Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Nautilus Goes Under the North Pole: Books about Submarines

On this day in 1958, the Nautilus, the first nuclear submarine, traveled under the North Pole, opening up a new submarine route from the Pacific to Atlantic oceans.

To mark the occasion, we offer some books about submarines.


Dark Life by Kat Falls. Ty and his family live under the sea, farmers for the people who still live topside. But tensions between Topside and those in the Benthic territory are high, and Gemma shows up from above, looking for her missing brother. Lots of subs in this one, as there's lots of underwater travel. There's a sequel that's just as good--Rip Tide.

The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy. This is the book that launched Clancy's career (and it's also a pretty awesome movie.) A Soviet sub commander wants to defect, and he's taking the prize of the Soviet fleet with him, but not all on board want to go, the Americans know he's coming, but not why, and the Soviets want him back.

Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld. In this sequel to Leviathan, Deryn and Alek and the rest of the crew of Leviathan are off to Istanbul. Once there though, there's tension between Turkey and England, as the navy doesn't want to give Turkey a ship that Turkey ordered and paid for. Plus, you know, the revolution. The ship in question is awesome, the dispute is historical fact, and it's hands down the best book in the trilogy. Finish it up with Goliath.


Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, translated from the French by Philip Schuyler Allen. Contrary to popular belief, 20,000 leagues is the distance traveled, not how deep they were. This is the classic tale of a different sub called the Nautilus and Captain Nemo.

Cuttlefish by Dave Freer. The Cuttlefish is a coal-fired submarine in a 1976 steampunk world where Britain still rules the world. The Cuttlefish belongs to the rebels and it's currently carrying Clara, whose scientist mother may have the secret to the government's downfall, but they're being hunted across the world.

Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II by Robert Kurson. John Chatterton and Richie Kohler are two extreme, but amateur, scuba divers. One day in 1991 they discover a German U-Boat from WWII-- a mere 60 miles off the coast of New Jersey. No historians or governments can say which boat it is or what it was doing there, but now everyone wants to find out. Published for adults, this is a true story teens can get in to.


Bushnell's Submarine by Arthur Lefkowitz. In the Revolution, Bushnell designed and built a submarine, and Washington's army used it to try to sink a British warship in their attempt to keep control of New York in 1776.

Left for Dead: A Young Man's Search for Justice for the USS Indianapolis by Pete Nelson and Hunter Scott. When the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese sub, she went down in 14 minutes. 800 men died, but several hundred survived, but no one knew where they were, or that they were in trouble. They had to survive in shark-infested open water for days before rescue. The captain was blamed for the disaster, even though the survivors knew he was innocent. 50 years later, Hunter Scott did a history day project on the disaster and started a campaign to clear the captain's name and get the truth out there.

What are your favorite books under the sea?

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1 comment:

  1. Shadow Divers has been a favorite for a long time.

    Iron Coffins: A Personal Account Of The German U-boat Battles Of World War by Herbert A. Werner is a very good insight into life aboard a U-Boat. (He was a commander of U-

    Now I have more to read! Thanks

    Doug Wheeler


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