Saturday, April 18, 2009

Three disaster books

I recently re-read Isaac's Storm by Eric Larson, then checked out A Weekend in September by John Edward Weems and for some reason, that led me to The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea by Sebastian Junger.

The first time I read Isaac's Storm, I enjoyed it, but I felt like I missed a lot because I read it quickly (there are lots of details in the book). So when I re-read it, I read more slowly and carefully. I found that I didn't like it this time around. I just don't think it is well-written. It goes too fast in some places and in other places goes on too much. It has some interesting facts in it, but I didn't enjoy reading it.

Somewhere I heard that A Weekend in September was the definitive book on the hurricane that destroyed Galveston in 1900. It looks like it was written in 1980 (I returned the book to the library, so I checked for the date). Reading this right after Isaac's Storm was a mistake. This one is written in a more formal style and moves more slowly. I wonder if I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it first? It seemed a little dry, but I already knew a lot of the story he told.

Then I decided to read The Perfect Storm. I felt so sad for those people! Especially as I read the opening, I kept hoping that they would turn their lives around. It was a hard book to read, knowing that the men died, perhaps a terrible death, and I don't think they had the comfort of salvation.

I was a little sorry at the time I had spent reading these books (and I didn't finish A Weekend and I skimmed the end of Isaac's Storm and The Perfect Storm).

I've decided that my reading habits are very different from most of the reading population!

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