Not many things are able to match the singular pleasure of lazing on the beach and reading a good book while the waves lick the shore. If you’re looking for literature about the sea to read while you’re close to the ocean, you’re in luck!

These 5 classic books need to be in your beach bag.

1. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway

An old Spanish fishermen gains the reputation of being extremely unlucky when he goes 84 straight days without catching a fish. His luck turns on day 85, but that is by no means the end of the story. This book was written in 1952, and has been a classic piece of literature ever since.

2. Moby Dick – Herman Melville

You didn’t think that we would forget this classic, did you? The whale Moby-Dick is pursued on a mission to take revenge on it, but the Pequod and its crew may have just bitten off more than they can chew. The story is told from the perspective of one of the sailors, Ishmael. A must-read it if you haven’t done so yet.

3. The Perfect Storm – Sebastian Junger

A book that was later turned into a movie, this novel is based on a true story of the harrowing, but certainly thrilling experiences of the members of a fishing boat in Gloucester, Massachusetts. While long-line fishing for swordfish, the members of the boat are caught up in a storm that is entirely beyond their control. This book will, without a doubt, have you on the edge of your beach chair throughout.

4. The Silent World – Jacques Cousteau

This memoir, written by the inventor of scuba diving, takes you beneath the waves to a place filled with secrets and wonders. Jacques Cousteau’s name has become synonymous with the ocean, and you’ll revel reading this book while looking at the great blue.

5. The Sea Around Us – Rachel Carson

The Sea Around Us was the first scientific bestseller when it hit the shelves in 1951, but the words on its pages are just as mesmerising today as they were more than half a century ago. This is ecological writing like you haven’t read it before – the prose is beautiful, and your eyes will only leave the page to glance at the ocean in front of you.