The most recommended books abou the English Channel

Who picked these books? Meet our 13 experts.

13 authors created a book list connected to the English Channel, and here are their favorite English Channel books.
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What type of English Channel book?


Book cover of Young Woman and the Sea: How Trudy Ederle Conquered the English Channel and Inspired the World

Elise Hooper Author Of Fast Girls: A Novel of the 1936 Women's Olympic Team

From my list on inspirational women athletes.

Who am I?

My novels explore women whose contributions to culture have been relegated to the footnotes of mainstream history books, and in few areas have women been more overlooked than in sports. Because of the achievements of today’s female athletes, ranging from the many athletic opportunities available to our young daughters to the professional success of women like Serena Williams, it’s easy to think that progress for women’s sports has come a long way—and in many ways, it has, thanks to legislative protections like Title IX—but these achievements reflect over a century’s worth of sacrifice by many unheralded women athletes. Here are five books that highlight this journey.

Elise's book list on inspirational women athletes

Elise Hooper Why did Elise love this book?

These days Gertrude Ederle is unfamiliar to many of us, but a century ago she was an athletic champion whose celebrity rivaled Babe Ruth’s. In 1926, two years after winning three medals at the Paris Olympics, she became the first woman to swim the English Channel, an amazing feat of endurance and perseverance that took 14 hours and 37 minutes, a time almost two hours faster than the speediest of the five men who had gone before her. Along with recreating Ederle’s harrowing Channel journey in vivid detail, renowned sportswriter Glenn Stout infuses life back into Ederle and shows us why President Coolidge called her “America’s Best Girl.”

By Glenn Stout,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The exhilarating true story of Trudy Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel, and inspire a "wave of confidence and emancipation" for women in sports (Parade).

By age twenty, at the height of the Jazz Age, Trudy Ederle was the most accomplished swimmer in the world. She'd won Olympic gold and set a host of world records. But the greatest challenge remained: the English Channel. Only a few swimmers, none of them women, had ever made the treacherous twenty-one mile crossing. Trudy's failed first attempt seemed to confirm what many naysayers believed: No woman could possibly accomplish such…

Book cover of A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II

Mike Guardia Author Of Tomcat Fury: A Combat History of the F-14

From my list on military aviation.

Who am I?

Mike Guardia is an Amazon Top 100 Bestselling Author and military historian. A veteran of the United States Army, he served six years on active duty (2008-2014) as an Armor Officer. He has written and lectured on various topics of modern military history, including guerrilla warfare, air-to-air combat, and World War II in the Pacific. He holds a BA and MA in American History from the University of Houston.

Mike's book list on military aviation

Mike Guardia Why did Mike love this book?

Pound-for-pound, this is perhaps the best military aviation book on the market today.  During the darkest days of World War II, A Higher Call tells the story of a seemingly-improbable act of gallantry in the skies over Europe.  A wounded and hardly-airworthy B-17 limps through the sky near the conclusion of its first mission. It is soon tailed by a Bf-109, the Luftwaffe’s deadliest fighter. The Messerschmitt pilot could end the B-17 crewmen’s lives with the pull of a trigger.  But what happens next will shock the reader.  

By Larry Alexander, Adam Makos,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Higher Call as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER: “Beautifully told.”—CNN • “A remarkable story...worth retelling and celebrating.”—USA Today • “Oh, it’s a good one!”—Fox News
A “beautiful story of a brotherhood between enemies” emerges from the horrors of World War II in this New York Times bestseller by the author of Devotion, now a Major Motion Picture. 

December, 1943: A badly damaged American bomber struggles to fly over wartime Germany. At the controls is twenty-one-year-old Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown. Half his crew lay wounded or dead on this, their first mission. Suddenly, a Messerschmitt fighter pulls up on the bomber’s tail. The pilot is German…

Book cover of Threads: From the Refugee Crisis

César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández Author Of Migrating to Prison: America's Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants

From my list on turning immigration policies into human stories.

Who am I?

As an immigration legal scholar and lawyer, I read about immigration a lot. From laws that seem written to confuse to articles in academic journals written for an audience of experts, I’m lucky to love what I do—and so I enjoy most of what I read. But these books are special. They drew me in and wouldn’t let go until the last page. Whether fiction or non-fiction, they are written by storytellers who bring laws and policies to life.

