"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney.
Pirate-mania is all the rage these days. Between the Starz original series Black Sails, Johnny Depp's multi-billion dollar Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, to Tom Hanks as Captain Phillips; The History Channel's The Curse of Oak Island, to talk like a Pirate Day, we love pirates from their scurrilous West Country accents to the dream of finding buried treasure.
Luckily for us, there is a virtual treasure trove of pirate books. Here are some classic tales of piracy to keep your ship afloat.
1. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. If you think Long John Silver just is a seafood restaurant, you need to read the adventures of young Jim Hawkins.
2. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. Heavily influenced by the life of Scot Alexander Selkirk, this novel is a classic. Made into several movies. Defined a genre. It is the inspiration for the hit TV show Lost, and, of course, Swiss Family Robinson.
3. Queen of the Black Coast by Robert E. Howard. Conan the Barbarian becomes a legendary pirate captain. Originally a short story, this is now considered a classic. Conan finds his true love.
4. The Island by Peter Benchley. Benchley is better known for Jaws and The Deep, but this excellent novel follows a modern journalist looking for the secrets of the Bermuda Triangle and unfortunately running into a colony of pirates that still think it is 1700. Made into an underappreciated Michael Caine motion picture.
5. The Gold-Bug by Edger Allan Poe. Seriously, it's Poe and if that isn't enough, Captain Kidd is featured too. Not quite "The Raven," but worth a read.
6. Target Lock by James H. Cobb. Modern day high-tech piracy in the Indonesian archipelago with a stealth U.S. Navy destroyer versus the pirates. The mix of technology and a gutsy, yet still feminine female Navy captain make this story memorable.
7. The Wine-Dark Sea by Patrick O'Brian. Piracy figures prominently into this 16th entry into the amazing Aubrey-Maturin series set during the Napoleonic War. A great adventure novel and series.
8. How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long, Illustrated by David Shannon. A winner in the juvenile literature field. It tells the story of a young boy named Jeremy who joins up with a pirate band and learns the finer points of being a pirate.
9. Peter Pan by J.M Barrie. Captain Hook, the Lost Boys and Tinker Bell.
10. Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton. Found after Crichton's death, this 2009 novel is an adventure that concerns 1665 Jamaica and piracy in the Golden Age. The adventure is palatable and the writing is magnificent.