Title: Shadow of the Titanic
Author: Andrew Wilson
Category: 19. Read a History book, fiction or nonfiction
This isn’t the first book this year that could have fitted into this category which is great because it’s honestly a bit of a dense category as far as reading goes.
Shadow of the Titanic is a non-fiction book that explores the experiences of Titanic survivors (and their families) following the tragic sinking in April 1912. As someone who has been fascinated by the Titanic for most of my life. Since I was six and picked up a children’s reader that talked about the sinking and discovery of the wreck . So this book was a natural choice and I’m really glad it exists because most books about the Titanic talk about either the voyage and subsequent sinking of the ship or about the discovery of the ship by Robert Ballard including various explanations for how an unsinkable ship could sink. So the stories that are part of this book are largely not included in other discussions of the topic, at least not in their entirety.
Unfortunately, I found the writing a little dry and had a lot of trouble getting through the book. It’s certainly not a book I would recommend for anyone who is not a passionate fan of the topic as I don’t think I would’ve bothered finishing it if I wasn’t such a fan.
Rating: 2/5 stars
Title: Ship Breaker
Author: Paolo Bacigalupi
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian
Category: 10. Read a book labelled as young adult
Date Started: September 5th 2017
Date Finished: September 13th 2017
Set in the same world as Bacugalupi’s earlier book The Windup Girl, this novel is the first in a series aimed at young adults. Taking us back to America somewhere around New Orleans we get to explore the world of ship breaking through young Nailer’s eyes.
His job is dangerous. He crawls through the innards of big old ships, the kind we’re used to seeing photos of today huge iron ships that haul cargo all over the world. His job is to pull them apart though, just the small bits, copper wiring and such, then the so called heavy crew will come in and pull the ship itself apart.
One day he almost dies but he doesn’t, so he becomes known as Lucky Boy. Then he really does get lucky when a storm shipwrecks one of the new clipper ships just off shore and he is the first one to find it. There’s more wealth than he’s ever seen before. And then he finds something else that changes everything. Maybe he could even get out of this place and make it somewhere better.
Unlike the Bangkok we saw in the Windup Girl, New Orleans is completely underwater aside from the occcasional tip of a high rise building to be seen at low tide. Nailer and everyone he knows survives in tiny huts along the beach and everyone he knows works on the ships. He can only dream of what’s away from there. He dreams about the clipper ships that they see in the distance and wishes he was on one but his little corner of America has been forgotten by the rest of the world.
Rating: 4/5 stars (definitely be reading the other books in the series)