It's the Christmas season now and I'm sure some of you are looking to expand your Titanic libraries this season. Others might be looking at doing this some other time. At any rate, here are the top 10 must-haves for all Titaniacs. If you wish to purchase any of the recommended books, I would like to request that you go through my Amazon store which you can access on the right side of the top of the blog. :-)
10. The Story of the Titanic
This book is a compilation some of the most famous Titanic accounts by Jack Wincour from her survivors which include the books by passengers Lawrence Beesley and Archibald Gracie, the section about the Titanic in 2nd Officer Lightoller's autobiography, and the newspaper interview given by Junior Wireless Operator Harold Bride on the Carpathia. They are all excellent reads for anyone interested in reading survivirs' accounts and would make a good companion book with George Behe's "On Board the RMS Titanic."
9. Titanic In Photographs
This is a wonderful book! Some of you have probably noticed how photographs of the Olympic, Titanic's older and longer living sister, are scattered throughout Titanic books and have been for many years. This book is different in that it tells the Titanic's story through actual photographs of the Titanic. There are a few photographs of Olympic's interiors, but they make it clear if they are and are only in there because none exist of some particular spaces on the Titanic like her Grand Staircase. Other than that, all you see is Titanic and some are wonderful conversation starters.
8. The Night Lives On
This was basically Walter Lord's updated version of A Night To Remember. With the success of ANTR, more information and account came to light which enabled Walter Lord to tell the fascinating Titanic story with greater detail and new information. Don't let that discourage you from reading ANTR, though. Both of Walter Lord's books are wonderful must-reads.
7. A Night To Remember
This one book has had more influence on the Titanic community than any other Titanic book in history. Walter Lord in writing the book pioneered the way we look at the Titanic today and plowed through the ice in uncovering more facts about the Titanic. On top of writing an informative book about what happened, he also wrote it so well that it has you on the edge of your seat as Walter Lord tells the Titanic story in an electrifying way.
6. Titanic: An Illustrated History
This one book led to the Titanic craze of today because it inspired the 1997 movie. The book is written by Don Lynch who uses his memories of what the survivors told him and what he knows based on his extensive research. Beautifully illustrated by the always amazing paintings by Ken Marschall, this book will delight Titaniacs young and old as they are transported back to the "ship of dreams."
5. Exploring The Deep
This book came out this year and is a wonderful read. Written by James Cameron, Don Lynch, Ken Marschall, and Parks Stephenson, this book recounts each of Cameron's dives in journal-like fashion. It also contains wonderful images of the wreck which haven't been published before. It is an awesome book and I think young Titaniacs might even enjoy it too because of the pictures.
4. The Loss of the SS Titanic: Centennial Reappraisal
In reaction to the Titanic disaster, the British and American authorities set up inquiries to find out what went wrong to prevent another disaster like that from happening again. After the British Inquiries, they released a pamphlet entitled, "The Loss of the SS Titanic" which described the Titanic's physical details and safety features and gave a report on what happened and what went wrong. Fast forward to almost 100 years after that horrible event took place. All the survivors have died and through the accounts they left behind, we now know more than they did when they wrote the report. Leading Titanic expert Samuel Halpern lead a team of some of the most knowledgeable people in the world about the Titanic to retell Titanic's story based on the evidence we have today. All the major events and mistakes are explained in detail and is guaranteed to change the way you view the Titanic disaster.
3. On Board The RMS Titanic: Memories of a Maiden Voyage
Have you ever wanted to learn more without people telling you the same heart-wrenching stories over and over? Have you ever wanted to learn about what happened from the survivors themselves? This is the book for you. This masterpiece by George Behe is a collection of letters written on the Titanic and afterwards on the Carpathia by people who were actually on the Titanic. You'll find yourself reading these letters for hours as each person tells his/her story with the events still fresh in his/her mind, some with vivid detail.
2. The Ship Magnificent
I do not own this two volume set yet, but those that do tell me that it is THE Titanic book to own especially if you're interested in her technical aspect. It tells you everything from the size of her Grand Staircase tiles to the size of each porthole and window. It is basically a manual for if you ever want to rebuild the Titanic.
1. On A Sea Of Glass
This book was a collaborative effort by Bill Wormstedt, Tad Fitch, J. Kent Leyton, and George Behe. It is simply a masterpiece and worth every penny. It tells the Titanic story in a wonderful way that is clear to understand and if you wish to delve deeper and explore different issues such as the Officer's suicide, what the band's last song was, where was Thomas Andrews in his final moments, etc. there is an amazing appendix that you will find yourself coming back to often.