Today’s Must Read
NPR Books has a new series in the works called “This Week’s Must Read.” It launches the first week of November – but until then, here’s a taste of what’s coming.
One year ago this week, winds began battering the coastline of New Jersey, an early herald of Superstorm Sandy’s landfall. It would become the second-costliest storm on record in the U.S. And while 12 months leaves little time to cope with such tragedy – and still fewer books that address it — we can glimpse at Sandy’s human toll by looking a few years past it, to the storm recorded as the costliest in U.S. history: Hurricane Katrina.
In Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones, a South Mississippi family stands in the gathering shadow of a massive hurricane. For all its locomotive bulk and bluster, though, the storm at first earns as much attention as a light drizzle. To a family struggling with poverty, and to a young girl pregnant at 14, there are more pressing matters to worry about than an oncoming storm – until the book’s harrowing final act, that is. This National Book Award winner is the kind of book that keeps your hands busy: one to keep your face covered, and the other to furiously flip pages.