Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Hurricane Books

I've been through five memorable hurricanes. 

The first was Hurricane Carla in 1961. I was almost five years old. We stayed at my grandparents' home in Brazoria, Texas, a home my grandpap built of cinder blocks. The windows were all boarded up, and the power went out. The wind roared. The rain fell. I remember everything coming to a complete halt, and my dad saying, The eye is over us. Let's go out and see the eye. I remember being terrified, thinking I'd see a huge eye up in the sky and being disappointed when it was simply a lull in the storm. Later, as people did in that day, my family drove around where the storm had hit. Shingles were everywhere. Broken windows. Buildings blown down. Whole roofs blown off. Power lines down. 

In 1979, my town, Alvin, Texas, set the national record for most rainfall in a 24-hour period, 40 inches, during Tropical Storm Claudette. That record remains on the books. We were just married a year, and woke up in the night to a foot of water in our apartment. My parents, my in-laws, friends...we all spent months cleaning up from that one.

Hurricane Alicia skirted us in 1983, but caused a lot of damage in nearby Houston.

Ike came in 2008. Ike swept through but, amazingly, we were spared.

Harvey hit in 2017, and it rained and rained and rained, for days, and a half dozen friends and family got flooded. Many children from my school were flooded. We did not. 

I'd rather not see any more hurricanes. Don't you think that five is enough for one person?

Here are some excellent hurricane books.

Isaac's Storm.....The Storm of the Century.....Zeitoun.....Hurricane Season*.....

Nights in Rodanthe.....Yesterday We Had a Hurricane.....Hurricane.....

Five Days at Memorial.....Two Bobbies.....A Sudden Sea.....A Furious Sky*

Salvage the Bones*.....Stormy Weather.....A High Wind in Jamaica*.....Flood.....

In the Hurricane's Eye*.....Clifford and the Big Storm.....I Survived Hurricane Katrina.....

To Have or Have Not*.....Their Eyes Were Watching God.....Gullywasher.....

I've not yet read the books with asterisks. 
Have you read any of these?
Do you have any more hurricane books to recommend?

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


  1. I've been through or been impacted by two - Gloria in 1984 and Sandy. Never again please and thanks!

  2. Yes, five hurricanes is definitely enough for one person. Wow!

    My post .

  3. Oh my goodness Deb! Elza is terribly afraid of wind. Seriously. Don't have any idea why. If the wind starts howling, she goes crazy. Imagine what she will do during a hurricane.....

    But what a clever post. I haven't read any of the books you've shared. Maybe I rather shouldn't look into them... What if Elza runs away?

  4. great post. i have been through a few in my time too. and books about or with hurricanes, love 'em. they always catch my eye and you shared some great looking books. one i think of is hurricane crimes by chrys fey.

    sherry @ fundinmental

  5. Yes, I agree that 5 hurricanes should be enough, but....you live on the Texas Gulf Coast and hurricanes are a fact of life. Unfortunately. I've probably been affected by at least that many tornadoes in my life. Fortunately, I've not lived in a house destroyed by one, but we have had damage to our roof, car, windows, etc. I can remember going 'under' our house when I was about 7 or 8 because there was a tornado moving through Lubbock. Very scary. I can also remember seeing one outside the window when my daughter was in elementary school and she told of the kids 'sheltering' in the 'tornado protocol' in the school. Such a scary day.

    Great books you shared, Deb. I've read some of them and would like to read others. How about just no more hurricanes or giant storms this year? I could sign up for that. LOL

  6. I think five is definitely enough. I’ve only experience one Hurricane which was Matthew in 2016 whilst we were on holiday in Florida, we were glued to the Weather Channel as it passed over.

    Thankfully we don’t get them here but we do get the tail end of storms that head across the Atlantic which can briefly give us hurricane force winds.

    The way the weather is changing though nothing would surprise me if they start knocking on our door!

  7. I live in the PNW and have never seen a hurricane, but I never want to. Sorry you have had to go through them. Ick.

  8. Their Eyes Were Watching God was a good read.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

  9. Tamsin Treverton Jones' "Windblown" is the story of the hurricane (it got downgraded later but it was enough for me!) we had in the UK in 1987. I lived in the middle of it and have never got the feeling of the house being tugged at as the wind got in the roof out of my mind, or the colour of the sky. I really do not like being out in storms still. I was 15 when it hit.

  10. I've read a few of those "hurricane" books. Especially memorable were Their Eyes Were Watching God and Salvage the Bones. I do love Jesmyn Ward's writing.

  11. I can't even imagine 40 inches in 24 hours! When we lived in Nebraska, we got something like 3 inches in one hour and I fretted all night about our basement. It was dry the next morning, but I was exhausted from lack of sleep. I don't think I could live anywhere that has hurricanes, but I lived in tornado country and have felt many earthquakes in my lifetime. Now I'm in tsunami land and, sadly, fire country. I guess it isn't safe anywhere anymore. :(

    I've read Their Eyes Were Watching God, which was outstanding! I have Isaac's Storm and Zeitoun on my shelves and I also want to read Five Days at Memorial.

  12. Your topics are always so spot on. I have only lived through one, possibly two hurricanes, but that is not the weather bug-a-boo in the Northwest, as we all are seeing on the news this past week. We have forest fires. Ugh.

  13. Is Sally supposed to affect you at all? I think one hurricane is more than enough for one person, much less five! My husband mostly grew up in Miami. He was there for Andrew. Luckily he wasn't in the hardest-hit area but his and his parent's stories are still scary. Back home in the mountains of NC, we would get remnants of hurricanes, leading to flooding and wind damage more often than you would probably expect. 2004 was a banner year for that, with something like 3 or 4 storms in a row causing massive flooding--all in the month prior to our outdoor wedding! Luckily our day was dry if not clear.

    I've read Their Eyes Were Watching God from your list. I saw Jesmyn Ward speak at the Decatur Book Festival years ago but haven't actually read any of her books yet. There's never enough time for all the books I want to read!

  14. I actually lived through a hurricane in Jamaica. It was Hurricane Gilbert and it was SCARY! Living in Toronto, I had no experience with something like this. It was exciting and terrifying. It didn't stop me from going back to Jamaica to visit my family every year. I haven't read a book involving hurricanes, but your list has me taking another look.

  15. I also went through a hurricane when I was little.. Hurricane Hugo, although I was a baby at the time. Great list!

    Here’s my TTT!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  16. I hope you'll be far and free from Sally. That's a boatload of books!

  17. I think we always find the natural disaster we don't know to be more terrifying that what we're used to. The idea of a hurricane or tornado seems awful to me, but earthquakes? No problem.

  18. I've been through snow storms and ice storms but no hurricanes as that is not common here. So I have no idea what that must be like. And so interesting to see the books that have hurricane as their topics.

  19. Interesting topic. I've never been in a hurricane or even near one, we don't have many in Europe. And I don't think I've ever read about one, either. Oh, yes, we had a book club book once, Where the Heart is by Billie Letts. Not just about a hurricane but there definitely was one in the book.

    Thanks for visiting my TTT earlier.

  20. I’ve never lived near the ocean, so no hurricanes for me. When I was a teenager, my family did have to drive through a tropical storm in Florida in the middle of the night. That was scary enough for me.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  21. I think 5 hurricanes are more then enough for one person! We have tornadoes but aren't close enough to the ocean for hurricanes thankfully. Earlier this year we were debating a move to the Mississippi Coast (thankfully we decided against it!) and my mother was in a near panic because of the hurricane risk. I love the memory of when you were 5! I think my son would have thought the same thing at that age.

  22. What a terrific theme. You are so clever.


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