Nonfiction November: Week 3: Ask the Experts

Week 3 is hosted by Rennie @ What’s Nonfiction

I am a nonfiction newbie. I really only started to read nonfiction in the last few years, and then this year my reading has been a little wonky and off. So, I am turning to you all as experts this week!

There are some books calling my name lately.. books set in areas near the cold coast of the Atlantic Ocean. I am not sure what this is about really. Maybe I have spent too much time reading woodland books, and I want to explore the deep. Maybe it is because I am a water sign, born in November, just a few days after the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald in Lake Superior. My ancestors were shipbuilders in England before coming to America, and they continued to be shipbuilders here in Detroit; my great-uncle worked on the Edmund Fitzgerald, and my mom even attended the launch. So, maybe there is a bit of sea in my soul somewhere. (I did have a palm reader in New Orleans tell me I had been a ship’s captain who went down with his ship in a past life..) Anyway, I am making a list of books that fit this sort of profile and I have three on my list so far, and I would love any other suggestions before I dive in to this topic. (pun intended)

These are the books I have lined up so far.

Any other suggestions out there? I will take nonfiction, and fiction too! And on both sides of the Atlantic, not just the UK side. Anyone read these and have thoughts on them? I know The Salt Path is a big favorite, and I plan to read it very soon.

Thanks! I look forward to your comments and visiting your posts!


40 thoughts on “Nonfiction November: Week 3: Ask the Experts

  1. What an unusual theme but a very interesting one and I’m delighted you have Salt Path on your list – it’s a fabulous book. There is now a follow up out, The Wild Silence, which sounds good also though doesn’t fit because it’s set inland.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Salt Path is amazing, hope you will enjoy it! If you are interested in the author Daphne du Maurier, you may like her biography by Margaret Forster (I haven’t read it, but plan to). Du Maurier had a great passion for Cornwall, where she lived and which also serve as setting for her novels.

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  3. LOVE that you had a palm reader tell you that you were a ship captain!! My palm reader in New Orleans told me I would get divorced. I did.
    Interesting that you are hoping to read books that connect you to your family’s past. I lived in Boston as a little girl and we visited Plymouth Plantation and the Mayflower a lot. You might look into books about the pilgrims’ voyage and first years in the new world. Not exactly the same connection but interesting still.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow I can’t believe they told you that! My dad and I were both told some very interesting past lives by that palm reader – she told him that he was a warrior in every life. He was in Vietnam so I guess he was in this life for sure.

      That is a great idea!! I didn’t even think of that – and great time of year for it!


  4. You might like Fathoms by Rebecca Giggs (about whales) and there is a fiction book called Migrations by Charlotte McConaughy about a woman on a boat in the Atlantic chasing the last migration of sea birds in a near future world.
    Nathaniel Philbrik’s Heart of the Sea might be another good choice for you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve seen others recommend Salt Path, and that is one gorgeous cover. Can’t say the Atlantic rings a bell, but for the sea-lover and ship-lover in you, I do have some fiction recs: The Mad Ship trilogy by Robin Hobb, House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin Craig, and The Folk Keeper by Billingsley. Not sure if you read fantasy, but see if you like the blurbs? Happy NFN

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  6. The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett is a fiction novella that might interest you. It’s set on the coast of Maine and the setting is so beautifully described, it’s practically a character.
    If you want a cold ocean setting but aren’t terribly picky about which ocean, you might like the nonfiction book In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides. That was the basis for my request for recommendations this week. The USS Jeannette sets off in the 1800s from the coast of California to sail through the Bering Strait and find a water passage to the North Pole. It was absolutely riveting.
    Oh, and an oldie but goodie is The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger. I can’t believe I almost forgot that one!

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  8. Ooh this is such an interesting topic! I’d recommend In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick, about the whaling ship that inspired Moby Dick and the seafaring culture of the time out of Nantucket. I picked it up just to learn a little about the topic and couldn’t believe how all-around fascinating and well done it was. This year I’ve also really liked Under the Sea Wind and The Sea Around Us, by Rachel Carson — both look at different topics of ocean ecology, and Under the Sea Wind does it through several different animals/fishes. I also loved Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and what the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves by James Nestor. It begins with looking at the sport of freediving and branches into human interactions at various depths in the ocean, what it means to us and the science we’re learning about those levels.

    I don’t know if any of those are what you had in mind but I hope you got some good ideas for this!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Simon Winchester has a NF title called “Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories”… you might like to track that down at some point.

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