The most recommended books about fishermen

Who picked these books? Meet our 29 experts.

29 authors created a book list connected to fishermen, and here are their favorite fishermen books.
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What type of fishermen book?


Book cover of The Fishermen

Feyisayo Anjorin Author Of Kasali's Africa

From my list on African post-colonial life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Akure, a hilly, ancient, rainforest town that became the chief administrative town of the newly created Ondo State in 1976. As a child, I witnessed the old town’s effort, both deliberate and inevitable, to wear a modern look. I’m naturally attracted to stories, fiction or non-fiction, that gives voice to the individual right to resist the old or the new; resistance that will not be without consequences. Kasali’s Africa is the theatre of ideas for Kasali, a rural farmer courted by the educated elites, and his view on what Africa should be. If you love Africa, I know you will enjoy these books.

Feyisayo's book list on African post-colonial life

Feyisayo Anjorin Why did Feyisayo love this book?

The Fishermen is set in Akure, the first town I ever knew intimately, and a town I have fallen in love with once again as an adult. In Akure you will see hills and rivers and green scenery, you will see stories. This gives me rare insight into the childhood adventures of the protagonist, Ben, and his 3 brothers, whose lives were shackled by the rantings of a mentally disturbed man. I love the author’s use of historical figures and events of 1990s Nigeria as a backdrop for this tragic story about a normal Nigerian family.

By Chigozie Obioma,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A striking debut novel about an unforgettable childhood, by a Nigerian writer the New York Times has crowned "the heir to Chinua Achebe."

Told by nine-year-old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers, The Fishermen is the Cain and Abel-esque story of a childhood in Nigeria, in the small town of Akure. When their father has to travel to a distant city for work, the brothers take advantage of his absence to skip school and go fishing. At the forbidden nearby river, they meet a madman who persuades the oldest of the boys that he is destined to be killed by…

Book cover of Threads: The Delicate Life of John Craske

Clare Hunter Author Of Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle

From my list on needlework that will surprise and move you.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have sewn since I was a child, taught by my mother to keep me out of mischief. From having the best-dressed dolls in the neighbourhood I graduated to making my own, sometimes outlandish, forms of fashion and then became a banner maker and community textile artist. Sewing is in my DNA and I love the tactile, rhythmic soothe of it. But I have long been curious about how, in the many books are published about needlework, very few ever mention why people sew. This is what fascinates me, the stories of sewing, because it is through its purpose that we discover the spirit that lies within it. 

Clare's book list on needlework that will surprise and move you

Clare Hunter Why did Clare love this book?

This is a rare and poignant insight into a man’s needlecraft and it was a delight to read. Julia Blackburn sets out on a mission to rediscover the neglected embroideries and forgotten story of the Norfolk fisherman, John Craske, (1881-1943). Her research leads her to many dead ends and unexpected encounters and, along the way, she experiences and shares her own story of loss. I love this book because it takes me into the world of the sea captured in the fishing folk Blackburn meets and introduces me to Craske’s mesmerising embroideries made under tragic circumstances.

By Julia Blackburn,

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?

Winner of the East Anglian Book of the Year 2015

John Craske, a Norfok fisherman, was born in 1881 and in 1917, when he had just turned thirty-six, he fell seriously ill. For the rest of his life he kept moving in and out of what was described as 'a stuporous state'. In 1923 he started making paintings of the sea and boats and the coastline seen from the sea, and later, when he was too ill to stand and paint, he turned to embroidery, which he could do lying in bed. His embroideries were also the sea, including his…

Book cover of The Mermaid of Black Conch

Therese Down Author Of The Estate Agent

From my list on lighting up your imagination and your soul.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love stories grounded in realism - but which also explore that there may be more to life than meets the eye; reasons beyond reason, for the way we dream, love, and think, and which come from unexpected sources. I love books whose characters really 'live', and stay with me, long after I've finished reading. I aspire to create such characters. In my novels, I seek to explore important themes from perspectives that often pitch rationality against what it cannot explain, or dismiss. The fiction I most love does this – whether it exploits mythology, suggests life beyond life, or uses magical realism to add ‘other’ dimensions to the ordinary. "There are more things… Horatio…"

Therese's book list on lighting up your imagination and your soul

Therese Down Why did Therese love this book?

