds of birds, centres and energizes me. I get my best ideas when walking. But, of course, nature is also threatening – Covid and cancer are natural. I’m fascinated by that juxtaposition and always trying to reflect it in my work.  

Carol's book list on the beauty and threat of the natural world

Carol Moreira Why did Carol love this book?

This book is based on a real-life tragedy – the deaths of five young Nova Scotia fishermen aboard the Miss Ally, a fishing vessel that was lost with all hands during a storm in 2013. Casey, a journalist and writer, has produced a moving synthesis in this work. He explores the lives, families, and characters of the young men who were lost, and recreates the community they lived in, effectively evoking the fishing culture, the profession’s unique dangers, and the economic imperatives and opportunities. Some may feel he judges the official emergency responders harshly but he is writing from the position of the community, which is always apparent to the reader. He explores the youthful over-confidence and bravado that likely played a role in the tragedy without pointing the cold finger of judgment. 

By Quentin Casey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It was a frigid night in February 2013 when the five young fishermen vanished. The crew of the Miss Ally―a 12-metre Cape Islander from Woods Harbour, Nova Scotia―was fishing for halibut far off the Nova Scotia coast when their boat's spotlight malfunctioned. A vicious winter storm was approaching from her south, and all other boats at the fishing grounds were steaming for shore. Unable to locate his longlining gear, the Miss Ally's young captain decided to stay an extra day to retrieve the gear and, hopefully, a big catch.

Their retreat delayed, the Miss Ally crew ended up pounded by…


Book cover of Titanic: True Stories of Her Passengers, Crew and Legacy

Carla Louise Robinson Author Of The Light In The Darkness Book One

From my list on the Titanic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a bibliophile who loves dogs and prefers the country to the city. I’m the kid who yelled at my kindergarten teacher because she hadn’t taught me to read by the end of the year. That same tenacity followed me when, at seven years old, I learned that James Cameron was making a movie based on the Titanic. With righteous fury, I yelled at my befuddled parents, before asking why they had not told me about this ship. I pleaded with my parents to take me to see the movie for my upcoming eighth birthday, and they relented, with my mum buying my first fictional Titanic novel. That’s how my Titanic obsession began.

Carla's book list on the Titanic

Carla Louise Robinson Why did Carla love this book?

Nicola Pierce’s Titanic: True Stories of Her Passengers, Crew and Legacy details not only Titanic’s story, but her sister’s tragedies. It questions whether Bruce Ismay was really a villain and poses the idea that he might be a hero; it critically examines Captain Smith’s behaviour the night of the sinking. It follows the events of the Carpathia and Californian, lending insight into what happened on both ships that night, reminding us the Titanic didn’t just hit an iceberg: She was trapped in an iceberg field. It finishes on the Mackay-Bennett, the funeral ship sent to ferry back as many of Titanic’s dead as they could, reminding us that the tragedy didn’t end on the 15th of April, but would continue for months on end – and for many, years. 

Pierce’s novel was one of my biggest sources for my book. I’d heard of the Mackay-Bennett funeral…

By Nicola Pierce,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book commemorates the enduring legacy of the world's most famous ship - TITANIC.

Her story is one of all those bound together on that fateful voyage. On board were: writers, artists, honeymooners, sportsmen, priests, reverends, fashion designers, aristocrats, millionaires, children, crew and emigrants looking for a better life.

This book tells of their lives, and shines the spotlight on:

Some of the great ship's surprising treasures Her feted voyage from Belfast's
Harland & Wolff shipyard The fascinating museums devoted to her memory, including Titanic Belfast The iconic music and movies Her winged and four-legged passengers The sister ships of…


Book cover of Divers Down!

Russ Colson Author Of The Arasmith Certainty Principle

From my list on sci-fi with adventure, proper romance, or friendship.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a planetary scientist and college professor, I love the adventure of finding something new, the wonder of strange worlds, and the magic of mysterious discoveries that behave logically in a way that I can figure out. Unsurprisingly, that is what I like in my fiction too. I also love a story that explores the nature of the interaction between people, particularly in friendship or romance (all proper of course—I’m an old-fashioned guy). The books on this list are all touchstones in my own journey into science and life, and I hope that you can find in them the delight, wonder, insight, and motivation that I have found.

Russ' book list on sci-fi with adventure, proper romance, or friendship

Russ Colson Why did Russ love this book?

High school student Kip Morgan wins an internship at an oceanographic institute in Hawaii where he, with help of new friend Julie Scott, overcomes multiple personal and engineering challenges to solve an archaeological mystery and raise a sunken ship from the sea floor. This story from the 1970s was key in guiding me toward a life of science, and the portrayal of a realistic, mentored research experience gave me a vision for what I might do in my own journey through college and into science.

I loved the exotic location, scuba diving, and seafloor exploration, mystery, adventure, and romance!

