IEM Celebrates National Book Lovers Day

Sunday, August 9, 2020 is National Book Lovers Day.  At IEM we LOVE books – we are interested in what we can learn from history in works of nonfiction and welcome the opportunity to escape into a great piece of fiction.  To celebrate #nationalbookloversday, the IEM team compiled a list of some our favorite disaster and emergency management related books. These books include a variety of fictional and nonfictional, covering historic disasters, and capture some of the riveting, tragic and heroic stories of emergency response.

Nonfiction

Bad Days in History: A Gleefully Grim Chronicle of Misfortune, Mayhem, and Misery for Every Day of the Year

Bad Days in History: A Gleefully Grim Chronicle of Misfortune, Mayhem, and Misery for Every Day of the Year
Michael Farquhar

This collection of historical short stories offers 365 tales of misfortune and bad luck. The stories range from benign embarrassments, death, and dismemberment, to cultural and societal upheavals.

The Big Ones How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What We Can Do About Them)

The Big Ones How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What We Can Do About Them)
Dr. Lucy Jones

World-renowned seismologist, Dr. Lucy Jones, looks at some of the most famous natural disasters and how they have impacted our culture and changed how we prepare for future disasters.

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
Atul Gawande

In an increasingly complex world, sometimes the simplest of ideas can have the greatest impact. Through a series of stories on airlines safety, building construction and hospital safety, Gawande discusses how the humble checklist helps reduce human error and save lives.

A Crack at the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906

A Crack at the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906
Simon Winchester

A historical account of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake that wrecked 490 blocks, toppled a total of 25,000 buildings, and caused a fire that consumed the city. Considered one of the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States, Winchester looks at what we have learned about earthquakes since then.

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital
Sheri Fink

Investigative journalist Sheri Fink brings readers into Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans, IL during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Fink reveals the moral dilemmas medical professionals faced and what happens when a hospital is overwhelmed and ill-prepared for a large-scale disaster.

The Good Soldiers

The Good Soldiers
David Finkel

Journalist David Finkel is embedded with the U.S Army infantry soldiers of the 2-16 battalion reporting on the Iraq war for The Washington Post. In The Good Soldiers, Finkel reveals the real life emergencies and disasters soldiers faced during the surge in Baghdad.

The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus

The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus
Richard Preston

An extremely contagious and deadly virus from the central African rain forest appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., unleashing terror and tragedy in the community.

Into Thin Air:  A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster

Into Thin Air:  A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster
John Krakauer

Hikers ascend to the peak of Mt. Everest on a day that starts out with beautiful weather but later becomes unfavorable for taking such a treacherous climb. Krakauer recounts his experience surviving a deadly storm atop Mt. Everest and what is it about Everest that compels so many people to risk their lives.

saac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History

Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
Erik Larson

A suspenseful story of the massive hurricane that wiped out Galveston, TX in 1900. Larson examines one man’s experience and fatal miscalculation ahead of a catastrophic disaster.

Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster

Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster
Adam Higginbotham

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster devastated the Soviet Union and changed the worlds attitude toward nuclear energy. Through on two decades of research and interviews, Higginbotham tells the fully story of the disaster through the experiences of those who witnessed it.

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
Naomi Klein

A series of increasingly distressing case studies in which forms of radical free market economics are applied in times of crisis across the world – invariably with devastatingly negative results.

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
Mary Roach

Exploring disaster on an individual scale, this collection of essays discusses different aspects of our collective relationship with and understanding of death.

Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938

Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938

R.A. Scotti

The story of the 1939 New England hurricane that affected Rhode Island and all of New England, becoming the most financially destructive storm on record.

The Survivors Club:  The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life

The Survivors Club:  The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life
Ben Sherwood

A look into how people survived various tough situations, including the Holocaust, TWA Flight 800, and the World Trade Center attacks. The Survivors Club examines what it takes to survive a disaster or emergency and challenges readers to think about what survivor they

Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen

Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen
Dan Heath

New York Times bestselling author Dan Heath explores how to prevent problems before they happen by implementing an “upstream” mindset, rather than a reactive “downstream” one. Heath interviewed hundreds of “unconventional problem solvers,” including IEM’s CEO, Founder and President, Madhu Beriwal who has overcome obstacles by having an “upstream” approach. 

The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes and Why

The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes and Why
Amanda Ripley

An award-winning journalist, Ripley takes an in-depth look at the human response to some of the most epic disasters in history. This book is a filled with personal accounts of disaster response and sets out to examine how different people react in disaster situation and why.

Fiction

The Andromeda Strain

The Andromeda Strain
Michael Crichton

In this science fiction thriller, residents of a quiet town in Arizona are wiped out by an extraterrestrial contaminant and the U.S. government must take extreme measures to protect the rest of the country.

Earth David Brin

Earth
David Brin

When an artificial black hole falls into the Earth’s core the future of the planet is threatened. Scientists must search for a solution, but some argue the extinction of the human race may be exactly what the planet needs to recover.

The Plague

The Plague
Albert Camus

A French novel about the towns people of Oran, a coastal town in North Africa. The town is in the midst of a deadly plague forcing the everyone into quarantine. Follow each character as they navigate fear and uncertainty in this incredibly relevant tale of human resilience.

Seveneves

Seveneves
Neal Stephenson

After a series of apocalyptic events, the survival of the human race is under threat. Nations around the world must quickly come together to preserve humanity far beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. The outer space pioneers endure challenges and unanticipated hazards, and five thousand years after their journey begins the human race attempts returns to a new, unrecognizable Earth.