César's book list on turning immigration policies into human stories

César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández Why did César love this book?

In Calais, France, on Europe’s northern edge, migrants from across the Middle East and Africa settled, hopeful that they would eventually make it across the English Channel.

While they waited, they built lives, relationships, and the ramshackle edifices that poverty permits—the ingredients of communities. Only to be attacked, sometimes by neighbors, other times by police. In this graphic novel, Evans brings Europe’s refugees to life in their humor, hope, and despair.

By Kate Evans,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


In the French port town of Calais, famous for its historic lace industry, a city within a city arose. This new town, known as the Jungle, was home to thousands of refugees, mainly from the Middle East and Africa, all hoping, somehow, to get to the UK. Into this squalid shantytown of shipping containers and tents, full of rats and trash and devoid of toilets and safety, the artist Kate Evans brought a sketchbook and an open mind. Combining the techniques of eyewitness reportage with the medium of comic-book storytelling, Evans has…

Book cover of A Wrinkle in the Skin

Huw Collingbourne Author Of The Snow

From my list on post-apocalyptic science fiction.

Who am I?

“We had to put our money into bowls of vinegar,” my Aunty Mary once told me, “because they thought we’d infect them.” It’s hard to believe that this happened in living memory but in the early 1960s, smallpox came to the Rhondda valleys of South Wales where my family lived. Patients were put into a local isolation hospital. When people from the valleys went to the capital city, Cardiff, some shop-owners insisted that any coins were put into vinegar – a supposed ‘cure’ for the plague that dates back to the Middle Ages. Is it any wonder that I grew up with a fascination for the end of civilization as we know it?

Huw's book list on post-apocalyptic science fiction

Huw Collingbourne Why did Huw love this book?

In this wonderful novel, massive earthquakes cause a geological catastrophe that changes the world’s geography overnight. The upheaval of the ocean floor forms a land bridge that connects the island of Guernsey with mainland Britain. By removing the sea from the English Channel, Christopher creates a peculiar, surreal landscape which, we soon discover, is populated by some peculiar and surreal people. I particularly enjoyed the captain of the grounded ship who tries to run his vessel as though nothing has changed. John Christopher was the grandmaster of the post-apocalyptic genre.

By John Christopher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Wrinkle in the Skin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One night, the island of Guernsey convulsed. As shock followed shock, the landscape tilted violently in defiance of gravity. When dawn came and the quakes had stilled to tremblings, Matthew Cotter gazed out in disbelief at the pile of rubble that had been his home. The greenhouses which had provided his livelihood were a lake of shattered glass, the tomato plants a crush of drowned vegetation spotted and splodged with red.

Wandering in a daze of bewilderment through the devastation, he came to the coast, looked out towards the sea ...

There was no sea: simply a sunken alien land,…

Book cover of Golden Bats and Pink Pigeons

Simon Michael Prior Author Of The Coconut Wireless

From my list on remote tropical islands.

Who am I?

Simon Michael Prior loves small islands, and has travelled to remote countries in search of unique island experiences. He inflicts all aspects of life on himself so that readers can enjoy learning about his latest exploits. During his forty-year adolescence, he’s lived on two boats, sunk one of them; sold houses, street signs, Indian food, and paper bags; visited fifty countries, lived in three; qualified as a scuba diving instructor; learnt to wakeboard; trained as a Marine Rescue skipper, and built his own house without the benefit of an instruction manual.

Simon's book list on remote tropical islands

Simon Michael Prior Why did Simon love this book?

I’ve been a Durrell fan since I was 13, and I’ve collected all his books. This one opened my eyes to a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius and its nearby neighbour Round Island. Durrell’s books are focused on conservation of the animal world, but his books are as much about the human animal, and his adventures and descriptions of the people he meets and the locations he travels to bring his books to life. Highly recommended for anyone interested in travel, conservation and humour.

By Gerald Durrell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Golden Bats and Pink Pigeons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On this speck of volcanic soil in the middle of a vast sea, a complete, unique and peaceful world was created slowly and carefully. It waited there for hundreds of thousands of years for an annihilating invasion of voracious animals for which it was totally unprepared, a cohort of rapacious beasts led by the worst predator in the world, Homo sapiens...In an incredibly short space of time, a number of unique species had vanished...Mauritius, the green and mountainous island in the Indian Ocean that was once the home of the ill-fated dodo, still had among its fauna many unique but…

Book cover of Handmade: A Scientist's Search for Meaning through Making

Rebecca Struthers Author Of Hands of Time: A Watchmaker's History

From my list on for people who love taking things apart.

