I love nonfiction about natural disasters. Tornadoes are my favorite, but I read all kinds. I’ve been meaning to read Al Roker’s The Storm of the Century since it came out… last year. But I finally got to it! It’s an account of the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, the deadliest natural disaster in American history. It’s pretty good. Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson is superior, though, so if you’re only going to read one book on the topic, read that one.

Eruption by Steve Olson is about the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. I had previously read In the Path of Destruction by Richard Waitt, which I personally enjoyed more, but I think Eruption is probably a better starting place. In the Path of Destruction has dozens of eyewitness accounts, which are thrilling to read, but it starts slowly, detailing the day-to-day events that happened prior to the volcano’s eruption. To be honest, Eruption also drags a bit in the beginning, giving the reader the history of the land and the local logging industry. Some of the stories presenting in the two books are the same, but both have different, worthwhile, things to say about the tragedy.


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