The best books about earthquakes

Who picked these books? Meet our 18 experts.

18 authors created a book list connected to earthquakes, and here are their favorite earthquake books.
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What type of earthquake book?


Night of the Howling Dogs

By Graham Salisbury,

Book cover of Night of the Howling Dogs

Lehua Parker Author Of One Boy, No Water

From the list on authentically Hawaiian books for tweens and teens.

Who am I?

Growing up in a kanaka maoli—Native Hawaiian—family in Hawai’i, I hungered for stories centered around island kids and their authentic lived experiences. I scoured classrooms, libraries, and bookstores looking for stories that reflected my reality, but all I ever found were dusty collections of ancient legends, not books that appealed to my sense of wonder or adventure. It’s the reason I wrote the Niuhi Shark Saga trilogy and why I’m so excited to share this collection with you. These books are everything I always wanted to read as a child growing up in Hawai‘i—and more!

Lehua's book list on authentically Hawaiian books for tweens and teens

Discover why each book is one of Lehua's favorite books.

Why did Lehua love this book?

What starts out as a camping trip in remote Halape for a boy scout troop from Hilo turns desperate when an earthquake hits and their camp is devastated by a tsunami. The boys are scattered, and it’s up to Dylan and his nemesis Louie to reunite the troop and get them to safety. Inspired by real events that I remember, this book is a survival story about friendship, leadership, and teamwork that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.

By Graham Salisbury,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Night of the Howling Dogs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

DYLAN'S SCOUT TROOP goes camping in Halape, a remote spot below the volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. The only thing wrong with the weekend on a beautiful, peaceful beach is Louie, a tough older boy. Louie and Dylan just can't get along.That night an earthquake rocks the camp, and then a wave rushes in, sweeping everyone and everything before it. Dylan and Louie must team up on a dangerous rescue mission. The next hours are an amazing story of survival and the true meaning of leadership.

Earthquake Storms

By John Dvorak,

Book cover of Earthquake Storms: The Fascinating History and Volatile Future of the San Andreas Fault

Keith Heyer Meldahl Author Of Rough-Hewn Land: A Geologic Journey from California to the Rocky Mountains

From the list on geology that tell great stories.

Who am I?

When I first crossed the American West nearly 4 decades ago in my ’67 Chevy, it changed my life. I had never imagined mountains built of contorted rock shoved miles into the sky, faults slashing like fresh scars across the landscape, and starkly beautiful deserts where people seemed an afterthought. After many happy years of researching and exploring the West with my geology students, I knew I wanted to tell the story to a larger audience. The result has been three books: Hard Road West, Rough-Hewn Land, and Surf, Sand, and Stone. 

Keith's book list on geology that tell great stories

Discover why each book is one of Keith's favorite books.

Why did Keith love this book?

The title is a bit misleading. This book is more of a history of thinking and discovery about seismology—the study of earthquakes—with a focus on the San Andreas fault. What I like best is how Dvorak weaves the personal stories of scientists into the geologic story. Too often in textbooks and general-audience books, scientists don’t exist as human beings with foibles, preconceptions, and occasional bursts of insight. I wish that other books presented the human side of science as effectively as Dvorak. 

By John Dvorak,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Earthquake Storms as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


By Lisa Westberg Peters, Cathie Felstead (illustrator),

Book cover of Earthshake: Poems from the Ground Up

Brenda Z. Guiberson Author Of Yours 'Til Niagara Falls

From the list on the fascinating and connected layers of world.

Who am I?

As a writer of dozens of books for children, I always learn much more that can go into each effort. A “wow” moment gets me started. It could be a giant cactus that grows so slowly, frogs that don’t ribbet, maybe a moment with a sea turtle, or thoughts on geology and natural wonders. Each book comes into a hazy focus after tons of research but much gets left out. What goes in? The best “wow” details get woven into an incredible story full of surprise, joy, and admiration for this world of constant change and those struggling to survive.

Brenda's book list on the fascinating and connected layers of world

Discover why each book is one of Brenda's favorite books.

Why did Brenda love this book?