Who am I?

For as long as I can remember I’ve been obsessed with figuring out how things work. What started with me pulling apart redundant household tech as a child (thanks to my very supportive parents) has become a lifelong passion in making and restoring one of the most incredible machines invented – the watch. Our millennia-old obsession with making things tells us so much about who we are and the world we like in. I love all of these books as, in varied ways, they inspire curiosity and connect us with our innately human instinct to understand the world around us.

Rebecca's book list on for people who love taking things apart

Rebecca Struthers Why did Rebecca love this book?

As adults, we get to a point in our lives where we generally know what we’re good at, and when we’re good at something, it becomes challenging to try new things we know we’ll initially, probably, be very bad at it. It pushes us outside our comfort zone.

Ploszajski is a brilliant materials scientist who bravely heads outside her field on a journey to explore the hands-on world of the materials she knows so well in the lab. It’s an incredibly inspiring read for anyone holding back from trying new skills. It’s hard to come away from this book without having set your heart on taking up a new craft!

By Anna Ploszajski,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From atomic structures to theories about magnetic forces, scientific progress has given us a good grasp on the properties of many different materials. However, most scientists cannot measure the temperature of steel just by looking at it, or sculpt stone into all kinds of shapes, or know how it feels to blow up a balloon of glass. Handmade is the story of materials through making and doing. Author and material scientist Anna Ploszajski journeys into the domain of makers and craftspeople to comprehend how the most popular materials really work. Anna has the fresh perspective of someone at the forefront…

Book cover of The Satanic Verses

Max Davine Author Of Spirits of the Ice Forest

From Max's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Reader Historian Mariner Traveler Firefighter

Max's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Max Davine Why did Max love this book?

It’s tough competition here—I read War and Peace, GilgameshThe Grapes of Wrath, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla in the same twelve months. For me to choose anything over ancient poetry is almost unheard of.

But I think the state of socio-politics right now has played a hand in influencing me—we can see what fanaticism is doing to the world everywhere we look, and Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses not only shreds the notions of religious and political fanaticism but does so with great humanity and intellectual savagery.

Blasphemy is a human right. And only through tragic comedy like this book can free thinkers stand against the rising tide of darkness that comes in the guise of piety and patriotism.

By Salman Rushdie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A masterpiece' Sunday Times

Just before dawn one winter's morning, a aeroplane blows apart high above the English Channel and two figures tumble, clutched in an embrace, towards the sea: Gibreel Farishta, India's legendary movie star, and Saladin Chamcha, the man of a thousand voices.

Washed up, alive, on an English beach, their survival is a miracle. But there is a price to pay. Gibreel and Saladin have been chosen as opponents in the eternal wrestling match between Good and Evil. But chosen by whom? And which is which? And what will be the outcome of their final confrontation?


Book cover of Florence Adler Swims Forever

Elyssa Friedland Author Of The Most Likely Club

From my list on loads of nostalgia.

Who am I?

I’m somebody that starts far too many sentences with the phrase “Remember when.” I have great sensory recollection of things from my past. As a high schooler in the 90s, I can still smell the CK One I was wearing during the Seinfeld finale and hear the Nirvana blaring through my 5-disc changer while I did my homework. I love using my writing to bring certain time periods back to life. I think because technology is moving so quickly – I struggle to understand TikTok – I like writing books and reading books that take me back to a time period that isn’t changing with status updates, new pictures, and Snaps every second. 

Elyssa's book list on loads of nostalgia

Elyssa Friedland Why did Elyssa love this book?

Tearjerker warning here. This book brought me back to 1930s Atlantic City. As a Jersey Girl, I’m always curious to read books about the place I grew up. I was especially interested in this book because it centered on a Jewish family, similar to my own. While the plot hinges on a tragedy, there are also hopeful moments and some well-placed humor. Not only was I wrapped up in the family drama, but I learned so much history about the Jersey Shore, a place that today barely resembles what author Rachel Beanland describes.   

