Though parents of toddlers may grow weary of the endless flow of “What ifs” from a curious three-year old, what the world needs most is a concerted effort to keep that inquisitive spirit alive. Historians, scientists and fiction writers grapple with – and celebrate – the what ifs of life in wondrous ways. Fortunately for readers, they share their questions through the written word.
And fortunately for library users the library offers what if literature in abundance.
Explore the tip of the library’s what if holdings now on display at the Minneapolis Central Library. Volunteer Ruthann Ovenshire has combed the shelves for fiction titles that grapple with serious what if issues. Her list of alternative histories includes these tomes:
- Ali, Monica. Untold story : a novel. New York : Scribner, 2011.
- Auster, Paul. Man in the dark.New York : Henry Holt, 2008. 1st ed.
- Carter, Stephen L. The impeachment of Abraham Lincoln. New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2012. 1st ed.
- Chabon, Michael. The Yiddish policemen’s union : a novel. New York : HarperCollins Publishers, c2007. 1st ed.
- Conroy, Robert. 1942 : a novel. New York : Ballantine Books, c2009.
- Gingrich, Newt and William R. Forstchen. Pearl Harbor : a novel of December 8th. New York : St. Martin’s, 2009.
- King, Stephen. 11/22/63 : a novel. New York : Scribner, 2011.
- Lowy, Jonathan. Elvis and Nixon : a novel.New York : Crown Publishers, c2001. 1st ed.
- Roth, Philip. The plot against America. Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2004.
- Tarr, Judith. Pride of kings. New York : Roc, c2001.
Science fiction authors revel in exploring life’s what if’s. Some of the leaders among science fiction authors of alternatives include these – check their websites for details:
Find their books at the library or at your favorite sci fi bookstore.
Some What If enthusiasts share their findings through websites or blogs. What if you were to fire up your imagination by exploring some of these digital options:
What if you have other historical or science fiction titles that fit the What if genre? Tell the library, tell a friend, post a not here..