Humor and poetry brought to the natural wonders of earth? Wow! This book has twenty-two poems such as “Recipe for Granite,” “Obituary for a Clam” and “Instructions for the Earth’s Dishwasher.” A favorite is a plea for a glacier, so sluggish and slow. “Just once, when no one is looking, peel out!” The illustrations are bright and fun and the endnotes provide extra information.

By Lisa Westberg Peters, Cathie Felstead (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Earthshake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

Lucifer's Hammer

By Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle,

Book cover of Lucifer's Hammer

Michael C. Bland Author Of The Price of Safety

From the list on a future we probably want to avoid.

Who am I?

My father wanted to be an astrophysicist, and as a kid I caught his passion for the future from the many science fiction books he’d left throughout our house. As an adult, the advances in technology have brought the future envisioned in those books closer than ever. My passion for what awaits us led me to write The Price of Safety, which contains innovations that are right around the corner—and have already started to come true (which is freaky), between Elon Musk’s cranial implants to DNA tracking. The world we live in is becoming more like the world in my books. I hope we’re ready! 

Michael's book list on a future we probably want to avoid

Discover why each book is one of Michael's favorite books.

Why did Michael love this book?

The oldest book on the list, Lucifer’s Hammer seems to be an end-of-the-world tale. And it is to a degree: the world is forever altered after a comet enters the earth’s atmosphere and breaks apart, the huge pieces slamming into the West Coast.

It’s the aftermath, though, where things get interesting. How do people survive? How much of their humanity survives with them? This is the story Niven and Pournelle tell, with a level of realism that echoes people’s attitudes and actions witnessed during the COVID pandemic.

With a clash between rival forces leading to a showdown that dictates the survivors’ future, Lucifer’s Hammer has continued to resonate with me years after reading it.

By Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Lucifer's Hammer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“The first satisfying end-of-the-world novel in years . . . an ultimate one . . . massively entertaining.”—Cleveland Plain-Dealer

The gigantic comet had slammed into Earth, forging earthquakes a thousand times too powerful to measure on the Richter scale, tidal waves thousands of feet high. Cities were turned into oceans; oceans turned into steam. It was the beginning of a new Ice Age and the end of civilization.

But for the terrified men and women chance had saved, it was also the dawn of a new struggle for survival—a struggle more dangerous and challenging than any they had ever known.…

Book cover of Haiti After the Earthquake

Keith Madsen Author Of The Sons and Daughters of Toussaint

From the list on the life and history of Haiti.

Who am I?

From the time I heard of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that killed over 200,000 people, my heart was drawn to that country. From 2012 to 2017 I lead five mission trips to Cap Haitian, where we toured mission work, helped Haitians build an elementary school, and met so many of these beautiful people. I ate the great cooking of “Mama Jo” who, along with her husband, hosted us. I gave “horsey” rides to children at a Port-au-Prince orphanage; and shared in prayer and singing with churches near Cap Haitian. In short, I fell in love with these people. How could I not write a novel of hope about them? 

Keith's book list on the life and history of Haiti

Discover why each book is one of Keith's favorite books.

Why did Keith love this book?

If you are looking for a book on Haiti's challenges, and whether or not there is long-term hope for this country, this is the book you should choose. The late Paul Farmer was a physician who has been involved for many years in improving Haiti's healthcare system, and after the 2010 earthquake worked with people like former US President Bill Clinton in helping the country to "build back better." I read the book between my first and second trips to Haiti and found it to be a treasure-trove of information on Haiti’s background, as well as sources of hope.

By Paul Farmer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Haiti After the Earthquake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Paul Farmer, doctor and aid worker, offers an inspiring insider's view of the relief effort.", Financial Times The book's greatest strength lies in its depiction of the post-quake chaos, In the book's more analytical sections the author's diagnosis of the difficulties of reconstruction is sharp." , Economist A gripping, profoundly moving book, an urgent dispatch from the front by one of our finest warriors for social justice." ,Adam Hochschild His honest assessment of what the people trying to help Haiti did well,and where they failed,is important for anyone who cares about the country or international aid in general." , Miami…

The Disaster Days

By Rebecca Behrens,

Book cover of The Disaster Days

Gayle Rosengren Author Of MacKenzie's Last Run

From the list on kids struggling to survive.

