When I request an ARC of a book, I generally request books that I expect to like – typically in a genre that I am fond of, or an author that I enjoy reading. Occasionally, I go outside my typical reading box and request books that I know nothing about but for one reason or another appeal to me at the moment. Usually I don’t have a clue as to what to expect from such books which is actually rather exciting. And Soon I Heard a Roaring Wind was such a case.
Author Bill Streever has done more than write a fascinating history on wind and man’s attempts to understand it, record it, and predict it. Streever has also written a memoir.
Streever writes about a sailing voyage he and his wife take, leaving Texas and heading to a port in Guatemala, sailing, then, through the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Naturally, as a sailor – and one perhaps not as accomplished as you might hope for such a voyage – he expresses concerns about the weather he might face and the uncertainty of what lies ahead. This leads, quite smoothly, into his research on wind and wind-and-weather study and prediction.
Streever navigates his story and research as well as his sailboat on the sea, guiding us from one biographical anecdote to a story from history and back with ease.
I quite enjoyed this format, though there were times when I was learning things about the history of wind and weather prediction and didn’t necessarily want to go back to hear more about his sea voyage. And vice versa. Either one could have made an interesting book in itself, though again, I rather enjoyed this concept.
However, I will remind the reader of this review that I had no expectations of the book going in. I didn’t know if I was going to be reading a history of wind (prediction) or a memoir or even if it might be a book of fiction. You aren’t disappointed if you have no expectations. However, I’ve looked at some of the reviews of others as I prepared to schedule this review and I see that some are disappointed, expecting a stronger focus on one subject. If I were doing research on “a natural history of moving air” then I might be disappointed, but as someone who simply likes to learn new things, and likes to be entertained by the written word, this was really a tremendously enjoyable book.
Any weekend sail-boater or anyone with an interest in nature/our natural world, should enjoy this book.
Looking for a good book? And Soon I Heard A Roaring Wind: A Natural History of Moving Air by Bill Streever is a clever combination of a sailing memoir used to prompt the history of wind and weather prediction.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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And Soon I Heard A Roaring Wind: A Natural History of Moving Air
author: Bill Streever
publisher: Little, Brown US
hardcover, 320 pages