Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sunday Salon: My Pirate Obsession

It is a well known fact that I love books about water. Put a picture of water on a cover and I'm sure to pick that book up and more than likely to buy it. Use a water word (lake, river, ocean, sea, etc.) in the title and the same thing is true. I also have a weakness for boat tales and for scuba stories. This is likely because of their connection to water; I'm not exactly the deepest, most inscrutable person ever. Another thing I like to read about that's related to water? Pirates. There's just something about them, you know? All that swashbuckling and plundering and such. And that last sentence explains why there are so very many romances with pirates in them, doesn't it?

I first fell in love with pirate stories when I read Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson as a young girl. I didn't want to be Long John Silver; instead, I wanted to be Jim Hawkins. But I still drew pirate maps leading to buried treasure and imagined what I would do with all that pirate bounty. I know that pirates in real life were much more complicated than my imaginary romanticized version and yet I remain drawn to them, both real and imagined, in books.
When I was at Winter Institute in January, I met and chatted with Tricia Levenseller, author of the YA novel Daughter of the Pirate King. She mentioned that she didn't know of many female pirates in books and little nerd that I am, I had to scurry over to her afterwards and share some of the pirate books (with male and female pirates) I've read and enjoyed.

First, and one of the most recent I've read, was Eli Brown's Cinnamon and Gunpowder. I hope she read it because it was a lot of fun for sure and it has a female pirate captain to boot.
Another one I liked a lot, although it may no longer be in print, was Gideon Defoe's The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists. It is madcap and crazy and has the benefit of being a part of a series so if you like it, you can indulge in even more adventures with this particular band of pirates.
A non-fiction title, although not exclusively about pirates, I really enjoyed is called Seafaring Women: Adventures of Pirate Queens, Female Stowaways, and Sailors' Wives by David Cordingly.

Other pirate books in my collection include:



Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

The Pyrates by George MacDonald Fraser

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Pirate Hunters by Robert Kurson

Pirates of Pensacola by Keith Thomson

The Pirate and the Belle by Steve Brown

Cassandra, Lost by Joanna Catherine Scott

Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb

And then I have at least a pair of pirate adjacent books. The pirates or defeating the pirates isn't the main story but they have unforgettable pirates in them nonetheless.

The Princess Bride by William Golding has Westley in the guise of The Dread Pirate Roberts.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon (and two of the subsequent books in her wonderfully engaging Outlander series) have the notorious and awful Stephen Bonnet.

Have I missed any good pirate books? Let me know if I have so I can add them to my list asap!


  1. You seriously love pirates. Nice. The only pirate book I'm wild about is a children's picture book called How I Became a Pirate.

  2. Doesn't Pippi experiment with piracy in Pippi in the South Seas?


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