By Hal Gordon, James Temple (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Hawaiian Diver fiction - juvenile


Book cover of In the Eye of All Trade: Bermuda, Bermudians, and the Maritime Atlantic World, 1680-1783

Sharika Crawford Author Of The Last Turtlemen of the Caribbean: Waterscapes of Labor, Conservation, and Boundary Making

From my list on the maritime Caribbean.

Why am I passionate about this?

Although my Midwestern roots in southwest Michigan situated me far away from the sea, I am now an expert on small islands and remote communities in the greater Caribbean. As a result, I grew to understand that much of the everyday lived experiences of island people must contend with the sea. As a result, I have spent the last two decades studying topics such as migration, fishing, and even conservation as related to small islands from the better-known Cayman Islands to the lesser-known San Andrés and Providencia Islands. I am a history professor at the US Naval Academy.

Sharika's book list on the maritime Caribbean

Sharika Crawford Why did Sharika love this book?

In the Eye of All Trade is a gigantic book. Do not let the book’s size scare you. It tells the history of Bermuda, and the greater Caribbean, from a maritime perspective. In six chapters, Jarvis traces how Bermuda transitioned from tobacco to maritime society. If you stick with it, you will uncover how Bermudian seafarers traveled as far as Belize to facilitate an inter-island trade in salt, mahogany, and even turtles. Bermudian success rested on adaptability to their isolated location.

By Michael J. Jarvis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Eye of All Trade as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In an exploration of the oceanic connections of the Atlantic world, Michael J. Jarvis recovers a mariner's view of early America as seen through the eyes of Bermuda's seafarers. The first social history of eighteenth-century Bermuda, this book profiles how one especially intensive maritime community capitalized on its position ""in the eye of all trade.""

Jarvis takes readers aboard small Bermudian sloops and follows white and enslaved sailors as they shuttled cargoes between ports, raked salt, harvested timber, salvaged shipwrecks, hunted whales, captured prizes, and smuggled contraband in an expansive maritime sphere spanning Great Britain's North American and Caribbean colonies.…


Book cover of The Lifeboat

Chris Turnbull Author Of The Planting of the Penny Hedge

From my list on fiction with an historical twist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Yorkshire writer with a passion for historical fiction. My love of history came as a surprise to me in my late teens, as I had originally thought history was not my thing. However, I soon discovered the incredible stories throughout history, and how many authors carve fictional stories around these time periods or historical events. I love researching for my own historical writing, whether it be to find out what kind of jobs people did, or what they ate for breakfast. I love reading and writing historical fiction in multiple eras, such as WW2, Victorian times, and further back to the Romans and ancient Egyptians. 

Chris' book list on fiction with an historical twist

Chris Turnbull Why did Chris love this book?

The Lifeboat is one of the first-period books I ever remember reading, and I was hooked by it from the first page. Told in the first person we follow Grace, as she retells the horrific incidents that have happened to her during the sinking of the Express Alexandra, becoming a widow, and spending three weeks trapped on a cramped lifeboat. I credit this book with being the first to inspire me in the world of historical fiction, both as a reader and writer.

By Charlotte Rogan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The sinking of an ocean liner leaves a newly married woman battling for survival in this powerful debut novel.

Grace Winter, 22, is both a newlywed and a widow. She is also on trial for her life.

In the summer of 1914, the elegant ocean liner carrying her and her husband Henry across the Atlantic suffers a mysterious explosion. Setting aside his own safety, Henry secures Grace a place in a lifeboat, which the survivors quickly realize is over capacity. For any to live, some must die.

As the castaways battle the elements, and each other, Grace recollects the unorthodox…


Book cover of The Island of Doctor Moreau

Ben H. Winters Author Of The Bonus Room

From my list on malevolent beasts.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written across genres, including mysteries like The Last Policeman and big works of alternate history like Underground Airlines. But Bedbugs—now republished as The Bonus Room—was one of my first books, and very dear to my heart. I’ve always loved books that pit a single, relatively helpless protagonist against some inexplicable force that he or she cannot begin to fathom. A force that can’t be reasoned with or bargained with. You just have to beat it. Perhaps that’s why I love these books about man vs. beast—the natural world is our friend, and animal are subservient to us…until suddenly, terrifyingly, they’re not.   

Ben's book list on malevolent beasts

Ben H. Winters Why did Ben love this book?

Wells is one of the great early masters of science fiction, creator of The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, but with Moreau he was also one of the masters of what David Cronenberg fans know as body horror—the gross, startling, and menacing intermingling of the human body with exterior elements.

In this case, pumas, pigs, you name it. With characters like Ape-Man and Sloth-Man, there is a definitely campiness here, but never enough to distract from the fact that it’s deeply, resonantly disturbing.  

By H.G. Wells,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Island of Doctor Moreau as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Island of Doctor Moreau has inspired countless homages in literature, film and television.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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