Who am I?

I have no wilderness survival skills and certainly no wish to be thrown into any of the scenarios in the books I’ve recommended. What I do have is great empathy for those who struggle to survive loss—in whatever form it might come—be it loss of home, or security, or family. I know what it is to struggle through darkness and survive what I would have previously thought “unsurvivable.” That’s why two of my middle grade books, but especially MacKenzie’s Last Run, are about speaking up when you’re hurting or frightened. Lost in the dark woods or lost in grief–it’s all ultimately about survival. 

Gayle's book list on kids struggling to survive

Discover why each book is one of Gayle's favorite books.

Why did Gayle love this book?

The Disaster Days is a novel that has special appeal, I think, to midwesterners like myself who are equally fascinated and terrified by the idea of an earthquake. In Behren’s novel, not only does an earthquake actually happen, but it happens when young Hannah’s responsible for two young babysitting charges, Zoe and Oscar. Cut off from her family by a collapsed bridge, and cut off from the world by disabled communications systems, she is frightened to death but trying not to show it to the children. And trying not to think about the inhaler she left at home.

This survival story is unique from most in that usually the youngster struggling to survive has only their own fear to deal with and their own life at stake. In The Disaster Days, though, every decision Hannah makes must take into account what can safely be managed by the youngest of…

By Rebecca Behrens,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Disaster Days as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hatchet meets The Babysitters Club in this epic and thrilling survival story about pushing oneself to the limit in the face of a crisis.
We were all alone, in a shaken and shattered house, in the dark. And I was in charge.
Hannah Steele loves living on Pelling, a tiny island near Seattle. She's always felt totally safe there.
So when she's asked to babysit after school one day, it's no big deal. Zoe and Oscar are her next-door neighbors, and Hannah just took a babysitting class, which she's pretty sure makes her an expert. She isn't even worried that…

A Wrinkle in the Skin

By John Christopher,

Book cover of A Wrinkle in the Skin

Huw Collingbourne Author Of The Snow

From the list on post-apocalyptic science fiction.

Who am I?

“We had to put our money into bowls of vinegar,” my Aunty Mary once told me, “because they thought we’d infect them.” It’s hard to believe that this happened in living memory but in the early 1960s, smallpox came to the Rhondda valleys of South Wales where my family lived. Patients were put into a local isolation hospital. When people from the valleys went to the capital city, Cardiff, some shop-owners insisted that any coins were put into vinegar – a supposed ‘cure’ for the plague that dates back to the Middle Ages. Is it any wonder that I grew up with a fascination for the end of civilization as we know it?

Huw's book list on post-apocalyptic science fiction

Discover why each book is one of Huw's favorite books.

Why did Huw love this book?

In this wonderful novel, massive earthquakes cause a geological catastrophe that changes the world’s geography overnight. The upheaval of the ocean floor forms a land bridge that connects the island of Guernsey with mainland Britain. By removing the sea from the English Channel, Christopher creates a peculiar, surreal landscape which, we soon discover, is populated by some peculiar and surreal people. I particularly enjoyed the captain of the grounded ship who tries to run his vessel as though nothing has changed. John Christopher was the grandmaster of the post-apocalyptic genre.

By John Christopher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Wrinkle in the Skin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One night, the island of Guernsey convulsed. As shock followed shock, the landscape tilted violently in defiance of gravity. When dawn came and the quakes had stilled to tremblings, Matthew Cotter gazed out in disbelief at the pile of rubble that had been his home. The greenhouses which had provided his livelihood were a lake of shattered glass, the tomato plants a crush of drowned vegetation spotted and splodged with red.

Wandering in a daze of bewilderment through the devastation, he came to the coast, looked out towards the sea ...

There was no sea: simply a sunken alien land,…

What Storm, What Thunder

By Myriam J A Chancy,

Book cover of What Storm, What Thunder

Michele Wucker Author Of Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola

From the list on understanding Haiti.

Who am I?

