Hurricane Books

I hope everyone on the east coast is staying safe after the destruction of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy.  Today's storms are met with an overload of information: pictures on social media, non-stop news coverage, live reporting and high tech computer models of the storm's projected path.  But if you are in the mood for a more in-depth read about storms, check out a few of these titles.

The 1900 Galveston Hurricane was one of the deadliest on record.  Over 6,000 people died in this massive storm, which was complicated by the lack of technology and a complete understanding of weather patterns.  Erik Larsson is an excellent nonfiction author and in Isaac's Storm he tells the detailed story of the storm, but also of the meteorologist, Isaac Cline who failed to make the best use of the information he saw.  The historical details of weather prediction combined with the suspense of the building storm make for an excellent read.

A hurricane list isn't complete without mentioning Hurricane Katrina, which rocked the Gulf Coast in late August, 2005. Many books have been published about this infamous storm and the aftermath, so you have a wide choice.  I would suggest starting with something like The Great Deluge by Douglas Brinkley.  He is a New Orleans resident, popular nonfiction author and a professor at Tulane.  His account covers all aspects of the storm, allowing those who lived it to tell their stories, but also investigates some of the government mis-management to create a full picture of one of the most heartbreaking and compelling stories of recent time. 

Interested in a personal story of Hurricane Katrina?  Dave Eggers wrote the unbelieveable but true story of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian American who stays behind in New Orleans after Katrina and his survival and unjust incarceration in the messy aftermath.  Zeitoun provides a singular perspective, but still has wide appeal and is really moving.

The Halloween Nor'easter of 1991 absorbed Hurricane Grace before colliding two additional storms, also in the Northeast for ssome extensive flooding.  Sebastian Junger wrote The Perfect Storm, one of my favorite nonfiction books about this storm and the fate of a sword fishing boat called the Andrea Gail.  Junger turns extensive research and interviews into a finely tuned story that sucks you in from the very beginning.