The most recommended fishing books

Who picked these books? Meet our 15 experts.

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


Fishing in Africa

By Andrew Buckoke,

Book cover of Fishing in Africa: A Guide to War and Corruption

Iain Parke Author Of The Liquidator

From the list on African set political thrillers.

Who am I?

Looking for an adventure in the mid-90s I found myself in East Africa helping wind up a failed African bank, locked out of a t-shirt manufacturing plant, chasing down missing bulldozers (which turned up creating Rwandan refugee camps), taking over a toilet paper manufacturer which couldn’t manage to perforate the paper, and running a match factory on the slopes of Kilimanjaro before selling it to a Nigerian chief who turned up in his private jet. Meanwhile feeling like an alien who really didn’t understand what was really going on around me, and uncomfortable with much of the hard-drinking and arrogant expat culture, drove me to start to write as a way of making sense of what I was seeing and feeling.    

Iain's book list on African set political thrillers

Why did Iain love this book?

A revealing portrait of 80s/90s Africa from a journalist who had covered many of the continent’s trouble spots for major British newspapers. Through his journeys you get to meet a wide range of players from fighters in the bush to aid executives and politicians in executive suites. A fascinating mix of travel writing and political analysis (and yes with some fishing thrown in). 

By Andrew Buckoke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For ten years Andrew Buckoke wrote articles about Africa for many of the major newspapers including "The Guardian", "The Times" and "The Observer". He brings his experience and knowledge of the African continent to bear in a book which attempts to open up this often romanticized and little understood land to the general reader. "Fishing in Africa" concentrates interest on the people of the continent rather than the animals, while looking at the ways in which these peoples are governed. The author follows the antics of governments, rebels, aid agencies and fellow journalists and while persuing his interest in fishing,…

438 Days

By Jonathan Franklin,

Book cover of 438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea

Martin Bodek Author Of Zaidy's War: Four Armies, Three Continents, Two Brothers. One Man's Impossible Story of Endurance

From Martin's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Goal-achiever Ultra marathoner Voracious reader Semi-pro scrabbler Dad jokester

Martin's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Martin love this book?

I'm a sucker for survival stories, but I'm a durn fool for expertly written survival stories. The truth is, he had me at 438, and the rest could have been downhill coasting.

This fine writer, though, did not rest on laurels. He did what a story like this required: great reporting despite language barriers, detailed professional psychological/survivalist commentary at correctly curated junctures, evidence backing up the story, a detailed map of the unreal journey, and the mental state of the protagonist throughout and after.

The story is also strongly linear, which gives it forward momentum, which is key for a story like this, because you need to move forward to survive, and not look back and dwell on the past. This is a great story in great hands.

By Jonathan Franklin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 438 Days as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The incredible true survival story of one man's record-breaking fourteen months lost at sea.

On 17th November, 2012, Salvador Alvarenga left the coast of Mexico for a two-day fishing trip. A vicious storm killed his engine and the current dragged his boat out to sea. The storm picked up and carried him West, deeper into the heart of the Pacific Ocean. Alvarenga would not touch solid ground again for fourteen months. When he was washed ashore on January 30th, 2014, he had drifted over 9,000 miles.

Three dozen cruise ships and container vessels passed nearby. Not one stopped for the…

Seawomen of Iceland

By Margaret Willson,

Book cover of Seawomen of Iceland: Survival on the Edge

Marsali Taylor Author Of Women's Suffrage in Shetland

From the list on real women who refused to know their place.

Who am I?

I’m Marsali Taylor, a retired teacher of English, French and Drama. I’ve always been interested in women’s history—not queens and countesses, but what life was like for ordinary people like me. A chance to research women’s suffrage in the Scottish National Library got me started reading these women’s stories in their own words—and what stories they were, from the first women graduates to the war workers. Women’s Suffrage in Shetland took two years of fascinating research, and I hope it’s the foundation for more work by other researchers, both here in Shetland and in other communities whose women fought for the vote.

Marsali's book list on real women who refused to know their place

Why did Marsali love this book?

