Book review: Storm Kings

By , June 29, 2013

Storm Kings: The Untold Story of America’s First Tornado Chasers
By Lee Sandlin

I loved this book. I don’t usually start reviews like that, but I did really and truly love reading this book. I should probably also admit that I am a weather nerd, so maybe I’m already predisposed to enjoying endless debates about tornadogenesis.

It’s hard to imagine not knowing everything we do about tornadoes. Way (way) back in the 1800s, there was great discussion about whether or not tornadoes even rotated or if the winds were just sucked into the core’s vacuum from all directions.

If you’re looking for something exciting – more like the storm chasers we know today – then check out Chapter Eight: The Finger of God. It’s about a huge fire tornado that ripped through Peshtigo, WI the same night that Mrs. O’Leery’s cow decided to burn down Chicago. Absolutely fascinating and a little horrifying.

Favorite fun fact: Dorothy Gale was a real person who was killed in the massive Irving, Kansas tornadoes in 1879. This was 20 years prior to L. Frank Baum using her name for his main character.

Admittedly, there is more science than action in the book overall, but if weather rocks your world, this book needs to be on your nightstand. I was truly sad to turn the last page.

Happy reading…

:) Amanda


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