I’ll be honest: my writing brain is a bit tapped out this week. I’m currently juggling a number of deadlines, work travel, and trying to sum up my thoughts on disaster journalism for an upcoming conference, all of which you’ll be hearing about in future newsletters. But for now, I figured I’d bring in some reinforcements that have supported my reporting in the past.
As I mentioned a few newsletters ago, I recently launched a Bookshop.org affiliate storefront
to highlight some of the books that have helped inform my journalism (plus some I just thought were really good). My love of disaster-related reading is well-documented in this newsletter—shout out to the MWOF book club, which I’d be happy to bring back if there’s interest
—so there’s a non-fiction section for those of you who like to stay on-brand with your beach reads, too.
While you might recognize some of the books on this list from previous newsletters, like Critical Disaster Studies
and Olga Dies Dreaming
, I thought I’d share how a few of the other selections influenced my work to give you a better idea of why they’re worthy of being added to your Goodreads list.
I’d also love to hear your recommendations (like I said, I have some work travel coming up, so the more books, the better)! You can reach me by responding directly to this email or you can send me your suggestions on Twitter
I directly referenced this read from Alice Fothergill and Lori Peek in my recent feature for Teen Vogue
, which profiled a few members of the Paradise High School graduating class of 2022. The book chronicles years-long studies of young people impacted by Hurricane Katrina, and I really appreciated that it’s written in a way that makes the academic work accessible to those of us who aren’t as familiar with that sort of language. The children in the book aren’t just talked about as datapoints for Fothergill and Peek—they really allow their humanity, struggles, and triumphs to shine through, and the authors similarly acknowledge their own personal challenges throughout the book.
This compilation of reporting from Rebecca Solnit spans decades and countries to share the stories of the communities that are formed following disasters. I read this book while writing about a Facebook group
created in the aftermath of the 2018 Camp Fire, and it offered a fascinating framework for viewing how technology has and has not changed the ways we come together after disasters.
Author Dr. Laura J. Martin was kind enough to send me this book, which she told me “grapples with a fundamental question of our century: how far should humans go to help other species survive planetary crisis?”
Dr. Martin reached out at a particularly appropriate time since I’m currently writing about long-term hurricane recovery in the Northeast, and a large part of my research has been looking at efforts to protect and bolster marine life in coastal regions. A number of the experts I have spoken with shared the struggle of trying to support the “natural” ecosystem while acknowledging to the new needs of our changing climate. I’m still in the thick of this one, but I definitely recommend it already!