Time Travel Thursday July 21, 2022

Time Travel Tuesday is hosted by Budget Tales Book Blog. This is where I take a look back at what I was reading this time last year (or the year before or the year before that…) and compare it to what I am reading now.

Books I was Reading on This Day in 2021:

Close to Shore by Michael Capuzzo:

Combining rich historical detail and a harrowing, pulse-pounding narrative, Close to Shore brilliantly re-creates the summer of 1916, when a rogue Great White shark attacked swimmers along the New Jersey shore, triggering mass hysteria and launching the most extensive shark hunt in history.

During the summer before the United States entered World War I, when ocean swimming was just becoming popular and luxurious Jersey Shore resorts were thriving as a chic playland for an opulent yet still innocent era’s new leisure class, Americans were abruptly introduced to the terror of sharks. In July 1916 a lone Great White left its usual deep-ocean habitat and headed in the direction of the New Jersey shoreline. There, near the towns of Beach Haven and Spring Lake-and, incredibly, a farming community eleven miles inland-the most ferocious and unpredictable of predators began a deadly rampage: the first shark attacks on swimmers in U.S. history.

For Americans celebrating an astoundingly prosperous epoch much like our own, fueled by the wizardry of revolutionary inventions, the arrival of this violent predator symbolized the limits of mankind’s power against nature.

Interweaving a vivid portrait of the era and meticulously drawn characters with chilling accounts of the shark’s five attacks and the frenzied hunt that ensued, Michael Capuzzo has created a nonfiction historical thriller with the texture of Ragtime and the tension of Jaws. From the unnerving inevitability of the first attack on the esteemed son of a prosperous Philadelphia physician to the spine-tingling moment when a farm boy swimming in Matawan Creek feels the sandpaper-like skin of the passing shark, Close to Shore is an undeniably gripping saga.

Heightening the drama are stories of the resulting panic in the citizenry, press and politicians, and of colorful personalities such as Herman Oelrichs, a flamboyant millionaire who made a bet that a shark was no match for a man (and set out to prove it); Museum of Natural History ichthyologist John Treadwell Nichols, faced with the challenge of stopping a mythic sea creature about which little was known; and, most memorable, the rogue Great White itself moving through a world that couldn’t conceive of either its destructive power or its moral right to destroy.

Scrupulously researched and superbly written, Close to Shore brings to life a breathtaking, pivotal moment in American history. Masterfully written and suffused with fascinating period detail and insights into the science and behavior of sharks, Close to Shore recounts a breathtaking, pivotal moment in American history with startling immediacy.

My Memory of this Book: A year ago I was sitting on a beach in Croatia on my babymoon. This book came with me every day to the beach. I read this book while gazing out into the crystal blue waters — probably not a great book to be reading at the beach, but I was pretty certain there were no sharks where I was swimming, and besides, the water was so crystal blue that I could see to the bottom. I wasn’t writing reviews at the time, so there are none available.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab:

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

My Memory of this Book: I read this book as an audiobook. Although I wasn’t writing reviews at the time, I do remember enjoying this book and would highly recommend it.

Night Shift by Stephen King:

“You will encounter all manner of night creatures”, warns the author of this book. “None of them are real. The thing under my bed isn’t real. I know that, and I also know that if I’m careful to keep my foot under the covers, it will never be able to grab my ankle…”

Despite describing himself as ´the nicest sort of fellow you’d ever want to meet´, Stephen King is the author of three hugely successful horror novels, CARRIE, ´SALEM’S LOT and THE SHINING, all of which have been made into major films. In the foreword to NIGHT SHIFT he gives a fascinating insight into why he writes horror – and why people will always be enthralled by it. NIGHT SHIFT is your guide through the darker side of the human mind.

My Memory of this Book: I was reading this book as a edoc. I always enjoy Stephen King books, so I liked this one too.