A love of literature and a summer with relatives in Belgium—a country divided by language and culture—inspired me to travel to Santo Domingo in 1988 to learn Spanish and study the fraught dynamics of two countries speaking different languages but sharing an island. My time in the Dominican Republic and Haiti inspired a lifelong exploration of complex issues. Today I write about risk, drawing on psychology, culture, policy, and economics, as in Why the Cocks Fight. My third book, The Gray Rhino, calls for a fresh look at obvious, looming threats. The sequel, You Are What You Risk, explores risk perceptions and attitudes through a comparative, socio-cultural lens.

Michele's book list on understanding Haiti

Discover why each book is one of Michele's favorite books.

Why did Michele love this book?

It’s impossible to understand contemporary Haiti without recognizing the impact of the 2010 earthquake that devastated the country, taking an estimated 300,000 lives and destroying many of the iconic historical sites in the capital city, Port-au-Prince. Chancy’s powerful novel of tragedy and resilience depicts the lead-up to and aftermath of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake via the interlinked stories of ten characters from different walks of life. These stories drive home both how different the experience of Haiti can be depending on socioeconomic class and race; yet also how connected so many Haitian stories are to each other.

By Myriam J A Chancy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Storm, What Thunder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

American Book Award Winner

Aspen Words Literary Prize Finalist

A NPR, Boston Globe, New York Public Library, Chicago Public Library, and Library Journal Best Book of the Year

“Stunning.” —Margaret Atwood

At the end of a long, sweltering day, an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude shakes the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. Award-winning author Myriam J. A. Chancy masterfully charts the inner lives of the characters affected by the disaster—Richard, an expat and wealthy water-bottling executive with a secret daughter; the daughter, Anne, an architect who drafts affordable housing structures for a global NGO; a small-time drug trafficker, Leopold, who pines for…

Dark Inside

By Jeyn Roberts,

Book cover of Dark Inside

Christopher Joubert Author Of Briskwood Blood Rain

From the list on apocalyptic events and surviving in confinement.

Who am I?

Apocalyptic novels have always been a favorite genre of mine. It’s interesting seeing the lengths that people will go through to survive when all factors are stacked against them. The list of novels below is some of the many great reads that opened my eyes to this genre. The characters in these novels are oftentimes faced with challenges that seem impossible to the reader but are left feeling so fulfilled after seeing a character complete the difficult tasks. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have!

Christopher's book list on apocalyptic events and surviving in confinement

Discover why each book is one of Christopher's favorite books.

Why did Christopher love this book?

Dark Inside centers around a series of powerful earthquakes that shake every continent on Earth and awakens a supernatural inner rage within people. The concept of this novel is incredibly fascinating and is another novel that shows the power of Mother Nature - with a twist. After the earthquakes, the world descends into a hellish landscape that, at times, eerily mirrors events that have taken place in the real world. The apocalypse is brought on by the evilness of humanity, which makes it an interesting read. 

By Jeyn Roberts,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dark Inside as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Moments after several huge earthquakes shake every continent on Earth, something strange starts happening to some people. Michael can only watch in horror as an incidence of road rage so extreme it ends in two deaths unfolds before his eyes; Clementine finds herself being hunted through the small town she has lived in all her life, by people she has known all her life; and Mason is attacked with a baseball bat by a random stranger. An inner rage has been released and some people cannot fight it. For those who can, life becomes an ongoing battle to survive -…

Nothing, Nobody

By Elena Poniatowska,

Book cover of Nothing, Nobody: The Voices of the Mexico City Earthquake

Charles F. Walker Author Of Shaky Colonialism: The 1746 Earthquake-Tsunami in Lima, Peru, and Its Long Aftermath

From the list on natural disasters in Latin America and Caribbean.

Who am I?

Writing my history of the 1746 earthquake and tsunami that walloped much of Peru taught me that disasters serve as great entryways into society. They not only provide a snapshot (today's selfie) of where people were and what they were doing at a given moment (think Pompei) but also bring to light and even accentuate social and political tensions. I have lived my adult life between Peru and California and have experienced plenty of earthquakes. I continue to teach on "natural" disasters and have begun a project on the 1600 Huaynaputina volcano that affected the global climate. 

Charles' book list on natural disasters in Latin America and Caribbean

Discover why each book is one of Charles' favorite books.

