Nancy Pearl, famous librarian and inspiration for an action figure, recently tweeted an article about artifacts found on a wrecked ship that showed Blackbeard's crew had books on board including, well, books about pirates. This isn't really all that pirates liked to read, but it made me wonder, what books would a pirate read?
Since we now know they favored books about themselves, start with Treasure Island if you want to read like a pirate. The thrilling classic features the colorful and cagey Long John Silver. Fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean film series might check out On Stranger Tides, which inspired them.
For those who prefer real stories to fiction, I recommend Under the Black Flag for a lively history of the golden age of piracy featuring figures such as Blackbeard, Captain Kid, Anne Bonney and Mary Read.
Pirates are often associated with parrots, so Parrots, a guide to keeping and caring for them, seems fitting.
Any alcohol available was likely consumed on a pirate ship, but since rum was produced in the Caribbean, pirates sailing around there encountered it. There are several references to rum in literature that may have strengthened the association between pirates and rum, such as Billy Bones, who drinks rum throughout Treasure Island. Rum includes a chapter dedicated to rum and piracy.
The most dangerous part of seafaring life for centuries was scurvy, even aboard pirate ships. Check out Scurvy for the stirring history of the disease and the men who learned to cure and prevent it.