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Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Discussion: Stormy Weather

Oh my! Just after I put my kids in the neighbors car to drive the 15 miles to the Chicago Lakefront for camp, a huge storm hit. No tornadoes, but high winds, tree branches down everywhere, and sheets of rain.  My husband and I waited as long as we could, cleared the driveway of branches and tried to get to work through the downed tree limbs.  Ahhh, summer time.

We all got to where we needed to be safe and sound but the morning's activities made me think of my favorite storms in books.

One of the best books I have read about storms is Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History by Erik Larson.  It is narrative nonfiction about the creation of the National Weather Service and a huge storm that destroyed Galveston, TX in 1900.

This past spring the libraries in my area did their Big Read on Zeitoun by David Eggers which is all about Katrina. Click here for the long list of readalikes that they compiled, including options for children here.

Of course horror books are also filled with storms which cut people off from the rest of the world and allow terrible things to run amok.  There are too many to choose from, but one of my more recent favorites is Castaways by Brian Keene.  Click here to see what I had to say about it.  [I also spend a good bit of time breaking down the appeal of this specific novel in Chapter 2 of the new book if you are interested.]

Moving on from physical storms, I want to mention a few of my favorite books with emotional storms.  The Ice Storm by Ricky Moody is still one of the best domestic dramas every written.  Also, last year's The Lonely Polygamist (which I read here) is filled with family drama and some very powerful emotional storms.  I loved it.

Well, there is a start.  What about you? For today's Monday Discussion what are your favorite books which feature a storm? 

Click here for the Monday Discussion archive.


Kimberly said...

One of my favorites (besides The Wizard of Oz) is The Weatherman by Steve Thayer. A Vietnam veteran working as a meteorologist is accused of murders that occur during major weather events each season. As the Library Journal review said of the book "...the riveting plot is cloaked in descriptive episodes of weather." As I also like Thayer's book The Leper, I think he's a midlist author whose works should be better known.

John BPL RA said...

The one that jumps to mind immediately is The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger. Over the 4th of July weekend I was at a house party in Riverside and the band consisted of folk musicians playing acoustic guitars. Normally I do not like folk music but the river, which ran right through the back yard, had me thinking of boats. I requested the song Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald which they played while I stared out over the river. In the song, as in the book, the ship sinks in the end and all the sailors die. It depressed me out of my mind. It was wonderful.

Mike said...


The storm scene in David Copperfield where Ham vainly attempts to save Steerforth is
one of Charles Dickens' best passages of writing. It has often been considered the most memorable
description of a storm in literature.