Good Books To Read During A Hurricane

We're all patiently (impatiently) waiting on Hurricane Dorian here in South Carolina. We've been here before. There's days of build-up with the stress of finding water and bread in the crowded stores, making sure we've got the laundry done and the outdoor furniture put up, and where the heck are the flashlights again?? I've found one of the best ways to keep my mind from working itself into knots imagining worst case scenarios is to curl up with a good book, for many reasons:

*dark and stormy weather, or even just overcast weather is perfect for reading

*if the power goes out, you can still read

*reading, more than anything else, keeps my brain focused

*I'm always thinking "I should read more" so it feels good to check that box

*any leisure time spent not on my phone/social media is a good thing

I googled "Good Books To Read During A Hurricane" and was sorely disappointed with the results. Most of what I saw was too intellectual, or about actual hurricanes, which is a little too on-the-nose for me. I personally am looking for a way to escape the information overload with a story that I can read mindlessly. It might be set in a coastal town, it might not, but it's a book that I can get lost in and look up hours later without realizing the time has passed.

Here's what I came up with:

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This is on everyone's hot list right now, hurricane or not. I wanted to include it because it's good-- there's a reason for all the hype, and it's set in North Carolina, where as of this writing Hurricane Dorian is expected to make landfall. It's about a young girl who gets abandoned in a shack in the swamps of coastal NC and how she manages to survive. There's also a murder mystery and love story involved.

Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks novels are just what the hurricane ordered IMO-- not too heavy, chock full of romance, and in this case, an actual storm is in the story. The main character's husband has left her for a younger woman, and she escapes to a coastal town in NC where she meets a doctor who just sold his medical practice. A major storm is in the forecast, and they turn to each other for comfort. Bonus: it's been made into a movie starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

I cried and cried reading this book, so if you don't want to get emotional, this might not be for you. It has nothing to do with hurricanes, but I got lost in the story and that's the goal here. It's about a grumpy old man whose wife has passed away. It tells the backstory of how he fell in love with his wife, and a different kind of love that he finds after he tries to figure out how to live without her. It's sweet and charming and rumored to soon be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks.

The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand

This one is total fluff reading, I admit, but it's about twins who switch lives! Who didn't watch the Parent Trap when they were young and imagine how fun it would be to be a twin? This is like an adult version, set on the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. If you love shopping and clothes especially, there's something to identify with in here, mixed in with familial conflict and some sweet love stories.

Isle of Palms by Dorothea Benton Frank

Frank has a book called "The Hurricane Sisters," which would be the obvious choice for this list, but I think "Isle of Palms" is the better read. Anna grows up with a rough childhood and now in her 30's she starts living life by her own rules. Set in the beautiful lowcountry, maybe we'll all go visit Charleston after this storm has passed!

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