Here’s what I’ve been reading so far, as research. Links are to Amazon.com.
I started out with this one, a long time ago: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Pirates.
This collection of essays takes a much more academic approach. Bandits at Sea: A Pirates Reader.
I can’t recommend this book enough, if you’re interested in historical pirates in Asia: Pirate of the Far East: 811-1639.
This is perhaps the most valuable book I’ve found so far, overall: Pirates!: Brigands, Buccaneers, and Privateers in Fact, Fiction, and Legend.
This seemed to be the most detailed of the books on women and piracy: Seafaring Women: Adventures of Pirate Queens, Female Stowaways, and Sailors’ Wives.
This will probably be my next purchase: Pirates, Prostitutes and Pullers: Explorations in the Ethno- and Social History of Southeast Asia.
I don’t have this one yet, but it is completely tempting even though it’s not relevant to my book: Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean: How a Generation of Swashbuckling Jews Carved Out an Empire in the New World in Their Quest for Treasure, Religious Freedom–and Revenge.
Please let me know if you have any recommendations!