Why did Charles love this book?

This book showcases the extraordinary writing of the novelist and journalist Elena Poniatowska. She weaves together the voices of multiple journalists, her own reflections, and above all the testimonies of dozens of survivors of the two earthquakes that battered Mexico City and surrounding areas on September 19 and 20, 1985. It is both a moving report of people's suffering as well as a stirring portrait of how common people stepped in and created search and rescue teams and offered relief when government efforts failed. Poniatowska masterfully captures what many historians consider a key before and after moment in modern Mexican history.

By Elena Poniatowska,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nothing, Nobody as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In September 19, 1985, a powerful earthquake hit Mexico City in the early morning hours. As the city collapses, the government fails to respond. Long a voice of social conscience, prominent Mexican journalist, Elena Poniatowska chronicles the disintegration of the city's physical and social structure, the widespread grassroots organizing against government corruption and incompetence, and the reliency of the human spirit. As a transformative moment in the life of Mexican society, the earthquake is as much a component of the country's current crisis as the 1982 debt crisis, the problematic economic of the last ten years, and the recent elections.…

Ghosts of the Tsunami

By Richard Lloyd Parry,

Book cover of Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death and Life in Japan's Disaster Zone

Peter Popham Author Of Tokyo: The City at the End of the World

From the list on modern Japan.

Who am I?

As a teenager, I became fascinated by Japan – by the mysteries of Zen, the exotic atmosphere cooked up by its great novelists, the serene beauty of the countryside captured in old photographs. Then I moved to Tokyo and for eleven years was immersed in Japanese culture. It was like getting to know a complex human being, I went from bafflement and revulsion through fascination and infatuation, arriving at a degree of understanding and affection. I love Japan and feel I know it quite intimately. But the variety of books on my list give an idea of how many different ways this great, elusive civilization can be approached.

Peter's book list on modern Japan

Discover why each book is one of Peter's favorite books.

Why did Peter love this book?

Northern Japan was struck by one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded in 2011, followed by a disastrous tsunami in which thousands died. Lloyd Parry spent years visiting and interviewing the survivors, bringing back riveting accounts of what it means to have your life shattered by such a catastrophe and to live among the debris. These include one man’s description of being swallowed alive by the giant wave then spat out into the house of a relative which reads like a modern myth.

By Richard Lloyd Parry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ghosts of the Tsunami as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'The definitive book on the quake which killed more than 15,000 people.' Mail Online
'You will not read a finer work of narrative non-fiction this year.' Economist
'A breathtaking, extraordinary work of non-fiction.' Times Literary Supplement
'A future classic of disaster journalism.' Observer

On 11 March 2011, a massive earthquake sent a 120-foot-high tsunami smashing into the coast of north-east Japan. By the time the sea retreated, more than 18,500 people had been crushed, burned to death, or drowned.

It was Japan's greatest single loss of life since the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. It…

Earth-Shattering Events

By Andrew Robinson,

Book cover of Earth-Shattering Events: Earthquakes, Nations, and Civilization

Yijie Zhuang Author Of 24 Hours in Ancient China: A Day in the Life of the People Who Lived There

From the list on history and environmental history of China.

Who am I?

I'm an archaeologist that is primarily interested in understanding ancient history of water. I have conducted fieldwork in China, Southeast Asia, and Africa. In my spare time, I enjoy writing novels (though never published any yet). This 24 Hours in Ancient China is a trial from this hobbit. I first became fascinated by Han China through a remarkable excavation at the Sanyangzhuang site where an almost intact Han-Dynasty farming village was preserved due to a Yellow River flood. Houses, mills, farming fields, and many other artefacts were revealed through the excavation. Subsequently, I was fortunate to be involved in some collaborative research on the environment and society of Han China. 

Yijie's book list on history and environmental history of China

Discover why each book is one of Yijie's favorite books.

Why did Yijie love this book?

