The thing I like most about researching possible settings for new novels is discovering works I might have otherwise ignored. Isaac's Storm, by Erik Larson, is one such work.
Subtitled "A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History," Larson's book examines the Galveston hurricane of 1900 through the eyes of meteorologist Isaac Monroe Cline and other survivors of the storm. Eight thousand people perished in the disaster.
Larson does more, however, than trace a cyclone across the North Atlantic. He offers compelling look at Cline and his family, the fledgling Weather Bureau, and a prosperous turn-of-the-century community that saw itself as Houston's economic rival.
I found Larson's 1999 nonfiction work as informative, entertaining, and readable as The Big Burn by Timothy Egan, The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger, and even many novels. I strongly recommend it to fans of science and history. Rating: 5/5.