Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Band that Played On, by Steve Turner, is a recounting of the tragedy of the Titanic, focusing on the lives of the eight musicians who went down with the ship. Each of the eight musicians’ lives, prior to their voyage on the Titanic, is chronicled in their own chapter. They were all young, respectable men, leading relatively uneventful lives, who were passionate about their craft. Their deaths were hailed as heroic by surviving witnesses. This is the first biography to focus on the lives of these men, and for connoisseurs of Titanic history, it will be well received.

Regrettably, The Band that Played On, was not well received by me. Most of the tale was written in the style of a monotone history book. These men did not have noteworthy lives prior to their experience on the Titanic, and as such, did not make for interesting reading material. The interesting parts of the book were near the end, and unfortunately, contained much speculation as to what the musicians must have been doing during the sinking. Granted, there were many accounts reported of witnesses hearing the band’s music while disembarking to the lifeboats, but they are very contradictory. The author attempts to sort through these accounts and come up with a best case scenario as to the actual occurrences, but in truth, just overstated the possibilities. I felt like if I read the phrase, "Nearer my God to thee" again, I was going to have to throw in the towel. Ultimately, Turner ends the book with a sort of obituary tribute to each of the men. Ironically enough, this is the part I found most interesting. Contrary to the relatively uneventful lives of the men before the Titanic, some of their surviving family members went on to have some entertaining experiences.

So, while I will not recommend this book to my friends as an entertaining biography, I do recognize it’s merit as a worthy historical compilation. Steve Turner was very thorough in his research and retelling of a familiar tragic tale, with a unique perspective.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hope for Your Heart, by June Hunt, is one of the best inspirational, self-help books I have encountered. Her conversational style draws the reader in and provides inspiring and practical advice through real-life situations. Continually referencing God's promises, Ms. Hunt offers testimony to that gift that is freely offered to all. And while the title seems geared to the hopless and hurting, the contents are uplifting for persons in all seasons of life. ( )

Thursday, March 3, 2011

No Safe Haven by Kimberley and Kayla Woodhouse was a great read! It was a fast paced, suspensful, and inspiratioinal story. I absolutely love the fact that the authors were a mother/daughter team. It made the story even more special to me. The authors were able to make me experience the cold of the Alaskan mountains, the gripping fear of flying in a plane without a pilot, the agony of death defying hikes through the mountains, the innocence and strength behind child-like faith, the pride of feeling the need to be in control, and the peace of releasing that control and surrendering to love and forgiveness. I look forward to future novels written by this duo!