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Hit the books

My World's on Fire
Hit the books
By Colleen Hagerty • Issue #105 • View online
Thanks for reading My World’s on Fire, a newsletter about disasters from journalist Colleen Hagerty. Let’s make this a regular thing—subscribe for disaster deep-dives, Q&As, and context in your inbox on Thursday evenings.

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 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.
Wild by Design (currently reading)
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!
So, how about this weather?
If you’re in the market for a more regular read, I highly suggest subscribing to Currently. It’s a newsletter and weather service that centers climate change, equity, and justice while providing timely forecast updates for 19 global cities. You can also check out the website for original journalism, including an excellent series of explainers that delve into topics like tornado safety, snowstorm safety, and wildfire safety.
Right now, Currently is running a survey for emergency managers to learn more about how their services can best support this critical workforce. I know some of you work in this space, so I hope you’ll take a few minutes to fill it out!
As always...
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This week’s subscriber shout-out goes to Jacob Remes:
Jacob Remes
In @colleenhagerty newsletter this week, a short story about how the connections—the social capital—built during a teacher’s strike are being repurposed in the wake of the Kentucky floods.
Now, here’s a little something for reading to the end.
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