Weather The Storm With 6 Stories From NPR Books
As the East Coast hunkers down for the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy, NPR Books dug back into the archives to find stories about keeping safe — and sane — when disaster strikes. Here you'll find memoirs of past storms, novels about future storms and interviews with authors who've written about severe weather and climate change.
Powerless Cooking With 'The Storm Gourmet'
Think you're completely prepared for a hurricane? What about recipes? In her 2005 cookbook The Storm Gourmet: A Guide to Creating Extraordinary Meals Without Electricity, Daphne Nikolopoulos offers dishes to make when the power is out, working with ingredients that have a long shelf life. (All Things Considered interview, June 3, 2006)
Identifying Who Survives Disasters — And Why
Amanda Ripley's 2008 book, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes — And Why, is the thinking person's manual for getting out alive. Ripley searches for patterns in human behavior by interviewing hundreds of people who lived through catastrophes. Quick-witted survivors are surprisingly anomalous. (Book Tour, July 22, 2008)
Climate 'Weirdness' Throws Ecosystems 'Out Of Kilter'
Science journalist Michael Lemonick doesn't want to be a doomsday prophet, but he does want to be realistic about the threat of climate change. "We've had time to act — and essentially we haven't acted," he says. Lemonick discusses his 2012 book, Global Weirdness: Severe Storms, Deadly Heat Waves, Relentless Drought, Rising Seas, and the Weather of the Future. (Fresh Air interview, Aug. 14, 2012)
Mississippi Meditation: A Poet Looks 'Beyond Katrina'
In her 2010 memoir, Beyond Katrina, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey revisits her own memories of the Gulf Coast region, and details how members of her family worked to rebuild their lives after the storm. She asks how the identity of the Gulf will be remembered — and how the region's stories will be told. (Fresh Air interview, Aug. 18, 2010)
As The Fragile Earth Slows, This 'Miracle' Becomes Calamity
The 2004 earthquake in Indonesia was so powerful, it sped up Earth's rotation by a fraction of a second each day. That detail inspired Karen Thompson Walker's debut 2012 novel called Age of Miracles, which imagines a world in which Earth has inexplicably begun to slow down, leading to a series of calamitous changes. (All Things Considered interview, June 25, 2012)
Chris Mooney Reads From 'Storm World'
In his 2007 book Storm World, Mooney tells the story of "a largely unsuspecting group of scientists" drawn into a national debate as fierce as any Category 4 storm. The question? Whether climate changes would affect hurricanes — and how. The author believes the increased strength and number of hyperstorms over the past decade are cause for concern and for action. (Book Tour, Sept. 26, 2007)
National Book Award Winner Tells Tale Of Katrina
In 2011, author Jesmyn Ward won the National Book Award for her novel, Salvage the Bones, which takes place in a small town during a hurricane. The story was based on her own experience of surviving Hurricane Katrina, which she describes in this essay. (All Things Considered commentary, Nov. 17, 2011)