Stumbling on the fishing hut of Thuridor Einarsdottir, 1777 – 1863, ’one of Iceland’s greatest fishing captains’ set Margaret Willson off on a quest to find out more about the women who flourished in this traditionally male industry. She found a number of them, not just historical women like Thuridor’s contemporaries Kristin and Ingibjorg, farmhands who were expected by the farmer to go to sea, but also their modern counterpart, Vally the farmer/seawoman, along with Hulda the housewife, Jonina, Gudrun, Bylgja and Vigdis. Grey pages spread through the book are short interviews with them; the rest is a lyrically written account of the fishing and social history of Iceland through the experiences of women. A delight to read.

By Margaret Willson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Finalist for the 2017 Washington State Book Award in General Nonfiction / History

The plaque said this was the winter fishing hut of Thuridur Einarsdottir, one of Iceland's greatest fishing captains, and that she lived from 1777 to 1863.

"Wait," anthropologist and former seawoman Margaret Willson said. "She??"

So began a quest. Were there more Icelandic seawomen? Most Icelanders said no, and, after all, in most parts of the world fishing is considered a male profession. What could she expect in Iceland?

She found a surprise. This book is a glimpse into the lives of vibrant women who have braved…

The Width of the Sea

By Michelle Chalfoun,

Book cover of The Width of the Sea

Céline Keating Author Of The Stark Beauty of Last Things

From the list on immersing yourself in nature.

Who am I?

I’ve loved nature and being outdoors since childhood, when I would escape our apartment complex by berry-picking in a park or sneaking onto the lush grounds of a local mental hospital. I grew up in Queens, New York, at a time of rapid development, and mourned as trees were felled for housing. I became an avid hiker, canoeist, and gardener as an adult, and serve on the board of an environmental organization in Montauk, Long Island. What we lose when we lose our connection to nature, saving our last wild places, and leaving a sustainable world to the next generation are key themes in my forthcoming novel--and personal motivation.

Céline's book list on immersing yourself in nature

Why did Céline love this book?

I found this to be one of the most compelling novels I’ve read to draw me deep into the fabric of the hardscrabble life of a New England community down on its luck with the crash of the cod fishing industry.

The sympathetic but thwarted characters are all entangled in dangerous waters of one kind or another, from drug smuggling to physical danger to marital issues. I was as fascinated to learn about the economics and lifestyle of the fishing life as I was moved by the struggles of characters caught in a complex net of change outside their control. 

By Michelle Chalfoun,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is the story of empty oceans and the men who fish them. It's the story of Rosaline, a New England fishing community facing the loss of its traditional way of life, struggling against the imposition of fishing quotas, the closing of the local cannery and the encroachment of the heritage industry, which exploits with nostalgia a way of life before it has even given up its last breath. It's the story of the denizens of Rosaline: John Fitz and his best friend Chris who work on John's father's fishing boat, The Pearl; barmaid Kate, indifferent mother and neglected wife…


By James A. Moore, Alan M. Clark and Lisa Snellings (illustrator),

Book cover of Deeper

T.L Oberheu Author Of The Shadow Dies Loudly: 27 Tales

From the list on for aspiring horror authors.

Who am I?

I read my first chapter book in Kindergarten, and have been fascinated by literature ever since. From writing a Halloween story in 3rd grade that made my classmates cry and the teacher call my mom, to graduating from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, literature has always been a big factor in my life. As a new writer myself and paired with my long list of books stored on my shelves and in my mind, I simply would like to give my two cents on the stories that caused my inspiration to blossom. 

T.L's book list on for aspiring horror authors

Why did T.L love this book?

A fun read, and while this book wasn’t the cause of a flooding of readers in bookstores when it was released, that does not diminish the quality of it. This story takes the Mythos from H.P Lovecraft and adds protagonists that put up a fight against the infamous Deep Ones that every horror aficionado should already know about from Lovecraft’s century-old short story “Dagon”. I recommended this book for the simple reason of writing a protagonist that doesn’t cower in fear doesn’t disqualify the terror if done correctly. As a matter of fact: I would argue it enhances the horror aspects, since showing violence toward a violent enemy early on, rather than a dramatic showdown, can get the hero in much hotter water than they initially planned on.

