10 books like Transatlantic Liners 1950-1970

By William H. Miller,

Here are 10 books that Transatlantic Liners 1950-1970 fans have personally recommended if you like Transatlantic Liners 1950-1970. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of RMS Mauretania (1907): Queen of the Ocean

John G. Sayers Author Of Secrets of the Great Ocean Liners

From my list on ocean liners and cruises.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a passionate, long-time collector of Ocean Liner material. I am recognized as a Member of the Board of The Ephemera Society of America, the Board of The Friends of Fort George, the Council of the British Ephemera Society and other historical and collector organizations. I was thrilled to be Recipient of the 2017 Award of Merit by The Ephemera Society of America, I was engaged by The Bodleian Library at Oxford University to author a book which captured some of the highlights of my extensive 60-year collection of Ocean Liner material which has been donated to the University. This book, sold globally, is the result of that work. 

John's book list on ocean liners and cruises

John G. Sayers Why did John love this book?

This is a biography but it’s about a famous ship, the Mauretania, rather than a famous person. Through her illustrious career the Mauretania—affectionately called the ‘Maurycarried passengers in speed and style across the Atlantic while holding the Blue Riband for more than 20 years. In service from 1907 to 1934, she spanned the era of the great luxurious liners.

Lots of textual material, which I like, although there’s enough photos to illustrate the various aspects of her life. If you like detail, this book has it. My only criticism is light coverage of her important role in the First World War. Read this in conjunction with the histories of her sister ship and running mate, the ill-fated Lusitania. They provided a rotating weekly service across the Atlantic for 8 years, and were equally luxurious, but their stories are far from identical.

By David Hutchings,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked RMS Mauretania (1907) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

FIVE YEARS in the making, RMS Mauretania and her sister the Lusitania represented a new era in British shipbuilding. Ostensibly built to compete against record-breaking German behemoths, the Mauretania was not only one of the first major ships to be turbine-driven or have four propellers - she was the largest moving structure ever to have been created by man at that time. And, soon enough, she would become the fastest as well. But the Mauretania wasn't just built for luxury. When war was declared in August 1914, she was pressed into service as a troop- and hospital ship. Where once…


Book cover of Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy

John G. Sayers Author Of Secrets of the Great Ocean Liners

From my list on ocean liners and cruises.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a passionate, long-time collector of Ocean Liner material. I am recognized as a Member of the Board of The Ephemera Society of America, the Board of The Friends of Fort George, the Council of the British Ephemera Society and other historical and collector organizations. I was thrilled to be Recipient of the 2017 Award of Merit by The Ephemera Society of America, I was engaged by The Bodleian Library at Oxford University to author a book which captured some of the highlights of my extensive 60-year collection of Ocean Liner material which has been donated to the University. This book, sold globally, is the result of that work. 

John's book list on ocean liners and cruises

John G. Sayers Why did John love this book?

This is not a biography of a ship, but rather a focus on the tragedy of the loss of the Lusitania, torpedoed by a German submarine in 1915. This book is heavily textual, as would be expected, so if you like lots of pictures to accompany a story, this is not the book for you.

It was published in 2002, well before the deluge of books produced in 2015, the centenary of the Lusitania tragedy. Those books speculated regarding her loss, attempting to pin the tragedy on a ‘bad guy’. Not so Ms. Preston. Timing-wise, Diana Preston’s book fortunately precedes the rush to speculate. Although she looks at the possible wartime undercurrents, she puts the event in the historical context of the time.

So, if you’re going to read the various 2015 era books about the tragedy, read Diana’s book first.

By Diana Preston,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lusitania as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On May 7, 1915, toward the end of her 101st eastbound crossing, from New York to Liverpool, England, R.M.S. Lusitania-pride of the Cunard Line and one of the greatest ocean liners afloat-became the target of a terrifying new weapon and a casualty of a terrible new kind of war. Sunk off the southern coast of Ireland by a torpedo fired from the German submarine U-20, she exploded and sank in eighteen minutes, taking with her some twelve hundred people, more than half of the passengers and crew. Cold-blooded, deliberate, and unprecedented in the annals of war, the sinking of the…


Book cover of The Only Way to Cross

John G. Sayers Author Of Secrets of the Great Ocean Liners

From my list on ocean liners and cruises.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a passionate, long-time collector of Ocean Liner material. I am recognized as a Member of the Board of The Ephemera Society of America, the Board of The Friends of Fort George, the Council of the British Ephemera Society and other historical and collector organizations. I was thrilled to be Recipient of the 2017 Award of Merit by The Ephemera Society of America, I was engaged by The Bodleian Library at Oxford University to author a book which captured some of the highlights of my extensive 60-year collection of Ocean Liner material which has been donated to the University. This book, sold globally, is the result of that work. 

