I am totally, 100%, completely book nerding out over here about Erik Larson's new book Dead Wake about the sinking of the Lusitania. My excitement over this book is two-fold, so let me explain.
First of all, Erik Larson rocks. He holds the esteemed position of being the only writer to ever scare the living shit out of me as a reader with a nonfiction book. Devil in the White City, whoa. You have absolutely got to read this book if you haven't already. It's weird because it's at once a detailed and fascinating account of the Chicago World's Fair, but it's also the story of one of the most grisly, terrifying serial killers in history. It took place a hundred years ago, but it's all true and utterly petrifying and Larson's educational nonfiction reads like a thriller. I think that's a special and unique gift for a writer to possess especially because this isn't historical fiction or a narrative retelling of history. This is a straight up non-fiction book - the literary equivalent of a documentary.
Second of all, I am obsessed with shipwrecks of all sorts and have been for ages and did a huge grad school project all about shipwrecks that almost became my thesis until I decided to follow my heart and get an MFA, but blah blah. Anyway, I once saw a documentary on TV about the sinking of the Lusitania and I thought, damn, this is actually a much more compelling story than the Titanic. I won't spoil it for you if you don't already know about it. But anyway, I was like, one day I'd like to write a book about the Lusitania and they should make a movie about it because it really is a wild story and most people don't know much about it like they do the Titanic.
But luckily the story made it to the hands of a master, someone far more qualified than me to do it justice and I am so so psyched to read Dead Wake as soon as possible. I haven't started it yet, but I already know how good it's going to be.