By James A. Moore, Alan M. Clark and Lisa Snellings (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There are rumors that Golden Cove is haunted. That's why Joe Bierden and his crew are hired to take a group of scientists to the area for a month of research. For Joe, it's easy money. He plans to do a little fishing, some relaxing and simply enjoy the easiest gig of his life. At least that's the plan. Sometimes easy money isn't as easy as you expect. There are things moving in the water, and ghostly apparitions which seem undeniably real. Joe's problems get worse when he and his crew save a drowning girl who disappears only minutes later,…

Fishing Dogs

By Raymond Coppinger, Peter Pinardi (illustrator),

Book cover of Fishing Dogs: A Guide to the History, Talents, and Training of the Baildale, the Flounderhounder, the Angler Dog, and Sundry Other Breeds of Aquatic Dogs

Clive D.L. Wynne Author Of Dog Is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You

From the list on how dogs love people.

Who am I?

I have loved dogs since I was a kid and have been fascinated by a scientific approach to animal behavior since I was in college. About fifteen years ago I found a way to meld my love of dogs with my scientific expertise in animal behavior by studying how and why dogs love people. My quest to understand the human-dog relationship has taken me around the world: from hunting with native people in Nicaragua to examining the remains of a woman buried with a dog 12,000 years ago in Israel. And yes, I really do get to cuddle puppies for a living!

Clive's book list on how dogs love people

Why did Clive love this book?

My good friend Ray Coppinger, who died in 2017 at age 80, was known as the world’s leading scientific expert on the behavior of dogs. As well as writing some of the most important scholarly works on dog behavior, he also penned this slim volume - the hands-down funniest book about the dog-human relationship. Ray could act impatient when people got mushy about their dogs, but in this small gem he reveals that he understood the emotional bond between people and dogs at a very deep level. 

By Raymond Coppinger, Peter Pinardi (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

If you're familiar with the world of hunting, you know how important dogs are in the field. Less known, however, is how vital these canines are to fishermen. For many anglers, packing your tackle and wading through the river without a trusted fishing dog is a recipe for disaster.

In Fishing Dogs, Raymond Coppinger sheds light on the true value of fishing dogs of every size, shape, and color. Monsoon dogs, for example, lay in the bilge of boats until they are disturbed by the shipping of water. At that point, they rise up out of the bilge and unleash…

Hawaiian Fishing Traditions

By Moke Manu, Dennis Kawaharada (editor),

Book cover of Hawaiian Fishing Traditions

Dennis Kawaharada Author Of Storied Landscapes: Hawaiian Literature and Place

From the list on understanding Hawaiian culture before visiting.

Who am I?

I taught traditional Hawaiian literature to college students and established Kalamakū Press in 1990 to publish Hawaiian folktales, narratives, autobiography, and poetry. I also worked for a decade as a writer for the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS), a scientific and cultural non-profit that builds and sails double-hulled voyaging canoes to explore how the Polynesians, without modern navigation instruments, found and settled Hawai‘i. Long before Europeans arrived in Hawai‘i, Polynesians discovered and lived sustainably for centuries on an isolated chain of eight islands. The practices and values of the traditional culture have a lot to teach communities struggling to find their way in an overdeveloped, overpopulated world today. 

Dennis' book list on understanding Hawaiian culture before visiting

Why did Dennis love this book?

Hawaiian Fishing Traditions celebrates famous Hawaiian fishermen. Fish was the main source of protein. The first story, by Moke Manu, tells of Kū‘ula-kai, who became deified as a god of fishermen because of his power to control fish. He built the first fishpond, in Hāna, Maui, to supply the chief and people with food. His son ‘Ai‘ai, featured in the second story, continued his father’s good work by locating offshore fishing grounds and teaching the people how to catch fish, practice conservation, and distribute the catch with generosity. Also included are the stories of other legendary fishermen and of battles with man-eating sharks. Two articles in the appendix describe the vast array of traditional fishing methods; a third article gives an anthropological account of the worship of shark gods.