John's book list on ocean liners and cruises

John G. Sayers Why did John love this book?

This book focuses on the golden era of Transatlantic travel in the Twentieth Century when engines made sail no longer a variable. Ships were larger and accommodation more spacious and opulent. The author is particularly good at describing the details of little-appreciated shipboard life such as gambling and the professional gamblers who fleeced wealthy participants.

A confession—this book was the cornerstone in my appreciation of the history of Transatlantic passenger shipping. First published in 1972, it has been reprinted in both hardcover and softcover many times since. My hardcover edition has a good section of relevant pictures with captions to tie them into the text, and a chart spreadsheet inside the front cover of the lines and their ships through the decades of the century.

Lots of interesting narrative and useful pictures. What’s more to want in a book to be read for pleasure?

By John Maxtone-Graham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Only Way to Cross as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sketches the history of transatlantic liners since the turn of the century, examining their design and innovations as well as their memorable passengers


Book cover of Olympic & Titanic: Ocean Liners of the Past

John G. Sayers Author Of Secrets of the Great Ocean Liners

From my list on ocean liners and cruises.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a passionate, long-time collector of Ocean Liner material. I am recognized as a Member of the Board of The Ephemera Society of America, the Board of The Friends of Fort George, the Council of the British Ephemera Society and other historical and collector organizations. I was thrilled to be Recipient of the 2017 Award of Merit by The Ephemera Society of America, I was engaged by The Bodleian Library at Oxford University to author a book which captured some of the highlights of my extensive 60-year collection of Ocean Liner material which has been donated to the University. This book, sold globally, is the result of that work. 

John's book list on ocean liners and cruises

John G. Sayers Why did John love this book?

This book is a refreshing approach because it covers the period prior to Titanic’s disastrous Maiden Voyage, in material reprinted from an early edition of The Shipbuilder. Do not read another Titanic disaster book until you have read this insight and appreciated the foldout deck plans and longitudinal cutaways to see the actual cabin and deck arrangements. They really help to explain many aspects of the disaster story.

The contents lean heavily on engineering matters, but you don’t have to be an engineer to fully appreciate the design work that went into these more-or-less identical sister ships, and it’s worth noting that much of the Titanic controversy swirled around alleged design flaws.

Published in 1970, this is a reprint of the original 1912 book which is well beyond the average book buyer’s budget. A caveat—even this one isn’t cheap, and you will have to search online.

By Shipbuilder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Olympic & Titanic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of The Lifeboat

Chris Turnbull Author Of The Planting of the Penny Hedge

From my list on fiction with an historical twist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Yorkshire writer with a passion for historical fiction. My love of history came as a surprise to me in my late teens, as I had originally thought history was not my thing. However, I soon discovered the incredible stories throughout history, and how many authors carve fictional stories around these time periods or historical events. I love researching for my own historical writing, whether it be to find out what kind of jobs people did, or what they ate for breakfast. I love reading and writing historical fiction in multiple eras, such as WW2, Victorian times, and further back to the Romans and ancient Egyptians. 

Chris' book list on fiction with an historical twist

Chris Turnbull Why did Chris love this book?

The Lifeboat is one of the first-period books I ever remember reading, and I was hooked by it from the first page. Told in the first person we follow Grace, as she retells the horrific incidents that have happened to her during the sinking of the Express Alexandra, becoming a widow, and spending three weeks trapped on a cramped lifeboat. I credit this book with being the first to inspire me in the world of historical fiction, both as a reader and writer.

By Charlotte Rogan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lifeboat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The sinking of an ocean liner leaves a newly married woman battling for survival in this powerful debut novel.

Grace Winter, 22, is both a newlywed and a widow. She is also on trial for her life.

In the summer of 1914, the elegant ocean liner carrying her and her husband Henry across the Atlantic suffers a mysterious explosion. Setting aside his own safety, Henry secures Grace a place in a lifeboat, which the survivors quickly realize is over capacity. For any to live, some must die.