The Mermaid of Black Conch takes a mythological creature and gives her extraordinary life, as a very real, young woman, called Aycayia.

She is caught – hooked like a prize fish - by greedy anglers, and hauled from the sea, bringing with her an already fascinating and tragic history of injustice and misunderstanding. But, she is also an object of love.

Not all fishermen are commercial opportunists… Not all men are eager to exploit beautiful and unusual women, and so begins an extraordinary rescue, and a life-affirming relationship, with many unpredictable, literally magical, and truly remarkable twists.

This enchanting book, written with breath-taking originality, is likely to spell-bind you – permanently. You’ll never again think of mermaids in the same way.

By Monique Roffey,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Mermaid of Black Conch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Escape to the ocean with the entrancing, unforgettable winner of the Costa Book of the Year - as read on BBC Radio 4.

'Mesmerising' MAGGIE O'FARRELL

Near the island of Black Conch, a fisherman sings to himself while waiting for a catch. But David attracts a sea-dweller that he never expected - Aycayia, an innocent young woman cursed by jealous wives to live as a mermaid.

When American tourists capture Aycayia, David rescues her and vows to win her trust. Slowly, painfully, she transforms into a woman again. Yet…

Book cover of Dirt Music

Olivia Levez Author Of The Island

From my list on to survive desert islands, life, and everything.

Why am I passionate about this?

Both my books have a survival theme. Whether it’s foraging for mushrooms, wild camping, or trying to survive lockdown, I’ve always been interested in the relationship between endurance and creativity; what happens when humans are pushed to their limits. After teaching English in a secondary school for 25 years, I decided that I wanted to write a book of my own. I hid away in my caravan in West Wales, living off tomato soup and marshmallows, to write The IslandThe books on this list represent the full gamut of survival: stripping yourself raw, learning nature’s lore, healing, falling, getting back up again. Ultimately, to read is to escape into story. To read is to survive.

Olivia's book list on to survive desert islands, life, and everything

Olivia Levez Why did Olivia love this book?

I just love this book. Again, it’s set against such an evocative landscape – this time in Western Australia. It tells the story of a tentative love affair between a reckless poacher and the wife of a wealthy landowner – and the inevitable fall-out. There’s even a soundtrack to go with it – Winton’s a musician too.

The writing’s so pitch-perfect that I had to keep stopping to scribble phrases down. It’s that good. Why is it about survival? As well as Luther Fox, the poacher, struggling to get over the tragedy of his past, the last third of the book focuses on his walkabout up north to Coronation Island, where he deliberately shipwrecks himself. Cue the wilderness: scavenging, hunting, sheltering. True, haunting, survival in its rawest sense as he battles to redemption.

By Tim Winton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Georgie Jutland is a mess. At forty, with her career in ruins, she finds herself stranded in White Point with a fisherman she doesn't love and two kids whose dead mother she can never replace. Her days have fallen into domestic tedium and social isolation. Her nights are a blur of vodka and pointless loitering in cyberspace. Leached of all confidence, Georgie has lost her way; she barely recognises herself.

One morning, in the boozy pre-dawn gloom, she looks up from the computer screen to see a shadow lurking on the beach below, and a dangerous new element enters her…

Book cover of The Naked Fisherman

Stella Grae Author Of Just Call Me Confidence

From my list on erotic romance to give you all the feels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved, I’ve lost, and everything in between! Just like my protagonist, Jenna, in Just Call Me Confidence, life imitated art and I took a page from her “book,” having to begin anew. I’ve been the friend who has entertained all sorts of stories—sex, love, and rock n’ roll (wink, wink)—all without judgment. That role in my life continues, and what I’ve discovered in my “research” is this: Sex is wonderful, but there’s no greater joy than loving someone, even if it’s only for a little while. Read more about my take on sex, love, and rock n’ roll on my blog “Bone Up.” 

Stella's book list on erotic romance to give you all the feels

Stella Grae Why did Stella love this book?

This book was a perfect combination of on-the-edge-of-my-seat sexy and tug-at-my-heartstrings romantic.

The author created phenomenal dialogue between Fisher and Reese, so good, in fact, that their flirting was almost as hot as their eventual hookups. I really did adore this story for the plot twists that seemed to come out of nowhere.

