Happy New Year me hearties! My new year’s resolution is to read a bunch of nautical fiction, because that’s a resolution I will actually stick to. I’ve created my own reading challenge, so if you’re up for some adventures on the high seas, climb aboard.
Every book I read for this challenge will be in the nautical fiction genre, i.e. it will be set on or near the sea. If you’re playing along and find a book that ticks more than one of these boxes, feel free to count it for both.
1. Female protagonist
Nautical fiction is often a boys’ club, so challenge #1 is finding a female-centric book.
2. Set before 1500
A lot of nautical fiction is set during the “golden age of sail”, generally considered to be mid-1500s to mid-1800s. But people were navigating the seas long before this, and I’d love to read a sea story from ancient times.
Pirates are cool.
4. Diverse cast
Most of the nautical fiction I’ve read is pretty Eurocentric, so I’ll be looking for stuff that isn’t just a bunch of white dudes. LGBTQ representation is always welcome, and it would be awesome to see physically disabled characters thriving at sea.
Honestly, I’m just itching to read a murder mystery set on a cruise ship.
6. Something by Patrick O’Brian
Because you can’t read nautical fiction without reading Patrick O’Brian.
7. Set during WW2
I know this period is over-done in historical fiction, but I’ve still never read any WW2-era hist fic set at sea.
Mermaids are cool.
9. Animal magic
Sailors share the seas with fish, whales, sharks, and so many other creatures. I’d like to read a nautical story where animals are central to the plot.
10. Ships on ships
I rarely seek out romance in fiction because I tend to get much more invested in friendships and other platonic relationships. But in the spirit of exploration, I’m going to try a big swoony romance on the high seas.
Do you have any recommendations for any of these challenges?
4 thoughts on “Nautical Fiction Reading Challenge”
Regency romance on a ship: Georgana’s Secret by Arlem Hawks or Miss Whittier Makes a List by Carla Kelly. I learned a lot about ship life from these, and both are well-written, clean romances.
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Thanks so much for the recs!
Fable series by Adrienne Young, Sea Wife by Amity Gaige and arguably, Our Wives Under The Sea. Good luck!
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Thank you! Which challenges are they likely to fulfill? I’m guessing the wives ones are romances and Fable series is perhaps mermaids? Could be way off though!