I sometimes feel compelled to read contemporary books, at least to keep up with today's styles, as well as what stories seem to capture audience's attention. But I also love history, and that includes older books. I recently finished IN HARM'S WAY: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of its Survivors, by Doug Stanton, first published in 2001. The subtitle is a mouthful, but every word is true regarding the story within.
The book tells the tale that many of us heard of first in the movie "Jaws" when the character of Quint talks about why he is the way he is from his time on the Indianapolis.
Frankly, I was surprised that I hadn't heard of this story before, in high school, or in any college history class. I'm also surprised this hasn't been made into a film as it seems ready-made for a translation to the big screen. But what struck me most is that it read like a real-life horror novel. Those of you who love horror, will be glued to the page. And of course, it's all true, from the delivery of the atom bomb, to the ship's sinking by a Japanese sub, to the horrific survival - and deaths - of the hundreds of men in the ocean, some by elements and drinking salt water, and others, more viciously, by shark attacks.
I highly recommend this read to both history buffs, as well as those who love thrillers. But the book is more than a wartime tale; it's about survival, and I repeatedly found myself wondering if I would've had the courage and fortitude to continue on in the face of seeming hopelessness. Pick up it; you won't regret it.