By Moke Manu, Dennis Kawaharada (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A celebration of the great fisherman of ancient Hawaii, known for attracting and propagating fish, inventing fishing techniques, and bringing in extraordinary catches.

Book cover of Brook Trout & the Writing Life: The Intermingling of Fishing and Writing in a Novelist's Life

Landis Wade Author Of The Write Quotes: The Writing Life

From the list on the writing life.

Who am I?

I am a recovering trial lawyer (after 35 years of law practice) who took up fiction writing in my late 50s and became so interested in learning what it’s like to be a writer – and how to write better – that I began a podcast designed to encourage authors to open up about their writing lives. After more than 500+ author interviews, I remain fascinated by the many different ways that writers approach their craft and how they turn their “what-ifs” into interesting stories. The writing books that I am recommending are books I used to guide me in my interviews. I hope they will provide insight and inspiration in your writing journey.  

Landis' book list on the writing life

Why did Landis love this book?

I was drawn to this book by the title but also the subtitle: The intermingling of fishing and writing in a novelist’s life.

As a fly fisherman and writer myself, I have often thought about the connection between fishing and writing, and more particularly, the similar experiences that come from both, so when I learned about this book, I had to read it. Craig Nova does not disappoint.

Fishing is about good stories, and Nova tells them in this book, but he also reveals how fishing and writing have common needs, such as the need to be in the moment.

He also is honest about the challenges of being a writer and he uses the stream to remind us that when, as he says, “the literary weather is going to take a turn for the worst, what is needed, more than anything else, is the ability to calm down.” 

By Craig Nova,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Brook Trout & the Writing Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this memoir, novelist Craig Nova explores the interconnections between his work as a writer, his personal life, and his passion for fly fishing. Nova leads the reader into his courtship, marriage, the birth of his children, and his life as a father, husband, writer, friend, citizen, and angler. Just as the author observes the life of the elusive and beautiful brook trout in the tea-colored streams, he finds interconnections to his daily life--he teaches his daughter to build an igloo; he deals with the disappointment of a very public mean-spirited review of his much-anticipated novel; he gazes at his…

Goodbye to a River

By John Graves,

Book cover of Goodbye to a River: A Narrative

Steven Faulkner Author Of Bitterroot: Echoes of Beauty & Loss

From the list on travel that enrich landscape with history.

Who am I?

After reading travel books that voyaged beyond mere tourism into the life of the land, its people, and its histories, I found myself longing to launch my own journeys. I took a thousand-mile canoe trip with my son following the 1673 route of the French explorers Marquette and Joliet; I crossed the Rockies with two sons by foot, mountain bike, and canoe following Lewis and Clark and their Nez Perce guides; I took to sea kayak and pontoon boat with a son and daughter, 400 miles along the Gulf Coast in pursuit of the 1528 Spanish Narvaez Expedition. Writing of these journeys gave me the chance to live twice.

Steven's book list on travel that enrich landscape with history

Why did Steven love this book?

I heard about this book on the car radio. The speaker said John Graves was Texas’ best living writer. He was certainly Texas’ best living travel writer. Graves takes us on a canoe trip down the Brazos River in late fall through an area soon to be dammed and obliterated by the Army Corp of Engineers. Graves grew up on that river and loves it. He knows its history and details elements of that history with scenes from pioneer days, the Comanche wars, feuds, hermits, and encounters with modern citizens as Graves and his little dog, a dachshund, wind their way downriver for three weeks, camping out on gravel bars, fishing, hunting, and exploring.

His book inspired me to take my son on a 1000-mile canoe trip that I wrote about in my own book.

By John Graves,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Goodbye to a River as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the 1950s, a series of dams was proposed along the Brazos River in north-central Texas. For John Graves, this project meant that if the stream’s regimen was thus changed, the beautiful and sometimes brutal surrounding countryside would also change, as would the lives of the people whose rugged ancestors had eked out an existence there. Graves therefore decided to visit that stretch of the river, which he had known intimately as a youth.

