Never noticed this section of the site before, but having found it, I will share what's on the "True Seafaring Tales" section of my bookshelf.
Just read The Way of a Ship, by Lundy. Nice reconstruction of his ancestor's voyage around the horn; and a great illustration of life aboard a square rigger in the late 1800's.
Sailing Alone Around the World, by Slocum. Author recounts single-handing in 1895 from Boston around the world in a sloop.
A Cruising Voyage Round the World, by Woodes Rogers. Very interesting historical reading of this 1708-1711 circumnavigation by the privateer Woodes Rogers. Great section on finding Alexander Selkirk on Juan Fernandez Island (upon which Robinson Crusoe is based).
The Speedwell Voyage, by Poolman. Story of the privateers that set out in 1718 to achieve the same success that Rogers did earlier. Mutiny, amazing seamanship, survival, remote shipbuilding; and this is the voyage which inspired sections of Coleridge's The Ryme of the Ancient Mariner, including the true story of the man who shot the albatross around Tiera del Fuego.
Batavia's Graveyard, by Dash. Well written account of the ill-fated ship and bloody mutiny of the Dutch East Indie's ship the Batavia in 1629 north of Australia.
In the Heart of the Sea, by Philbrick. One of my favorites. The tragedy of the whaleship Essex. The seamanship and far reach of the Nantucket whalers. Set out for the Pacific in 1819 and they were rammed and sunk by a sperm whale. The story goes on to recount the 3000 mile small-boat voyage of the survivors back to the South American coast. This is the true story that inspired the demise of the Pequod in Moby Dick.
If I Pirate I must be....., by Sanders. Story of Black Bart
Island of the Lost, by Druett. Found this one at the bookstore in Australia. Great sailing and self-sufficiency-survival true story of shipwreck on a tiny island 300 miles south of New Zealand in 1864.
Weird and Tragic Shores, by Loomis. Arctic exploration in the late 1800's; story of Charles Francis Hall.
Shipwrecks of Lake Michigan, by Shelak. Not a story or historical novel, but a book of shipwrecks with short descriptions of the events.
I have also listed below, some sailing reference books I have found enjoyable and useful:
Learning to Sail, by Calahan. Copyright 1932. My favorite sailing reference book. Absolutely great sailing instruction book, full of timeless wisdom. Mine is a 1946 edition. Makes a great read. From an era of wooden boats and blocks, hemp rope, canvas sails, but the sailing advice is golden. Entertaining advice on the use of oil to calm seas (pump an oil slick around your boat with the pumps or via a punctured bag full of oil, etc... can't wait to try this one in Lake Michigan with all my leftover 10W-30), how to row a dinghy in a seamanlike manner, why not to use rancid butter to lubricate your mainsail mast hoops, and so on. But humorous historical bits aside, the sailing, maintenance, how to get out of trouble, and coastal navigation knowledge is useful and comes from experience.
The Arts of the Sailor, by Smith. Great small book with traditional knot, sewing, canvaswork, rope mat, and splicing directions. Copyright 1953.
Handbook of Trailor Sailing, by Burgess. A book made for Compac owners, so much useful knowledge specific to our boats and how to maximize their use! A must!
Colgate's Basic Sailing, by Colgate. Short nice reference starter on sailing.
The International Marine Book of Sailing, by Robinson. Big, modern, comprehensive reference book on sailing. I have enjoyed it and reference and it is a good place to go for reference on sailing and sailboats.
Moby Dick, by Melville. Favorite fiction.
Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Coleridge. I'd get the version with engraved prints from Gustav Dore. "Water Water everywhere and not a drop to drink.....water water everywhere and all the board did shrink..."
Lord Jim, by Conrad. Captain's, don't abandon ship with the passengers still onboard!!!!
Paddle to the Sea, by Holling. Kid's picture book, enjoyed it when I was little and I still do! Tells the tale of a carved wooden indian canoe placed in the snow above Lake Nipigon and the canoe's subsequent journey through the Great Lakes and out the St.Laurence into the Atlantic.