The calendar has yet to shift to July, but already Tucson is teeming with meteorologists and amateur meteorologists, each of us studying the afternoon sky in a hopeful search for rain.
The monsoon has begun, offering us a daily reminder of nature’s beauty, power and unpredictable impact on our daily lives.
No matter where we live or what we do, the weather often shapes our plans, so it’s no surprise that the elements often play a central role in literature too.
Tucson Festival of Books volunteers were asked to recommend recently released books that are framed by the weather. As always, they offered a wide range of stories to choose from:
“A Rainy Day” by Sarah L. Perkins. In this charming picture book, a daughter and her father are forced indoors after their day at the park when it starts to rain. Then comes lightning and thunder, knocking out the electricity, so they have to find things they can do together. Dad puts his laptop away while they build a blanket fort, play a board game, and stomp through a puddle after the rain stops. Perkins gives us a warm celebration of the simple joys of being with a loved one. — kathy short
People also read…
“Rock Paper Scissors” by Alice Feeney. The numbing cold of the Scottish Highlands is the setting for this story of a struggling couple who escape for a make-or-break weekend. Mr. and Mrs. Wright seek to save their marriage. Where are they? — Tricia Clapp
“The Lost Boys of Montauk” by Amanda Fairbanks. Fairbanks holds two master’s degrees from the Columbia School of Journalism, and her investigative skills are on full display here. She investigates the disappearance of five Montauk fishermen whose boat was enveloped by a nor-easter in 1984. Neither the boat nor any of the sailors were ever found. The event has since become a local legend near the eastern tip of Long Island, still alive in the minds of those who were there. What happened? What was the impact on families and the surrounding community? The paperback version of “Lost Boys” was released last month. — Bill Finley
“The LA Weather” by Maria Amparo Escandon. Although the story revolves around a weather-obsessed Los Angeles father – the ongoing drought, in particular – the real storm is brewing within his Los Angeles family, the Alvarados. Oscar’s wife is ready to divorce. Each of their three daughters has their own difficulty bubbling. In every lifetime, rain must fall, and the Alvarados realize they all need to find higher ground. — Estelle Gonzalez
“Powder Days” by Heather Hansman. “Powder Days” is a poignant and eye-opening love letter from a former ski fan to a sport that has evolved from early thrill-seeker rides to a multi-billion dollar industry with beautiful resorts all over the world. . Hansman takes a close look at the past, present and future of a sport she loves – and examines how it’s already being altered by climate change. — Abby Mogollon
“A weather” by Rachel Lynn Solomon. This newly released romance novel features a TV weatherman who tries to reunite her boss, a Seattle weatherman, with her ex-husband. She’s got a romantic fire burning, but it’s not the one she was trying to light. — jessica pride
“The Guest List” by Lucy Foley. A destination wedding on an island off the coast of Ireland is interrupted by a sudden storm…and a power outage. When the lights finally come back on, someone is missing: the groom. Published last year, Foley offers us a rich thriller that leaves us guessing until the last pages. — Bill Finley
“Our women under the sea” by Julia Armfield. Part adventure story and part Jules Verne fantasy, this one evolves from a scientific research vessel that sinks to the bottom of the ocean. There are months left. When the crew is finally rescued, one of the scientists is different. Really different. — Lynn Wiese Sneyd
“A Bible for Children” by Lydia Millet. A new subgenre known as “cli-fi,” or climate fiction, has found a noble centerpiece in this creation by Tucson novelist Lydia Millet. A group of college friends and their families have gathered for a summer vacation at a secluded lakeside mansion. When a hurricane crushes them all, the heroes become the children. They are the ones who understand and recognize climate change. They are the ones who believe that science will help them survive. “A Children’s Bible” was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award in the Fiction category. — Bill Finley
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