Don’t get on that ship!

The Bounty, Essex, Pequod, Titanic, Andrea Gail, Sea Wind, Lucky Dragon — these are names of doomed ships, the epitome of sea voyages gone badly. Only Lucky Dragon and Pequod are fictional ships, but Melville drew from his experience working aboard whaling ships (and sometimes deserting them!) Can you match the doomed ship names with their book authors?

Vincent Bugliosi

Herman Melville

Nathaniel Philbrick

Owen Chase

Walter Lord

Gareth Russell

Sebastian Junger

Linda Greenlaw

Linda Collison

In writing Water Ghosts, I explored a different sort of sea voyage gone badly. Instead of a storm at sea, there were the terrifying calms to endure, along with confrontation between humans, death by natural causes, and psychological drama. And ghosts.

Recently, I was asked to recommend five books that inspired my own novel. These books — three are literary novels, one is a first person memoir, and one is a true historical crime investigation — all influenced me in writing Water Ghosts. For these recommendations, and many other suggestions given by authors on other subjects, please visit Shepherd’s Discover the best books website.

Out of many books, both fiction and historical accounts that are about survival at sea, I chose five that emphasize psychological drama as much as physical endurance. My picks might surprise you.

At you can discover — or rediscover — good books according to your interests. If you’re looking for a book club selection, go beyond what the publishers are hyping, and see what books writers suggest. And if you’re an author, Shepherd gives you the opportunity to showcase your work while sharing your personal recommendations.

Water Ghosts

Storms were the least of their worries. All aboard the Lucky Dragon for a twenty-first century sea voyage gone wrong.

Vincent Bugliosi And the Sea Shall Tell: Murder on the South Seas (true crime)

Herman Melville Moby Dick; or The Whale (literary fiction)

Nathaniel Phibrick In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex (history)

Owen Chase The Wreck of the Whaleship Essex (memoir)

Walter Lord A Night to Remember: The Classic Account of the Final Hours of the Titanic. (history)

Gareth Russell The Ship of Dreams: The Sinking of the Titanic and the End of the Edwardian Era. (history)

Sebastian Junger The Perfect Storm (nonfiction account)

Linda Greenlaw The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat Captain’s Journey (memoir)

Linda Collison Water Ghosts (contemporary fiction with historical elements)