By Rachel Beanland,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Florence Adler Swims Forever as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The perfect summer read" (USA TODAY) begins with a shocking tragedy that results in three generations of the Adler family grappling with heartbreak, romance, and the weight of family secrets across the course of one summer.

"Rachel Beanland is a writer of uncommon wit and wisdom, with a sharp and empathetic eye for character. She'll win you over in the most old fashioned of ways: She simply tells a hell of a story." -Rebecca Makkai, Pulitzer Finalist for The Great Believers

Atlantic City, 1934. Every summer, Esther and Joseph Adler rent their house out to vacationers escaping to "America's Playground"…

Book cover of The Story of the Bayeux Tapestry: Unravelling the Norman Conquest

Andrew Varga Author Of The Last Saxon King: A Jump in Time Novel

From my list on detailed, fun, and easy to read Anglo-Saxon history.

Who am I?

I’ve been a lifelong student of history. Even as a child I would devour history books or watch documentaries on TV telling tales of past wars of heroic battles. This passion eventually turned into a degree in History from the University of Toronto. I have also visited countless museums, castles, ruins, and historic sites throughout Europe and North America. My particular interest in Anglo-Saxon history came during my university years when I took some Old English language courses. Poems like the Battle of Maldon and Beowulf were my gateway to the rich tapestry of lives and events that made up the Anglo-Saxon era.

Andrew's book list on detailed, fun, and easy to read Anglo-Saxon history

Andrew Varga Why did Andrew love this book?

This book provides a fantastic, in-depth study of the Bayeux Tapestry—the most detailed of all the sources for the Battle of Hastings—the battle that ended the Anglo-Saxon age.

What makes the book stand out is its panel-by-panel description of the tapestry, providing insight into the characters and places that are depicted, as well as the little oddities that occur in the borders of the tapestry.

However, the authors don’t just want you to believe their interpretation. They are quick to identify alternate explanations for ambiguous scenes, and clearly state that while some academics may prefer one view over another, no one really has the true answer, leaving the reader to form their own opinion.

Truly, this is the best book I’ve read about the Bayeux Tapestry.

By David Musgrove, Michael Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Political intrigue and treachery, heroism and brutal violence, victory and defeat - all this is depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry, an epic account of one of the pivotal episodes in English history embroidered on a strip of linen. Famously, it shows the stricken Anglo-Saxon king Harold dying on the battlefield of Hastings in 1066 amid a shower of arrows, as axes clash, spears fly and fallen warriors are trampled beneath charging hooves.

However, there is much more to this remarkable historical and artistic treasure, which tells its tale with an intensity and immediacy that speak to our modern world, almost…

Book cover of The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot July 25, 1909

Will Hillenbrand Author Of The Voice in the Hollow

From my list on igniting the imagination of young readers.

Who am I?

Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, my dyslexia made reading a challenge. However, my close encounters with books led to a meaningful and expressive life. From my family's barbershop, I absorbed colorful conversations and tall tales, fueling my imagination. Expressing those narratives through drawings at my kitchen table granted me solace. Driven by a desire to bring stories to life, I leaped and pursued an education in art. In a picture book art class, my calling as an author and illustrator became clear. Transforming words into vivid illustrations and breathing life into children's literature became my heartfelt pursuit. With over 75 books now in my repertoire, I am truly fortunate.

Will's book list on igniting the imagination of young readers

Will Hillenbrand Why did Will love this book?

After reading this captivating story, I was overwhelmed with the desire to embark on a grand adventure, flying in an open-air cockpit.

Coming from Ohio, not far from where the Wright Brothers took to the skies, flight has always fascinated me, from observing birds to marveling at airplanes. The vivid pictures within the pages of this book ignited a fire within me, giving me wings to soar through the air.

With its delightful portrayal of Louis Blériot's historic flight across the English channel in 1909, this picture book beautifully brings the world of first flights and eccentric contraptions to life. Its clever illustrations, filled with wit and whimsy, truly captured the essence of the extraordinary journey.

By Alice Provensen, Martin Provensen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Glorious Flight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Caldecott Medal, this stunningly illustrated book depicts Louis Bleriot's historic first cross-Channel flight.

“Factually accurate, yes-but also a witty pictorial reincarnation of Bleriot’s first experience of an airship”--Kirkus Reviews