Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Oil Discovered in Titusville

Note: Um, this accidentally got posted a day early, because I messed up the pre-scheduler on blogger.

On this day in 1859, the first (successful) oil well was drilled in the US, in the Titusville, PA. To mark the day, here are some books about oil...


Black Gold: The Story of Oil in Our Livesm by Albert Marrin. This is a history of oil, showing not only how we use it, but how the desire for it has shaped much of our modern history and will continue to do so.

Empty by Suzanne Weyn. In the not-too-distant future, civilization has just run out of fossil fuel. Following a few teenagers in the small town of Sage Harbor, they try to survive without heat, technology, or supermarkets.

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi. In this post-apocalyptic world, New Orleans and Orleans II are under water. Nailer works on a light crew, scavenging old ships for copper wire. But then storm brings a new ship, and Nailer's hit pay dirt. Except the girl who owns the ship is still alive, and now they're both on the run. Be sure to check out the companion novel, The Drowned Cities.


Oil! by Upton Sinclair. This ranging story about oilmen and the California oil industry might not be an obvious choice for teens, but it's more readable than the often assigned The Jungle and ever since the movie version (titled There Will be Blood, you might get some more teen readers to pick it up.

The Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd. In 2015, global warming has gotten bad enough that countries decide to cut carbon emissions by 60%. In the UK, this means everyone gets a carbon ration card for the year. Laura must figure out how to navigate her life with less carbon (can a punk rock band go solar?) and the tensions the new system brings to her family (her father loses his job.) Check out the sequel, The Carbon Diaries 2017.

Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne. Faye lives in a world where the scarcity of oil leads to riots, where she's sent to a reform school that drugs her to feel normal, but that won't stop the visions that plague her. What the readers get is a psychological thriller where you're not sure who's crazy--the world, or Faye.

What are your must-reads about oil?

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