I spent the evening watching the Encore Channel's version of Moby Dick. I read the entire book while a graduate student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette several years ago. In fact, I took a class on Melville and thoroughly enjoyed it, despite the fact that Melville is a difficult author to read, quite long-winded and writes about stuff I normally am not interested in--the sea, survival, isolation.
I'd love to recommend his works but the truth is it's not light reading. Moby Dick would be a great read for anyone who enjoys reading (lots of reading) and also enjoys the outdoors. I admit readily that had it not been for the class I was taking at the time, I would never have chosen this epic novel for myself. In the end I am quite glad I did push myself through the book.
On that note, I'll leave you with my favorite quote from the book and some art that I found online. If this quote is spoken in the movie, I can't say as it was difficult to understand the sailor speech at times.
"How is it I know not; but there is no place like a bed for confidential disclosures between friends. Man and wife, they say, there open the very bottom of their souls to each other; and some old couples often lie and chat over old times till nearly morning."