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Weather-Related Books

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While the BTT host’s town dries out of record-setting, epic flooding from Hurricane Irene, she wants to ask: What’s your book with weather events? Hurricanes? Tornadoes? Blizzards? Real? Fiction? Doesn’t matter … weather comes up a lot in books, so there’s got to be a favorite somewhere, huh?

My thoughts are with the victims of Hurricane Irene, wishing lives will return to normal soon. This is very creative question that makes me take an inventory of readings. Before book blogging, roughly a little over six years ago, I picked up a supermarket novel named Category Five: The Hurricane-Force Novel at the airport waiting for the Hawaii flight. The premise of a tropical storm over the Atlantic seemed so appealing while I was sun-bathing on Waikiki. I was intrigued enough by the premise of a pilot writing about a giant hurricane to purchase his novel Category Five. You won’t be dazzled by amazing plot turns; but it’s an easy and fairly entertaining page turner. I was hooked from chapter one and the story unfolded wonderfully and delivered until the last page. It’s a fairly decent airport novel, plenty to keep me entertained while waiting for the flight to depart–and I managed to finish during the flight.

The one book that is off my mind about hurricane storm is James Clavell’s Noble House, set against Hong Kong over a week in 1963 that dramatically ended with a fatal landslide that toppled an apartment building on Cornwall Road in Mid-Level (a true historical event). The book finds the days of high adventure: from kidnapping, murder, and espionage to financial double-dealing and natural catastrophes—fire, flood, and landslide. Yet they are days filled as well with all the mystery and romance of Hong Kong. Clavell weaves many intricate story lines into a coherent pattern. Complexity, how these plots bear no resemblance of any connection, compels me to read on. Unlike many half-baked popular fiction, the characters in Noble House are etched and developed, duly reflecting the biracial and colonial psyche of the last British overseas sovereignty. It’s well over 1000 pages but how a financial house weathers a storm when a typhoon is closing in the city makes it a page-turner.

More recently read but often slipped out of my mind is Safe from the Sea by Peter Geye. I remember it as a father-and-son story, how they break the ice of misunderstanding and reconcile. The father was trapped in the devastating memory of sinking of the ship, for which he is the captain, over the years. As he reflects upon the turbulent sea and blizzards, his son finally understands his father’s pain. Small in scope but substantial in meaning, Safe from the Sea is not an action-driven plot but a slow realization. A slow realization on how he fails to be better, on the part of the father; and a slow realization on how the son has misunderstood his father’s love. The book is an intimate and believable account of a reconciliation between father and son, tender and deeply moving but not sentimental.

2 Responses

  1. I always love reading tour responses sin e thy highlight books I haven’t read or haven’t thought of.

  2. I read this year The Worst Hard Time, on the Dust Bowl. I had no idea this happened. Excellent book. Here is my review:
    http://wordsandpeace.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/my-review-of-the-worst-hard-time/
    I just listened to Blizzard, the Storm That Changed America, but haven’t reviewed it yet. Here is the link to this book on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1067556.Blizzard
    Emma @ Words And Peace

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