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Friday, April 13, 2012

Titanic Reads

100 years ago today, the Titanic was still sailing along with the passengers having no idea that they and their boat would become a pop culture touchstone forever. Which reminds me, we still have space available to anyone who wants to come to the BPL's Titanic program on Sunday, April 22 at 2pm.  Click here to register.  But do it soon because this one will be popular.

But back to talking about books.  As I mentioned here, along with thousands of nonfiction books about the tragedy, there have been dozens of novels inspired by the Titanic.

I have had a lot of fun working with Christi on our Disastrous Fiction display, which went up on Wednesday.  [Again, I want to remind people of the Monday Discussion where people suggested their favorite disaster novels.]  We have disasters of all kinds represented on the display.  But, I was in charge of highlighting some "Titanic Reads" specifically.

I tried to have a mix of books, so you will find old and new and a variety of genres presented.  Let me know if you have a favorite Titanic inspired novel too.  Also, libraries, feel free to use this list to help your patrons.  I just ask that you attach the permalink (click here) and keep the BPL info at the bottom.  Otherwise, pass it out to as many people as you want.  Also, a big thanks to Connie, part of the BPL RA Dream Team, for forwarding me the list from our server.  [I took today off and didn't have the list as I had planned].  Have a nice weekend.

Titanic Reads

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  Many authors, in all genres, have used the tragedy as inspiration for their novels.   From recently released titles to old favorites, there is much to choose from.

Alcott, Kate. The Dressmaker
It is 1912, and Tess is a British maid with dreams of entering the world of high fashion.  She gets the chance to emigrate to America as the personal assistant to a fashion designer, on the Titanic! Tess survives the disaster, but that is only where he journey begins. Readers will follow both Tess’ personal struggle in a new land, and the aftermath and official investigation into the Titanic disaster.  This solid debut is a good option for fans of immigrant fiction.

Cussler, Clive. Raise the Titanic
In this older Dirk Pitt novel, it is 1987 and the American and Russians are in a race to get to some precious metals held in the sunken ship’s hold.  Expect military and historic detail unfolding with fast-paced action as we follow Pitt on a seemingly desperate mission as he ultimately saves the day. This novel is also credited with laying out the ideas that scientists eventually perfected and used to actually “raise the Titanic.”

Harper, Molly. Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men
Jane Jameson is an out of work librarian and recently turned vampire dealing with a best friend who is frantically getting ready for his Titanic themed wedding and a grandma who has begun a new relationship with a man who has a troubling trail of dead wives in his past.  This hilarious paranormal romance with a touch of mystery is perfect for fans of Mary Janice Davidson or Charlaine Harris.

Lehman, Yvonne. Hearts That Survive
Friends Lydia and Caroline are having a grand time planning Lydia’s wedding as they sail aboard the luxurious Titanic. They survive the ordeal but the aftermath haunts them.  The story jumps ahead to the present where the troubled descendant of a novelist who died when the Titanic sank meets Caroline’s granddaughter.  It is this contemporary story which is the most compelling part of the novel.

Llywelyn, Morgan. 1916
This novelization of the 1916 Easter Rebellion recounts the story of the failed fight for Irish independence using fictional characters and actual historic figures.  Most of the novel unfolds through the eyes of 15 year old Ned Holloran, who lost his parents and almost his own life aboard the Titanic.  This is the first in Llywelyn’s compelling and richly detailed Irish Independence series which continues up to 1999.

Steel, Danielle. No Greater Love
20 year old Edwina loses both her parents and fiancee while they are travelling aboard the Titanic. Following the wishes of her dying mother, Edwina returns home to care for her five younger, now orphaned siblings.  This is a compelling story that follows Edwina and her family into the exciting early days of Hollywood. And as Steel fans know, the long suffering Edwina will eventually get her chance to find true love.

Todd, Charles. Watchers of Time
In this, the fifth installment in the popular post WWI British Mystery series featuring shell-shocked veteran and Scotland Yard detective Ian Rutledge, an investigation into the murder of a priest leads Rutledge to unravel a secret involving a woman who died aboard the Titanic.  In their trademark writing style, the mother-son writing team known as Charles Todd provide another psychologically haunting mystery that probes at what lives just below the surface of everyday life.

Willis, Connie. Passage
Psychologist Joanna Lander teams up with Neurosurgeon Richard Wright to create a pill which will recreate Near Death Experiences (NDEs).  Joanna tests the pills herself and keeps ending up on the Titanic.  Mr. Mandrake is also studying NDEs and publishing false reports on his own fabricated experiments.  Lander must make sense of what she finds on the other side and keep Mandrake from ruining her research.  Add to the tale a whopper of a plot twist which will keep you reading the last 100 pages in one gulp.  With Passage, Willis shows off her expertise at creating compelling and accessible Science Fiction with a touch of humor and romance.

Berwyn Public Library
2701 S. Harlem Ave.,  Berwyn, IL 60402

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