Goodbye to a Riveris his account of that farewell canoe voyage. As he braves rapids and fatigue and the fickle autumn weather, he muses upon old…

Trapped! A Whale's Rescue

By Robert Burleigh, Wendell Minor (illustrator),

Book cover of Trapped! A Whale's Rescue

Janet Lawler Author Of Walrus Song

From the list on interesting animals.

Who am I?

I am an award-winning children’s author who has always been fascinated by the natural world. My many published children’s books include ones about animals and ocean life. Scholastic Book Clubs and the Children’s Book of the Month Club have featured my work, and translations of my fiction and nonfiction titles can be found in several languages, including Spanish, Japanese, and Hebrew. My National Geographic title Ocean Counting was named an Outstanding Science Trade Book by the National Science Teachers Association and Walrus Song has been named a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection.

Janet's book list on interesting animals

Why did Janet love this book?

This nonfiction book tells an individual animal’s story in a compelling way. The author’s spare, lyrical language makes the reader truly feel this whale’s panicked efforts to free herself from discarded netting left in the ocean by fishermen. The...whale spirals sideways as spidery lines tighten around her. I had to read on! I won’t spoil it for you, but I was cheering at the end. Trapped! A Whale’s Rescue, beautifully illustrated by Wendell Minor, helps readers of all ages understand the impact of human activity on many ocean-dwelling animals. Independent readers will love the detailed back matter about the actual event, whale rescue techniques, and more humpback whale facts.

By Robert Burleigh, Wendell Minor (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Trapped! A Whale's Rescue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A giant whale trapped in nets and ropes. Can she be helped?

A humpback whale migrating south along the California coast becomes tangled in a fishing trawler’s ropes and nets. As she struggles to free herself, the ropes twist more tightly around her body, digging into her skin. The whale fights until she is too tired to continue. What happens next will astound and inspire.

Based on true events, this is a story of interspecies cooperation and the importance of human responsibility to protect the earth and its many inhabitants.

Wendell Minor’s breathtaking paintings illustrate the majesty of the gentle…

Illuminated by Water

By Malachy Tallack,

Book cover of Illuminated by Water: Nature, Memory and the Delights of a Fishing Life

W.D. Wetherell Author Of A Century of November

From W.D.'s 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Booklover

W.D.'s 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did W.D. love this book?

My hobby is fly fishing, and while I’ve read hundreds of books on the subject, few have been as beautifully written, with as much insight, as Illuminated by Water by a young and very talented writer named Malachy Tallack.

Many have tried to explain what makes fly fishing so compelling; Tallack comes closest to delivering the answer.

By Malachy Tallack,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Shortlisted for the Richard Jefferies Award 2022

Growing up in Shetland with its myriad lochs and burns, Malachy Tallack and his brother would roam the island in search of trout, and in so doing discovered a sense of freedom, of wonder - and an abiding passion.

But why is it that fishing - or the mere contemplation of catching a fish - can be so thrilling and so captivating?

Why is it that time spent beside water can be imprinted so sharply in memory?

Why is it that what seems a simple act - of casting a line, waiting and…

Silver Shoals

By Charles Rangeley-Wilson,

Book cover of Silver Shoals: The Five Fish That Made Britain

Amelia Dalton Author Of Pages from My Passport

From the list on the lives of those who pushed the boundaries.

Who am I?

I ‘fell’ into being at sea by chance, through my father’s insistence I join him on a Scottish fishing boat for a week. I discovered I adored exploring unknown islands and lonely beaches, discovering wildlife and resilient small communities. In the 1990’s a female working amongst fishermen and commercial shipping was unknown, it was a wholly male, chauvinistic world. Using these skills I found a job being paid to explore – a dream job, pioneering but frequently lonely and dangerous. It resulted in my expanding the range and world of small expedition ships into areas with no infrastructure, unexplored and uncharted, lonely, empty coasts from the Arctic to Singapore. 

Amelia's book list on the lives of those who pushed the boundaries

Why did Amelia love this book?

This is one of the most eye-opening and fascinating books I have read.

