Nonfiction. If you've ever wondered if the legends surrounding the first Thanksgiving in 1621 are fact or fiction, National Book Award-winning author Nathaniel Philbrick tells the real tale in Mayflower. This well-researched and engaging history of the New England Pilgrim settlement discusses the famed voyage and landing at Plymouth Rock, set-backs such as violence, disease, and King Philip's War, and the relationship between the newcomers and the native peoples. This "fascinating story" is the perfect read for American history buffs traveling over the river and through the woods.
Fiction. In 1914, newlyweds Henry and Grace Winter book passage on The Empress Alexandra, a trans-Atlantic ocean liner. However, when the ship sinks, Grace's husband sacrifices his life for hers, leaving the 22-year-old widow adrift in a crowded lifeboat on open seas. With morale plummeting and supplies running low, Grace and her fellow passengers endure a harrowing struggle for survival under the stern authority of former crewmember Mr. Hardie as they await rescue. Structuring Grace's narration as eyewitness testimony during a court trial, this compelling psychological drama explores how human beings behave in desperate circumstances.
When Captain Flint Was Still a Good Man - by Nick Dybek
Fiction. Those who live on Washington state's Loyalty Island depend upon the king crab trade for their livelihood, but the fleet's owned by the wealthy Gaunt family. It's a dangerous life made tenuous when John Gaunt dies and his son, Richard, considers selling the fleet to the Japanese. Looming larger in 15-year-old Cal Bollings' mind -- larger than his own future in the fishing industry or his parents' struggling marriage -- is the terrible secret he discovers in the basement of his house after his father has shipped out to sea and his mother has fled for her native California. Folded into this literary debut are clever homages to Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, but it's "the fast whirlpool of lies, murder, and moral dilemma that drives the book" (Outside Magazine).