Master and Commander

   A series of historical novels set in the British Navy in the late 18th/early 19th centuries. Two fully developed characters, a naval officer and a ship's surgeon, are the main characters in all the books. The books stand alone, though it would be a mistake to skip the first, Master and Commander. Each subsequent book wraps up the outcome of the previous one.
   Many of the actions in the books are modeled closely on actual ones from the Royal Navy archives. The plots and action are not restricted to the naval/nautical realm. The writing and the characters are wonderful.
   My father loved these books and urged me to read them. I dragged my feet because I didn't want to commit myself to the series, but later I wished it were longer, and that I had read them along with him.