As the castaways battle the elements, and each other, Grace recollects the unorthodox…


Book cover of RMS Olympic: Titanic's Sister

Kathleen McGurl Author Of The Lost Sister

From my list on the ships Titanic and Carpathia.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a historical and dual timeline novelist, and I sometimes think I love the research phase more than the writing phase. For each novel I start with a vague idea, then buy or borrow books to read around the subject in the hope that a story will gradually emerge. I was lucky with The Lost Sister in that a chance remark of my brother’s sparked an idea, and he had a large collection of Titanic books which he let me borrow.

Kathleen's book list on the ships Titanic and Carpathia

Kathleen McGurl Why did Kathleen love this book?

This book inspired me to write my book.

My brother told me how interesting this book was and that "it was Titanic’s sister ship. And that there were three sister ships, Olympic, Titanic, and Britannic." This book was invaluable for giving me an understanding of what the ships were like inside, with plenty of photographs and lots of technical detail.

By Mark Chirnside,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked RMS Olympic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Launched as the pride of British shipbuilding and the largest vessel in the world, Olympic was more than 40 per cent larger than her nearest rivals: almost 900ft long and the first ship to exceed 40,000 tons. She was built for comfort rather than speed and equipped with an array of facilities, including Turkish and electric baths (one of the first ships to have them), a swimming pool, gymnasium, squash court, a la carte restaurant, large first-class staterooms and plush public rooms. Surviving from 1911 until 1935, she was a firm favourite with the travelling public - carrying hundreds of…


Book cover of The Last Passenger

Amy Goldsmith Author Of Those We Drown

From my list on spooky ships.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always lived by the coast and have a healthy respect for the sea and a mortal fear of everything within it. It’s truly terrifying to me that around 80% of the ocean is unexplored – what is down there? This fear partly inspired me to write Those We Drown, my YA horror debut set aboard a cruise ship and featuring a splash of oceanic horror.

Amy's book list on spooky ships

Amy Goldsmith Why did Amy love this book?

Caz is on a cruise with her new partner, Pete, but when she wakes after her first night on board, she finds, to her horror, she is completely alone on the ship. Believe me, when I say that what happens next is utterly unhinged, like Squid Game crossed with The Woman in Cabin 10.

While some of the plot twists can be frustratingly unbelievable at times, this book features some incredibly tense set pieces and a reveal in the ship’s ballroom that is utterly chilling. Once you’ve suspended your disbelief, you’ll absolutely race through this one. It’s an ideal holiday read – and as for that last chapter...

By Will Dean,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Last Passenger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A luxury cruise liner, abandoned with no crew, steaming into the mid-Atlantic.
And you are the only passenger left on board.

'Astonishing' IAN RANKIN
'The premise is excellent... [a] mile-a-minute, bite-your-nails-to-the-quick ride of a novel, but I will tell you to trust this writer because I guarantee you'll enjoy where he takes you. Extra kudos for the final twist, which brought me great pleasure' OBSERVER
'Oh my goodness, what a rollercoaster of a read!' PRIMA

Caz Ripley, a cafe owner from a small, ordinary town, boards the RMS Atlantica with her boyfriend Pete and a thousand fellow passengers destined for…


Book cover of Voyage on the Great Titanic (Dear America): The Diary of Margaret Ann Brady, R.M.S. Titanic, 1912

Carla Louise Robinson Author Of The Light In The Darkness Book One

From my list on the Titanic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a bibliophile who loves dogs and prefers the country to the city. I’m the kid who yelled at my kindergarten teacher because she hadn’t taught me to read by the end of the year. That same tenacity followed me when, at seven years old, I learned that James Cameron was making a movie based on the Titanic. With righteous fury, I yelled at my befuddled parents, before asking why they had not told me about this ship. I pleaded with my parents to take me to see the movie for my upcoming eighth birthday, and they relented, with my mum buying my first fictional Titanic novel. That’s how my Titanic obsession began.

Carla's book list on the Titanic

Carla Louise Robinson Why did Carla love this book?

