Best Of 2020

Best Reason to Revisit the Score of "Titanic": "Sounds Like Titanic"

Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman, a local author and Northern Kentucky University professor, wrote her debut memoir centered on a strange premise: She played the violin for a touring orchestra that performed but never actually played. Led by a man she calls “The Composer,” they instead “played” in front of turned-off microphones as a CD recording broadcasted what the audience was actually hearing. As the book’s title, Sounds Like Titanic, suggests, the music had an uncanny resemblance to the score for, well, the 1997 film Titanic. That’s the hook, but the memoir itself delves deeper, touching on issues of gender, class and ambition. Often written in second person, it weaves between several points of her life, from growing up in Appalachia and attending Columbia University to 9/11 (and its aftermath) and her job as a fake violinist. A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and named a “best book of 2019” by Amazon and Vox, you’d do well to add this deeply affecting memoir to your reading list.