Riot Recommendation

Riot Recommendation: 42 of Your Favorite Books About Pirates

Vanessa Diaz

Managing Editor

Vanessa is a writer, reader and generally bookish Latina from San Diego. If loving Agatha Christie is wrong, she doesn't want to be right. Vanessa’s penchant for books, travel and tea is rivaled only by her serious addictions to milk, avocado and floral lattes. When not reading books or selling them, she can be found blogging, working on her first novel or cozying up at a library.

The Anatomist’s Tale by Tauno Biltsted

Born into abject poverty in the British Empire, our narrator aspires to a better life as a ship’s surgeon—until a tyrannical captain provokes a mutiny, forcing him into a life of piracy and eventually to a tropical commune of maroons called New Madagascar. Told through a series of confessions to those who visit the narrator during his imprisonment at Marshalsea, The Anatomist's Tale relates one man’s brush with the heady freedom of outlaws—and the price of returning to “civilization.”

Ahoy, me hearties! These stay-at-home orders have us feeling like landlubbers and we’re jonesing for stories about life back on the high seas. So we asked you for yer favorite books about the pirate life. You gave us fictional tales and nonfiction accounts alike, then we rounded up yer answers. We’re back to share the bookish bounty with all ye Riot scallywags!

After the Flood by Kassandra Montag

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America’s Most Notorious Pirates by Eric Jay Dolin

The Black Swan by Rafael Sabatini

The Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer

The Captain Alatriste series by Arturo Perez-Reverte

Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini

Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Frenchman’s Creek by Dauphne du Maurier

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Heart of a Pirate – Pamela Johnson

The History of Pirates – Angus Konstam

How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long

Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean by Edward Kritzler

Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian

The Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb

The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Moonfleet by John Meade Falkner

Ned the Knitting Pirate by Diana Murray and Leslie Lammle

On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

The Pirate Cruncher by Jonny Duddle

Pirate Hunters by Robert Kurson

The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd by Richard Zacks

Pirate Latitudes by Micheal Crichton

Pirate Princess by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

Pirates: A New History, from Vikings to Somali Raiders by Peter Lehr

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Port Side Pirates by Oscar Seaworthy

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

Sea Scoundrel by Annette Blair

The Sweet Trade by Elizabeth Garrett

The Tenth Gift by Jane Johnson

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

The Republic of Pirates by Colin Woodard

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates by Brian Kilmeade & Don Yaeger

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Under the Black Flag by David Cordingly

The Vampirates series by Justin Somper

The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked, and Found by Martin W. Sandler

The Wild Irish: A Novel of Elizabeth I and the Pirate O’Malley by Robin Maxwell