Written in diary format, presented as something for kids and teens, this was another novel my mum would be for me as a birthday present. Written by Ellen Emerson White, thirteen-year-old Margaret Ann Brady’s innocence immediately captures your heart. When she and her brother are orphaned at a young age, her older brother leaves her on an orphanage’s doorstep while he finds work. Eventually, he makes it to America, where he saves for his sister’s passage. Margaret, in a turn of fate, is offered passage on the Titanic when Mrs. Carstairs requires a companion to travel with her to America. The novel is peppered with real-life facts, with Margaret interacting with JJ Astor and Thomas Andrews (fun fact: when I read this novel as a child, I loved that JJ Astor’s dog was named “Kitty.” I thought it was the perfect name for a dog, and as a result, I…

By Ellen Emerson White,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Voyage on the Great Titanic (Dear America) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Margaret Anne dreams of leaving the orphanage behind, and she can hardly believe her luck when she is chosen to accompany wealth Mrs Carstairs aboard the great Titanic. But when the passengers are woken on a freezing night in April 1912, she finds herself caught up in an unimaginable nightmare...


Book cover of A Night to Remember

Kathleen McGurl Author Of The Lost Sister

From my list on the ships Titanic and Carpathia.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a historical and dual timeline novelist, and I sometimes think I love the research phase more than the writing phase. For each novel I start with a vague idea, then buy or borrow books to read around the subject in the hope that a story will gradually emerge. I was lucky with The Lost Sister in that a chance remark of my brother’s sparked an idea, and he had a large collection of Titanic books which he let me borrow.

Kathleen's book list on the ships Titanic and Carpathia

Kathleen McGurl Why did Kathleen love this book?

This book is generally considered the definitive account of the events of 14th-15th April, 1912, covering what happened on both Titanic and Carpathia.

It was first published in 1955 when of course many of the survivors would still have been alive. It’s short, and written in a wonderful, easy-to-read style, and has never been out of print. Rightly so – it’s practically required reading for any novelist or filmmaker taking on the topic of Titanic.

And for anyone fascinated by the story of Titanic, there is no better book.

By Walter Lord,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Night to Remember as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'There is no danger that Titanic will sink. The boat is unsinkable and nothing but inconvenience will be suffered by the passengers.' - Phillip Franklin, White Star Line Vice-President

On April 15th, 1912, Titanic, the world's largest passenger ship, sank after colliding with an iceberg, claiming more than 1,500 lives. Walter Lord's classic bestselling history of the voyage, the wreck and the aftermath is a tour de force of detailed investigation and the upstairs/downstairs divide. A Night to Remember provides a vivid, gripping and deeply personal account of the 'unsinkable' Titanic's descent.

WITH A NEW FOREWORD BY JULIAN FELLOWES


Book cover of The Rebellious Tide

Timothy Jay Smith Author Of Fire on the Island: A Romantic Thriller

From my list on contemporary gay novels set on the Mediterranean.

Why am I passionate about this?

Raised crisscrossing America, I developed a ceaseless wanderlust that took me around the world many times. En route, I collected the stories and characters that make up my work. Polish cops and Greek fishermen, mercenaries and arms dealers, child prostitutes and wannabe terrorists: I hung with them all in an unparalleled international career that had me smuggle banned plays from behind the Iron Curtain, maneuver through Occupied Territories, and stowaway aboard a ‘devil’s barge’ for a three-day crossing from Cape Verde that landed me in an African jail. Greece, where I’ve spent some seven years total, stole my heart 50 years ago. Fire on the Island is my homage to it. 

Timothy's book list on contemporary gay novels set on the Mediterranean

Timothy Jay Smith Why did Timothy love this book?

The setup of The Rebellious Tide instantly made me want to read it. A man abandons his pregnant wife, and thirty years later Sebastien, their son, seeks him out, wanting an explanation and revenge. The father is the captain of a luxury liner cruising the Mediterranean, and Sebastien joins the crew to secretly stalk his father to find out what kind of person he is. The story is full of mystery and disturbing elements, not to mention fluid sexuality. Ultimately, Sebastien discovers something his father has hidden in the belly of the ship that makes him confront what he’s feared about his own identity. A new twist on a high seas mystery!  

By Eddy Boudel Tan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Rebellious Tide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sebastien's search for his father leads him to a ship harbouring a dangerous secret.

Sebastien has heard only stories about his father, a mysterious sailor who abandoned his pregnant mother thirty years ago. But when his mother dies after a lifetime of struggle, he becomes obsessed with finding an explanation - perhaps even revenge.

The father he's never met is Kostas, the commanding officer of a luxury liner sailing the Mediterranean. Posing as a member of the ship's crew, Sebastien stalks his unwitting father in search of answers as to why he disappeared so many years ago.

After a public…


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