Featured favorites: Salty maritime books


Recommended by Book Den East

“A Conrad Argosy” (1942) – With an introduction by William McFee and woodcut illustrations by Mueller, this is a collection of Joseph Conrad’s classic maritime fiction from the early decades of the 20th century. 713 pages. $25.

“Life in a Man-Of-War or Scenes in Old Ironsides During Her Cruise in The Pacific” by Fore-Top-Man (1927) – A reprint of the 1841 publication covering the U.S.S. Constitution’s flag-showing cruise from April 1839 to October 1841 in wonderful detail, as experienced by a simple sailor with a gift for narrative. Limited edition. $90.

“To the South Seas” by Gifford Pinchot (1930) – Relating the adventures of a schooner cruise to the Galapagos, Marquesas, Tuamotu Islands, and Tahiti is redolent of the romance of a bygone era. Illustrated with more than 250 photographs and wood engravings, this first edition copy is signed by the author. $80.

“Anchors Aweigh! Tales of Wooden Ship Days” edited by Oliver G. Swan (1929) – A collection of sea yarns and lore for the entertainment and edification of anyone fascinated by the age of wooden ships and iron men. Color illustrations include the frontispiece by N.C. Wyeth. $25.

“The Incredible Voyage: A Personal Odyssey” by Tristan Jones (1978) is the maniacal tale of the author’s determination to sail his small boat on the lowest body of navigable water (The Dead Sea) and the highest (Lake Titicaca) and the ocean waters in between. The story is enough to make the timbers of any armchair adventurer shiver. $15.

Recommended by Edgartown Books

Recommended by Bunch of Grapes

“The Riddle of the Sands” by Erskine Childers – When a young man’s friend invites him on a sailing adventure in the Baltic, he imagines duck hunting and yachting. Little did he know that the trip would turn into an adventure. They discover suspicious German activity on the coastline. What did it mean? Were the Germans plotting an invasion? What could these two young adventurers do? Written in 1903, this classic piece of espionage literature is considered the first spy novel by many.