Andrew Robinson is my academic hero. He has written more than 30 books. He is one of those very few scholars who understand both science and humanity subjects very well and who can translate his formidable knowledge of science and civilization into popular books. In Earth-Shattering Events, he provides detailed yet often sorrowful accounts of how we understand and respond to natural disasters such as earthquakes. Like any other historical dynasty, the Han Dynasty also had to confront natural disasters. The study of natural disasters and Han society has become one of the most burgeoning research fields in recent years. 

By Andrew Robinson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Earth-Shattering Events as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A truly welcome and refreshing study that puts earthquake impact on history into a proper perspective" --Amos Nur, Emeritus Professor of Geophysics, Stanford University, California, and author of Apocalypse: Earthquakes, Archaeology, and the Wrath of God.

Since antiquity, on every continent, human beings in search of attractive landscapes and economic prosperity have made a Faustian bargain with the risk of devastation by an earthquake. Today, around half of the world's largest cities - as many as sixty - lie in areas of major seismic activity. Many, such as Lisbon, Naples, San Francisco, Tehran and Tokyo, have been severely damaged or…

Earthquakes and Volcanoes

By Frederick Lin Sutherland,

Book cover of Earthquakes and Volcanoes

Robert R. Coenraads Author Of Rocks and Fossils: A Visual Guide

From the list on our planet’s geological wonders.

Who am I?

I‘m a Sydney-based exploration geologist and science writer, travelling the world in search of gold, exotic metals, gemstones, and the stories they have to tell — writing is my tool to bring alive ideas and concepts important to me, and my popular books include Rocks, Fossils and Dinosaurs; Natural Disasters; and Geologica. Working in the world's poorest regions has also sparked a strong humanitarian interest. I'm the founding president of FreeSchools World Literacy – Australia, a charity dedicated to education of underprivileged children, and towards which earnings from my writing go. It is my belief that education for all, not just a privileged few, is key to solving the world's problems. 

Robert's book list on our planet’s geological wonders

Discover why each book is one of Robert's favorite books.

Why did Robert love this book?

Earthquakes and Volcanoes is another one of the fabulous Reader’s Digest Pathfinders series specifically for kids. It features scientists at work measuring the temperature of red-hot lava, destructive earthquakes, and monstrous tsunamis bearing down on coastal ports. The cause of all of these is simply explained in the context of our planet’s shifting plate tectonic motor. The book’s author, Dr. Lin Sutherland, gave me a great helping hand during my Ph.D. degree at Macquarie University by organizing access to state-of-the-art uranium-lead age dating equipment for my sapphire samples. We became firm friends and colleagues after that, going on together to publish numerous research articles on sapphires and rubies.

By Frederick Lin Sutherland,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Earthquakes and Volcanoes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stimulating text, multi-layered illustrations, and hands-on activities present information about earthquakes and volcanoes, including notable examples in history, in the latest addition to a nonfiction science series. Teacher's Guide available.

A Splendid Ruin

By Megan Chance,

Book cover of A Splendid Ruin

Linda Ulleseit Author Of Under the Almond Trees

From the list on women’s fiction on San Francisco 1906 earthquake.

Who am I?

I’ve lived in California all my life and am a fourth-generation Northern Californian. The characters in my book, which is based on my family, lived through the 1906 earthquake, although it’s not central to that story. That earthquake and fire was one of the most memorable events in my beautiful home state’s history. Many books have been written about it, so I’ve decided to list my favorite novels you might not have heard of. They all include excellent descriptions of the earthquake and its aftermath, and they create strong, empathetic female characters. Enjoy!

Linda's book list on women’s fiction on San Francisco 1906 earthquake

Discover why each book is one of Linda's favorite books.

Why did Linda love this book?

Lots of books focus on the 1906 earthquake itself, but I like that in this one the quake is almost ancillary. The story is about a young penniless woman who comes to live with a wealthy aunt in San Francisco. She experiences betrayal, madness, and murder, then is locked away from the world. The earthquake actually frees her. She meets a journalist who offers to help her get revenge and claim what’s hers. I enjoyed the fresh take on the 1906 quake and loved the characters. The cover is gorgeous, too!

By Megan Chance,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Splendid Ruin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“This is a spellbinding page-turner of a book.” ―Kristin Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale.