Reese’s growth into a confident young woman who stopped thinking about how things were just happening to her and took control to make the things she wanted to happen was remarkable; their second-chance love story with all the sexy feels was exactly the heart-mind turn-on I had hoped it would be.

The best part? The effortless way Fisher and Reese not only fell in love with each other but loved their tribe, too. It made me feel just really good to be a part of this story.  

By Jewel E Ann,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Jewel E. Ann returns with an addictive new adult romance about a young woman who discovers years of Sunday sermons didn’t prepare her for the many lessons of the crude and sexy man who is now her boss. 

It's official.

I'm eighteen and a young woman with endless possibilities on my way to reunite with my mom in Colorado after five years apart—she had a little weed incident in Nebraska.

At the airport, she springs the news on me ... she's leaving for a month of job training. And me? I'm left…

Book cover of Hook, Line, and Sinker

Cat Johnson Author Of Between a Rock and a Hard Cowboy

From my list on feel-good romance when the world is a dumpster-fire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a romance reader long before becoming an author. 89 published books later, including 2 New York Times and 9 USA Today bestsellers, I feel justified in claiming some knowledge on the subject. I believe you must be a book lover, an avid reader, to be a successful writer. That said, everyone has diverse tastes, and I think taste and what a person needs in a book, changes with time and circumstances. Luckily there have never been more books available. You just have to find them. Whether you read my recommendations and said, “Yes!” or “Hell, no!”, I hope you're one step closer to your next best read.

Cat's book list on feel-good romance when the world is a dumpster-fire

Cat Johnson Why did Cat love this book?

I’ll admit that I picked up Tessa Bailey’s books strictly because of the reader raves all over TikTok. I read her It Happened One Summer first, and then immediately put Hook, Line, and Sinker on my wish list and I have to say, I loved the second book even more than the first, and that was a high bar to beat.

A riches-to-rags story about two sisters forced to move from their luxurious lives in LA to a much more sparce existence in a small fishing village populated with sexy crab fishermen, it’s part Schitt’s Creek and part Deadliest Catch—a testament to the fact this toe-tingling romance was conceived and written during the pandemic when the author was admittedly binging both shows on TV.

By Tessa Bailey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


In the follow-up to It Happened One Summer, Tessa Bailey delivers another deliciously fun rom-com about a former player who accidentally falls for his best friend while trying to help her land a different man...

King crab fisherman Fox Thornton has a reputation as a sexy, carefree flirt. Everyone knows he's a guaranteed good time-in bed and out-and that's exactly how he prefers it. Until he meets Hannah Bellinger. She's immune to his charm and looks, but she seems to enjoy his... personality And wants to be friends Bizarre.…

Book cover of The Rock Maiden: A Chinese Tale of Love and Loyalty

Shirin Yim Bridges Author Of Eat Your Peas, Julius! Even Caesar Must Clean His Plate

From my list on children’s stories introducing history and culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a complete history nerd since childhood—since I opened a Christmas present to reveal one of the books I recommend here, People in History. Since then I’ve written 21 children’s books, and published more by other authors as the founder of Goosebottom Books. All these books touch on some aspect of history or culture in one way or the other. There’s always an emphasis or insight into custom, time, or place. Even the adult novels I’m currently working on are historical fiction. I’m still completely enthralled by the many worlds of the past. I even listen to history podcasts when I’m doing the dishes!

Shirin's book list on children’s stories introducing history and culture

Shirin Yim Bridges Why did Shirin love this book?

This book presents mythology from my own Chinese culture—specifically, a legend from Hong Kong, where I lived from the age of seven to sixteen. We used to go on drives into the countryside on the weekends—Hong Kong still had some semblance of countryside then—and we’d often see the Amah Rock looming above us in the distance. This book tells the sad and poignant legend behind that rock. I love how it takes a tale specific to one geographical spot—one small pile of stones—and turns it into a universal story about love and loyalty. What also makes it special is that the author used to be beside me in the backseat of the car. Natasha Yim, a very well-respected children’s author, is my sister.