Having spent much of my life amongst the islands and coastal communities of the British Isles I was intrigued learn more about the fish and I did learn so much. We all know the fishing industry has shaped these islands, but the author delves deeper into what has created and influenced the many varied communities of coastal Britain, as well as illustrating the development of our many styles of fishing vessels.

It is a colourful and enlightening account.

By Charles Rangeley-Wilson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On these rain-swept islands in the North Atlantic man and fish go back a long way. Fish are woven through the fabric of the country's history: we depend on them - for food, for livelihood and for fun - and now their fate depends on us in a relationship which has become more complex, passionate and precarious in the sophisticated 21st Century.

In Silver Shoals Charles Rangeley-Wilson travels north, south, east and west through the British Isles tracing the histories, living and past, of our most iconic fish - cod, carp, eels, salmon and herring - and of the fishermen…

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

Brent Abell Author Of Death Inc.

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

Who am I?

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

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.…

River Monsters

By Jeremy Wade,

Book cover of River Monsters: True Stories of the Ones That Didn't Get Away

Nick Carlson Author Of Hell's Gulf

From the list on mucking your way through brine, slime, and darkness.

Who am I?

As a fisherman, my travels have taken me to some truly outlandish places and put me in contact with nature’s most dangerous, grotesque denizens. Coming face-to-face with teeth, venomous barbs, and viscous slime has given me a special appreciation for the bizarre, which translated perfectly to horror literature. Horror takes us by the hand and forces it upon the surface of this world’s darkest and weirdest places—the natural world, the human soul, the other side, the beyond—and I am your humble guide to those places. From those places, however? No guarantees. 

Nick's book list on mucking your way through brine, slime, and darkness

Why did Nick love this book?

The stories in this book may be nonfiction, but as author and television host Jeremy Wade establishes, reality is often stranger than myth. You don’t have to be an angler to become enraptured by Wade’s detailed, thrilling accounts of tracking down the world’s most dangerous freshwater fish, complete with suspense, peril, and a deadpan sense of humor. Included are Wade's thoughts on the dynamics of different cultures around the world, the importance of spirituality, and philosophical links between fishing and real life. I may be a passionate fisherman myself (and, admittedly, often fantasize about being in Jeremy Wade’s shoes), but this is a must-read for anyone who appreciates the art of storytelling and the thrill of adventure.

By Jeremy Wade,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Called the greatest angling explorer of his generation" ( Independent on Sunday ), Jeremy Wade takes viewers where no wildlife program has gone before. Now Wade goes truly beneath the surface, disclosing full details of how he catches each species and recounting the off-camera highlights of his extraordinary life. From his arrest as a suspected spy in Southeast Asia to a plane crash in the rainforest, every page of the Wall Street Journal bestseller River Monsters is packed with adventure. From the heart of the Congo to the depths of the Amazon, Wade reels in fish of staggering proportions and…

The Hollow House

By Carlo Dellonte,

Book cover of The Hollow House

Ryan Tim Morris Author Of This Never Happened

From the list on that leave you questioning identity and maybe reality.

Who am I?

When I start a new book, my aim is to write something completely different from what I’ve written before. It’s challenging, but also important to keep things fresh. To me, a blank slate before each story is thrilling. To start with nothing, and end with something wholly original. This Never Happened, my third book, began with a feeling we’ve all had before: the feeling of not belonging. I asked myself, “What if I really didn't belong here, but was meant for somewhere else entirely?” From there, I created a character who grows increasingly unsure of his own identity and reality, themes that are also present in my selection of books below.

Ryan's book list on that leave you questioning identity and maybe reality

Why did Ryan love this book?

A man is driving to some oceanside cliffs to end his life. On the way, he stops for a night at a B&B in a small fishing village. He meets a girl, who has disappeared in the morning, and the man thinks, “What the heck. I’ll just stick around here and pretend I’m the girl’s boyfriend (who no one in the village has met before) and wait until she returns.” The villagers grow increasingly suspicious (about everything, it seems) and the man is soon caught in an uncontrollable deception of his own making.