A mesmerizing novel of dark family secrets and a young woman’s rise and revenge set against the backdrop of the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

The eve of destruction. After her mother’s death, penniless May Kimble lives a lonely life until an aunt she didn’t know existed summons her to San Francisco. There she’s welcomed into the wealthy Sullivan family and their social circle.

Initially overwhelmed by the opulence of her new life, May soon senses that dark mysteries lurk in the…

Restless Earth

By Carolinda E. Hill (editor), John G. Agnone (editor), Bonnie S. Lawrence (editor)

Book cover of Restless Earth

Frederick Lin Sutherland Author Of The Volcanic Earth: Volcanoes and Plate Tectonics : Past, Present & Future

From the list on the glories of global geology.

Who am I?

My final high school year in Tasmania added a new topic, geology. I and my school friends knew little about it but signed up. In the first lesson, the teacher pointed at the adjacent sunlit river gorge saying “There is your laboratory.” We were hooked and most of us became professional geologists. I started off in museums where mineral, rock, and fossil collections were a font of knowledge and generated field collecting, research, and educational activities. This led to MSc and PhD degrees from universities at both ends of Australia. A base at the Australian Museum led to travel around Australia and visits to many overseas institutions and meetings.

Frederick's book list on the glories of global geology

Discover why each book is one of Frederick's favorite books.

Why did Frederick love this book?

This book is an awareness alarm for readers to comprehend the ubiquitous array of dynamic natural forces that impact the Earth. In local, regional, or global sweeping events, they need study to predict such happenings in advance and to learn from the aftermath for better future protection. The book shows a selection of events from historical to time of writing and provides gripping reading in seeing nature’s wayward effects in action.

A panel of seven expert writers well versed in these events documents and explains the forces unleashed in the visitations. Dramatic ground, aerial and satellite photography and explanatory diagrams give readers graphic grounding in the vagaries of storms, fires, floods, tsunamis, erosion, landslips, avalanches, volcanic outbursts, earthquakes, impacts from space matter, and even climate changes. 

By Carolinda E. Hill (editor), John G. Agnone (editor), Bonnie S. Lawrence (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Restless Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Featuring more than two hundred color and black-and-white archival photographs, a large-format volume for adult and young adult readers explains the forces behind earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and geological and meteorological activity. 15,000 first printing.

The Age of Miracles

By Karen Thompson Walker,

Book cover of The Age of Miracles

Laura Hurwitz Author Of Disappear Home

From the list on protagonists coming-of-age facing challenges.

Who am I?

I was a teenager in the late sixties, born into a conservative household, with a huge rebellious streak. Starting with Woodstock, I was obsessed with hippie culture. Communes in particular held a special fascination for me, and later, as places of potential depravity. My sister-in-law lived in a commune in Oregon in the late 60s/early 70s. Many of the details in my novel are pulled from her life, and though she is no longer alive, her adult children shared stories from their childhoods. Her oldest daughter, whom I fictionalized as Shoshanna, became the character and voice I used to recount the family’s escape and eventual safe landing. The story still feels like uncovered family history.

Laura's book list on protagonists coming-of-age facing challenges

Discover why each book is one of Laura's favorite books.

Why did Laura love this book?

I love The Age of Miracles because I was so taken with Walker’s scientific premise, that by the “slowing” of rotation, the world would come to its inevitable end. This scientifically grounded plot point was something I found arresting; it fascinated me immediately. I also loved Walker’s eleven-year-old protagonist, Julia. Julia is genuine, believable, set in her strange but also eerily recognizable nearing-the-apocalypse world. Julia also has a rich, and I felt very authentic, inner life. Her emotions rang true, and the plot not only riveted me, it broke my heart. 

By Karen Thompson Walker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Age of Miracles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'It is never what you worry over that comes to pass in the end. The real catastrophes are always different - unimagined, unprepared for, unknown...'

What if our 24-hour day grew longer, first in minutes, then in hours, until day becomes night and night becomes day? What effect would this slowing have on the world? On the birds in the sky, the whales in the sea, the astronauts in space, and on an eleven-year-old girl, grappling with emotional changes in her own life..?

One morning, Julia and her parents wake up in their suburban home in California to discover, along…