Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Crack in the Edge of the World - Simon Winchester

The subtitle of this book explains the subject matter: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906. I found this book for $1.00 at the local dollar store, and since (as I've mentioned quite a bit on this blog) I love reading about and learning about the turn of the 20th Century, I eagerly snatched it up - and then left it on the shelf until I prioritized it for this year's TBR Pile Challenge. This book is really a comprehensive history of the quake which pretty much destroyed San Francisco in 1906, and the author skillfully covers the geology and plate tectonics and etc. that is the background of the quake. While reading this book I thought it would make a great movie - in fact I'm surprised it hasn't been made into one (or maybe it has and I'm just unaware of it - I should look into that!). One cool feature of this book is the dust jacket - when you remove it from the book it unfolds so you can see some photos of the aftermath of the quake and the fires that raged for days. That was a really innovative thing that I wish more books incorporated, as it's really cool.

I lived in San Francisco briefly so it was gratifying to read about places I remember, and to hear about how the quake shaped the city (or didn't), etc. I didn't experience an earthquake while I lived there; my first quake occurred in 2011 on the east coast and it was crazy! Luckily it didn't cause a lot of damage or injury (particularly compared to the 1906 quake); I can't even imagine how horrible that California quake must have been. This author has written many other books, so I'll look for them if I ever get a handle on the TBR pile.

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