By Natasha Yim, Pirkko Vainio (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When her fisherman husband fails to come home after a storm at sea, the beautiful maiden Ling Yee is heartbroken. Every morning, she puts her baby on her back and clambers to the top of a cliff looking for any signs of his return. But day after day, she is disappointed. The villagers try to convince her to give up her vigil. No," she would say, He will come home soon." Tin Hau, the Goddess of the Heavens, takes pity on her grief and turns Ling Yee and her child into stone so that they would mourn no more. The…

Book cover of Monsters of River & Rock: My Life as Iron Maiden's Compulsive Angler

Brent Abell Author Of Death Inc.

From my list on heavy metal that are on my shelf.

Why am I passionate about this?

Brent Abell resides in Southern Indiana with his wife and Drake the Puggle. Brent enjoys anything horror-related. In his writing career, he’s had stories featured in over 30 publications from multiple presses. His books Southern Devils, Southern Devils: Reconstruction of the Dead, In Memoriam, The Calling, Phoenix Protocol, Dying Days: Death Sentence, Dying Days: Zealot, Death Inc., and Wicked Tales for Wicked People are available now. He is also a co-author of the horror-comedy Hellmouth series. Currently, he is working on a multitude of projects. You can hang out with him on his website for some rum, beer, and a good cigar.

Brent's book list on heavy metal that are on my shelf

Brent Abell Why did Brent love this book?

Adrian Smith is one of the lead guitar players in Iron Maiden. Adrian has a passion beyond the stage and his career; he loves fishing. When I first picked up the book, I wasn’t sure how the book would be at keeping me engaged and interested. I’m not a fisherman, and I don’t relish going outside much. The book begins with him recounting how he started his love of fishing near his childhood home when he was younger. The book then uses his touring and recording schedules to recount his fishing trips and most extraordinary catches spanning the globe. Each catch is part of a tapestry woven through his life on the road. In the end, I found myself in awe of how much Adrian loves to fish and how seriously he takes it as a hobby.

By Adrian Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Monsters of River & Rock as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Come to the riverbank with Adrian Smith and cast a line on the wild side.

'Beautifully written account' Dave Simpson, The Guardian

'Writes beautifully' The Sun

Welcome to the world of Adrian Smith, playing his Jackson guitar onstage to millions - while behind the scenes he explores far-flung rivers, seas and lakes, waterways and weirs, in a fearless quest for fishing nirvana.

Hooked on the angling adrenaline rush since first catching perch from East London canals on outings with his father, Adrian grew up to be in one of Rock's most iconic bands. On tour, his gear went with him.…

Book cover of The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail

Thomas Blake Earle Author Of The Liberty to Take Fish: Atlantic Fisheries and Federal Power in Nineteenth-Century America

From my list on why the history of the ocean matters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I think about the ocean a lot. Teaching in Galveston, Texas, at a university less than a mile from the ocean means it's on my mind most of the time. And it's not just the fish! I’m fascinated by all things ocean and have spent my career trying to understand the place of the watery world in the history of the United States. From fishing in the North Atlantic, to the history of the U.S. Navy, and even surfing on the Gulf Coast my writing, not to mention reading, usually points to the coast and beyond.

Thomas' book list on why the history of the ocean matters

Thomas Blake Earle Why did Thomas love this book?

It would have been impossible to write my book without Jeff Boslter’s The Mortal Sea.

With evocative prose and argumentative verve, Bolster’s book relates the deep, centuries-long history of overfishing while probing the depths of the interdependent relationship between humanity and the ocean. The Mortal Sea is one of the finest exemplars of environmental history by bringing together the narrative skill and argumentation of the historian with the insights of the ecologist and marine biologist.

Bolster reminds us that some of the most important connections existed not just across the sea, but with it.  

By W. Jeffrey Bolster,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Since the Viking ascendancy in the Middle Ages, the Atlantic has shaped the lives of people who depend upon it for survival. And just as surely, people have shaped the Atlantic. In his innovative account of this interdependency, W. Jeffrey Bolster, a historian and professional seafarer, takes us through a millennium-long environmental history of our impact on one of the largest ecosystems in the world.

While overfishing is often thought of as a contemporary problem, Bolster reveals that humans were transforming the sea long before factory trawlers turned fishing from a handliner's art into an industrial enterprise. The western Atlantic's…

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…