If there’s one thing Titanic-philes love to do, it’s read. And the publishing world aims to sell a lot of books – from hardcover to electronic downloads – around the 100th anniversary of the ship’s sinking. Here are three (of dozens) of new reads.
- “How to Survive the Titanic: The Sinking of J. Bruce Ismay” by Frances Wilson (Harper Perennial, $26.99) – Decorum would have called for J. Bruce Ismay, the heir to the White Star fortune (and, thereby, the owner of the Titanic), to stay with the ship until the last minute. But Ismay hopped onto a lifeboat. That decision made him one of the most talked-about – and reviled – men of the era. Fair assessment? Author Frances Wilson investigates.
- “Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage: The Titanic’s First-Class Passengers and Their World” by Hugh Brewster (Crown, $26) – Forget steerage. This champagne-and-caviar look at the most prominent passengers – some of the wealthiest benefactors of Gilded Age money – doesn’t just candy coat the luxurious lives they led on board. It soaks it in a bath of sugary syrup.
- “Sherlock Holmes: The Titanic Tragedy” by William Seil (Breese Books Ltd.) – What if Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were passengers on the Titanic, there to carry out a secret government mission? And what if, during the voyage, secret U.S. Navy plans for a newfangled submarine are stolen? Would Holmes be able to uncover the culprit before the ship sinks?