Day 27 – If a book contains ______, you will always read it (and a book or books that contain it)!
Boats. I had to think about it for a while, but once I realized I had to get Patrick O’Brian into this list somehow, I remembered: I’ll buy just about anything with a boat on the cover. I’ve read some pretty terrible novels this way, but just as many good ones, and I never get bored of them, even though most boat novels are set during the Napoleonic Wars and consist of sailing about and occasionally shooting at people. I love ’em.
I read a lot of boat-related nonfiction, too: pirate histories are a favorite, because outside of the piracy epidemic in the Caribbean, the early 1700s is not really a time period that’s written about a lot, and I find that interesting. Histories of the Napoleonic Wars, too, and up through about the American Civil War. (After that I kind of lose interest.) I have a biography of Cochrane sitting on my to-read shelf; he’s the outrageously successful Navy captain that both Horatio Hornblower and Jack Aubrey are based on. Somewhere back there, too, is a history of the first naval expeditions to Australia, and one of these days I’m going to read Voyage of the Beagle, I swear.
The ALA newsletter linked a while ago to the amazing The Private Library blog’s series on piratical literature, and from there I found their equally wonderful seafaring literature series. And the to-read list grows, and grows, and grows…