Book Recs: Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum

In desperation, two days ago, I asked for a rec list theme. The response I got was the theme of pirates, or the sea in general. Now, I’ve not read that many pirate books (not that I would feel able to rec, at least), so I went with the latter.

So, if you’ve been listening to sea shanties non-stop for however long, in this list you’ll be able to find yourself a book that they’re the perfect soundtrack to.

inbtwn

Compass Rose

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Anna Burke
Goodreads
Rep: lesbian mc & li, lesbian side character

Why Should I Read It?

If you’re looking for semi-apocalyptic, climate sci-fi (or “cli-fi”, I think this is called), then look no further than Compass Rose. It follows a naval spy (of a sort), who’s sent on a secret mission into pirate territory. It’s an action-packed, seafaring adventure and definitely a book to read with a soundtrack of sea shanties.

inbtwn

Spindrift

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Anna Burke
Goodreads
Rep: lesbian mc, lesbian mc with depression, bi and lesbian side characters
CWs: past suicidal depression, death of a parent (off page), mentions of animal euthanasia

Why Should I Read It?

Yes, I’m opening up this rec list with two Anna Burke books. What can I say. This one is an adult contemporary romance set in a seaside town. And it includes boat sex. Do I need to say any more?

inbtwn

The Last True Poets of the Sea

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Julia Drake
Goodreads
Rep: bi mc

Why Should I Read It?

What says the sea better than a search for a shipwreck and a family mythology about its survivors. And that’s exactly what this book gives you. It’s a contemporary in the vein of I’ll Give You the Sun and Words in Deep Blue, so if you enjoyed either of those, I can promise you will also enjoy this.

inbtwn

The Kingdoms

Natasha Pulley
Goodreads
Rep: gay mc with epilepsy, gay li

Why Should I Read It?

This is probably the first book I thought of when this rec list idea came up. The majority of it takes place at sea, or sea-adjacent, and there are also some very tense sea battles to go along with that. Basically, if you want the kind of sea-vibes that Black Sails or the like gave you, this is the book you’ll want to pick up in May.

inbtwn

The Sea is Salt and So Am I

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Cassandra Hartt
Goodreads
Rep: bi mc

Why Should I Read It?

This is a book I have to admit to not having read yet (although I am highly anticipating it). But it sounds like the sort of contemporary to really do an emotional number on you and I am so unbelievably down for that.

inbtwn

Summer of Salt

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Katrina Leno
Goodreads
Rep: lesbian mc, bi li
CWs: mentions of rape

Why Should I Read It?

Oh the fabulist seaside vibes are immaculate with this one. I promise you, you’ll almost be able to taste the salt on your tongue while reading it. It’s the kind of book that’s so atmospheric you feel like you’re actually there. Basically, it’s one not to miss out on.

inbtwn

Stream Raiders

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Sara Raasch
Goodreads
Rep: gay mc, bi li
CWs: violence, gore, torture

Why Should I Read It?

Anna wouldn’t let me get away with this list if I didn’t include Stream Raiders here and they’re absolutely right. This is an “after the war” type fantasy, a look at the repercussions and consequences of it all, a look at the building of a new society. It’s an excellent duology and it’s made all the better because it has a cast that you can’t help but loving.

inbtwn

The Bone Shard Daughter

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Andrea Stewart
Goodreads
Rep: lesbian mcs

Why Should I Read It?

I chose this one for the list because it’s set on an archipelago. Which, obviously, means there’s sea all around. In fact, one of the characters spends a lot of the book at sea. So, it may seem an unlikely choice here, but hear me out. It’s probably one of my favourite adult fantasies of the past year and I can’t wait for the sequel.

inbtwn

Don’t Date Rosa Santos

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Nina Moreno
Goodreads
Rep: Cuban American bi mc

Why Should I Read It?

We move on from fantasy back into contemporary territory now, and a main character whose family is cursed. While previous books on this list evoke stormy seas and treacherous waves, this one is the perfect summer read, for when you’re sat inside on a manky day and just want something to bring back those summer memories.

inbtwn

Peter Darling

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Austin Chant
Goodreads
Rep: gay trans mc, gay li

Why Should I Read It?

I bet you never really considered an (aged-up) Peter Pan and Captain Hook romance before now. Well. Neither had I til I read this book, but Austin Chant sells it very well. What I also love about this book is the different lens it chooses to view the Peter Pan tale through.

inbtwn

What would you rec?

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charlotte

7 Replies to “Book Recs: Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum”

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