With all the media coverage surrounding Hurricane Irene, I was inspired to read a book about storms. I’m slightly obsessed with storms, and try to fit in a good storm whenever I’m writing a story. But then I soon realized that I couldn’t even think of one book I’ve read that featured a good storm (besides The Perfect Storm, which to me is more like a book about a boat). So I thought I could broaden my search to include all natural disasters, but still came up empty. Movies about storms? Easy. Twister, The Day After Tomorrow, and…ok, fine…The Perfect Storm. But books? I needed help.
So I Googled. I Googled “Books About Storms” and got a list of non-fiction informative books about hurricanes and tornadoes – books that have lots of pictures but a lot of boring words. So I Googled “Fictional Books About Storms” and – despite The Perfect Storm being the first thing to come up on the list – I did have a little more luck. Here’s what I discovered:
The Breathtaker by Alice Blanchard
Unfortunately, this book doesn’t sound interesting to me at all, mainly because it’s a mystery, and no matter how hard I try, I cannot get into the mystery genre. This one involves dead bodies found after a tornado, but turns out that they probably didn’t die during the tornado. Could it be foul play? Who cares. Sounds boring.
Heavy Weather by Bruce Sterling
While this one is actually more about tornadoes than the previous one – a group of stormchasers going out to find the “big one”, it still doesn’t catch my interest. I’m sure they all learn something about themselves and each other along the way and it’s all inspirational and stuff, but….yawn. Sorry. It’s the YA lit lover in me.
Tornado by Betsy Byars
This one caught my eye because not only is it a kids book, but it’s by an author that I’ve read! This one tells the tale of a family who’s stuck in a storm cellar during a tornado and listens to the dad’s stories about his childhood, including stories about a dog named Tornado who could do card tricks and stuff. Um…okay? Sounds a lot more entertaining than foul play and stormchasing, so I could probably give it a try.
A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes
This book was written in 1929, making it the oldest book on the list so far. In this book, incidents are described from a child’s point of view, beginning with the destruction of the family’s house by a hurricane. It seems, however, that the hurricane is over quickly and the book is more about what happens afterwards. It doesn’t sound totally boring, but…I probably won’t be able to even find this in a library.
I could go on, but honestly the books I came upon sounded so boring that I would probably fall asleep just writing about them. And then suddenly, just as I was closing out Google, a book popped into my head. A book so obvious that I feel silly even admitting that I didn’t think of it to begin with.
Um…DUH! A fantastic book (and movie, of course) featuring the one storm that everyone remembers! Like I said, I feel silly for not automatically thinking of the cyclone that hit Kansas and sent Dorothy Gale on her way to Oz, but then again, this book wasn’t mentioned in any of the lists I found on Google. So either Google had a brain fart like me, or Google is just stupid.
Google must be stupid, because I don’t think search engines can have brain farts. Or maybe Google is making us stupid.
On that note, I hope you have better luck finding some good reading material during Hurricane Irene’s run if you’re over on the East Coast. If you’re on the West Coast – like me – and can only complain about the sweltering heat in your un-airconditioned apartment, then by all means head to your local airconditioned library and see what they’ve got in stock. I’m pretty sure you could find something good to read.