This is a really odd, really well-written Gothic tale by an author I’d never heard of (who doesn’t seem to have written anything before or since), but I picked it up because its vagueness intrigued me. It’s the interplay of the main character trying his best to pretend he’s someone he’s not, for reasons even he’s…

By Carlo Dellonte,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A gothic tale of dark longings and fragile fantasies 'I used to look across the street from my window through the windows of others, but none faced me directly so I could never see more than thin slices of rooms. People appeared from time to time, like pearl divers, briefly coming back to the surface for a breath of air...I was in love with life after dinner, beyond windows that weren't mine, of people I didn't know' As a young man drives hard through the night to reach the sea, he is stopped by the harsh wind and by a…

Nights of Ice

By Spike Walker,

Book cover of Nights of Ice

Roger Weston Author Of Hostile Takedown

From the list on or about the sea.

Who am I?

I have worked and lived at sea for months at a time, and I have many memories of the sea, good and bad. I have lived through extreme Alaskan storms, fished in remote coves, and worked beyond exhaustion over and over. Working at sea taught me some important lessons about life and the possibility of sudden death. I experienced the romance of the sea from a young age, and it has inspired my writing.  

Roger's book list on or about the sea

Why did Roger love this book?

Spike Walker is another writer that has inspired me. Working at sea in Alaska is to tempt fate amid the savage spectacle of nature in raw form. Men are trapped on boats for weeks and even months. Even a safe journey can drive men to the edge. However, in Alaska, disaster can arise at moment’s notice—and often does. Walker tells Alaska sea stories better than anyone. In Nights of Ice, he shares seven amazing stories of disaster and survival. The stories come alive, as Walker has worked on the edge himself. Now he tells some of the greatest Alaskan sea stories ever.

By Spike Walker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Spike Walker has spent more than a decade fishing in the subzero hell of Alaska's coastal waters. This collection--coming on the heels of his classic memoir Working on the Edge--is a testament to the courage of those who brave nature's wrath each fishing season, and to the uncontrolled power of nature herself.. The crewmen in Nights of Ice face a constant onslaught of roaring waves, stories-high swells, and life-stealing ice. Tested by the elements, these seamen battle for their vessels and their lives, on every page evincing a level of courage and a will to live seldom found elsewhere in…


By Susan C. Conley,

Book cover of Landslide

Gin Phillips Author Of Family Law

From the list on women who love their job and don't feel guilty.

Who am I?

As someone who loves my work, I’ve noticed that in fiction when a woman is successful at her career, often that career mainly functions as a source of guilt or stress. Fictional working women spend a lot of time second guessing their choices, and, hey, it is hard to balance work and family. Women are torn in multiple directions. But I also believe it’s okay to love your job. It’s okay to find joy in it and to not beat yourself up. I find deep satisfaction in writing, and I enjoy reading about characters who know the rush of doing a job well.  

Gin's book list on women who love their job and don't feel guilty

Why did Gin love this book?

Oh, this book is perfect from the first page. It captures motherhood wonderfully and specifically—in this case, mothering two teenage boys—and it just as successfully captures the Maine coast and the complicated, sometimes fragile ecosystem of a marriage.

Jill is a documentary filmmaker who’s temporarily a single parent to her boys while her husband, a fisherman, recovers in a hospital from a boating accident. There’s nothing flashy about the story—it’s a smart, lovely, often funny look at one woman’s life. It’s a deeply contented life, by the way, which means the stakes are very high when the foundation of it starts to look shaky.

By Susan C. Conley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This beautiful portrait of a family in a fishing village in Maine is "a fresh look at marriage, motherhood, and the wondrous inner lives of teenagers. A truly beautiful and unforgettable love story of a family on the brink” (Lily King, author of Writers & Lovers). A must-read from the critically acclaimed author of Elsey Comes Home.

“I loved Landslide. You are right there with them in a fishing village in Maine, feeling the wind, the sea, the danger. Smart, honest, and funny, this is a story you won't forget.” —Judy Blume, best-selling author of In the Unlikely Event