For the winter months.....
...in front of a blazing fire (do they still exist?) with a bottle of Oban single malt there is nothing better to stir the cockles of your heart than the 20 (yes twenty) volume series by Patrick O'Brian. You all seen the film 'Master & Commander' ? That was his first book written back in the '70s which put me on to the rest. After 1 1/2 years I am now on the 17th paperback and will be sorry indeed when the series ends. O'Brian died just a couple of years ago in his 90s and to my mind the era of great historical seafaring writing went with him. The series tells the capers of Jack Aubrey, Master/Commander/Commodore/Admiral and the ship's surgeon Maturin during the early to mid 1800s. Profound research of maritime/war history of the era together with O'Brians humanly intimate style of writing will have you dropping into Smith's for the next book on the way to the pub. Blood, gore and intrigue for everyone who revels in the demise of French, Spanish or American Fleets!!