Ahoy there matey! Today is September 19th, which means it’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day. This observation was started by two friends, John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy), as a joke. The tradition remained fairly obscure until 2002, when comedy columnist Dave Barry brought media attention to it. Nowadays, this parody holiday is upheld to fundraise for charities around the world. Further, it’s a fun way to pay homage to the pirates of the past. So, channel your inner Jack Sparrow, grab some grog, and say aye aye to reading these four pirate-approved books.
On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers
On Stranger Tides takes place in 1718, and follows John Chandagnac after the death of his father. After learning about his stolen inheritance, John decides to make the journey to the new world in order to confront his uncle. However, on the way there, pirates seize his ship and give him a choice. Forced to choose between joining the crew or certain death, John decides a pirate’s life is better than no life.
Now going by the alias “Jack Shandy,” John adapts to the life of a pirate quickly. During the voyage, he encounters Beth Hurwood and her father. Soon, they become close friends. Before they can arrive at their destination, Blackbeard and his crew stop their ship. Now, John must save Beth Hurwood and foil Blackbeard’s evil plan to acquire the Fountain of Youth.
Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
In Daughter of the Pirate King, seventeen year old pirate captain Alosa is sent on a mission to retrieve a special map—one that holds the key to a legendary treasure. In order to accomplish this, Alosa allows her enemies to capture her so she can search their ship. However, there is one thing still standing between her and the artifact: Riden, the handsome and intelligent first mate. Clearly, Alosa has met her match, but she still has a few tricks up her sleeve.
Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
The events of Pirate Latitudes take place in Jamaica in 1665. During this time period, Jamaica is a remote colony of the English Crown surrounded by Spanish supremacy in the Caribbean. The story follows Captain Charles Hunter, who views any gold within Spanish hands as something he can take. Rumor has it, the galleon El Trinidad, stocked with Spanish gold, is currently being repaired in a nearby harbor. However, Cazalla, a legendary Spanish commander, guards the harbor, making it virtually impenetrable. Charles decides to organize a crew of outlaws to steal the ship and its gold, but this raid will be no easy feat.
Steel by Carrie Vaughn
Time Travel Adventure
Steel centers upon sixteen year old Jill, a girl who has fought in many fencing tournaments. When walking on the Caribbean shoreline, Jill stumbles upon a corroded rapier. Intrigued, Jill makes the fateful decision to pick it up. But this is no ordinary sword piece, and it transports the girl back in time. Jill finds herself on the deck of a ship, surrounded by pirates. Forced to sign on as crew, Jill soon learns that the life of a pirate is insanely bloody and dangerous. Eventually, Jill concocts a plan to get home, except there’s one issue—it all rests on a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.
All of these recommendations are true treasures, and I’m sure you’ll sail through the pages. For some swashbuckling non-fiction book recommendations about pirates, click here.
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