When That Great Ship Went Down

101 Things You Thought You Knew About the Titanic


As we approach the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, readers may want to brush up on facts or enjoy a story inspired by the tragic events of April 15, 1912.

"101 Things You Thought You Knew about the Titanic - But Didn't!" by Tim Maltin and Eloise Aston addresses myths and misconceptions about the sinking of the Titanic. The book is a collection of brief chapters on individual questions, rather than a narrative history. For a more traditional historical account, readers may try "Titanic Tragedy: A New Look at the Lost Liner" by John Maxtone-Graham.

Classic Romantic Comedies

The Pirate



I'm a fan of rom coms, well done ones that is, so a couple of years ago out of desperation I started to watch some of the classics. I was hooked, and couldn't believe I hadn't watched them before.  If you try a couple of these classics on for size, you won't regret it, and you might just discover some new movies worth watching over and over. Or you could rediscover movies you've seen and loved, but just haven't watched in years.

Existentialism for Teens

Tina's Mouth


Not all young adult lit is vampires and dystopian future worlds. Some deal with plain old-fashioned teen angst.  Case in point: "Tina's Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary" by Keshni Kashyap. Even adult readers will enjoy this trip back to the tumultuous world of teenage drama. Tina is a 15-year-old Indian-American, living in California, dealing with all the usual teenage afflictions--being different, losing friends to the popular crowd, and of course, discovering and losing first love.

The book is written as a series of illustrated journal entries addressed to Jean-Paul Sartre. The diary is a project for Tina's English Honors elective on existential philosophy, in which she attempts to answer the weighty question "who am I really?"

God Save the Queen

Elizabeth the Queen


Anyone interested in Queen Elizabeth II should pick up "Elizabeth the Queen : the life of a modern monarch" by Sally Bedell Smith. SLCL has it in multiple formats (book, large print book, book on CD and eAudiobook.) It's hefty at 600+ pages. Don't expect to hear anything shocking about her majesty, unless you find it shocking to know she stores her breakfast cereal in Tupperware. This is a decidedly pro-monarchy view of Queen Elizabeth that seems bent on making us believe she's just like you and me.
Well, she isn't and everybody knows it, so the author tries a bit too hard on that front. She may like to barbeque, but she still takes her own gold plates with her when she dines at the home of friends.

Book Into Film: "Howl’s Moving Castle"

Howl's Moving Castle

Dianne Wynne Jones, who passed away last year, published "Howl's Moving Castle" in 1986. In 2004, the animated film "Howl's Moving Castle," based on the book and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, was released. It was nominated for 12 awards and won nine, including the Nebula Award for Best Script and the Reader's Choice Award for Best Film. The film industry doesn't always accomplish the book to film conversion well, but in my opinion they did a good job with this one.

Honey: Nature's Golden Healer

Honey: Nature's Golden Healer


The next time you enjoy a bit of honey in your tea or drizzled across a freshly baked biscuit, take a moment to consider where it came from. In case you missed it, honey bees are under attack. A mysterious diseased called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has been killing hundreds of thousands of them each year, with no cure or explanation in sight. Why should you care about an insect that has the power to inflict painful stings? Without bees there would be very little food. In fact, author and beekeeper Gloria Havenhand tells us that one out of every three mouthfulls of food is from a pollinated crop.

Manly Baking For Men: aka Cupcakes with Bacon

Butch Bakery Cookbook


David Arrick's and Janice Kollar's "The Butch Bakery Cookbook" is full of unique cupcakes to make your desserts a little, well, manlier. Cupcakes made with beer, frosting with a dash of Jack Daniels, and of course two cupcake recipes topped with bacon bits. And don't worry--all the recipes that do use alcohol have virgin alternatives if that's your preference. Clear instructions make the delightfully new ideas easy to make and the sheer variety of frosting flavors makes this book a must try even if you don't grow hair on your chest.

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