Friday, September 20, 2019

Tropical Storm Imelda: The 2019 Annual 500-Year Flood - and lots of Books and Reading Time

Here we go again.
People here are jokingly referring to Tropical Storm Imelda as Houston's "2019 Annual 500-Year Flood" because we have had so many of these once-every-500-years floods in recent years. The fact is we are getting kind of used to them now and they don't pack the emotional impact of previous major floods - and that can be dangerous because that's exactly when people die from taking silly risks. We have severe flooding 20 miles north of us, 20 miles east of us, and 20 miles south of us but we seem to have been in some kind of pocket yesterday that only received about six inches of rain during the heaviest downpours. The areas that flooded had somewhere between 25 and 30 inches of rain during that same 24-hour period. And 100 miles southeast of us, something over 40 inches of rain was delivered. So plenty of people suffered flooded homes, business, and cars - and loss of livestock and pets. But we were lucky in my part of Harris County. 

Anyway, I ventured in to the library this morning to return some books and pick up a few others. While there I wandered the stacks just to see what would catch my eye, and this is what I found:

Broadchurch by Erin Kelly

I didn't check this one out but I was really tempted. Broadchurch is a series set in England that I watched on Netflix a few months ago, and this book is based on what, if I remember correctly, was the show's second season. I liked everything about the series and really enjoyed it. But here's the rub: this is a novel "based on the story by series creator Chris Chibnall." Like I said, this is a great story and quite a fine mystery, but I have a distinct prejudice against books based on TV or movies rather than the other way around. I probably don't give the book authors enough credit, but it seems kind of lazy simply to put some flesh on the bones of a screenplay and call it a novel. Maybe it's just me, but I always feel like I'm wasting my time when I read one of these.

Charles Todd Books on the Shelf Today

I always stop when I spot a bunch of books by a single author I've never heard of, and that happened today with this group of Charles Todd novels featuring Inspector Ian Rutledge, a World War I era Scotland Yard detective. When I see this many books from a series, I have to believe that they are popular and selling very well. But this time around, I learned that the Charles Todd writing the books is actually the mother-son team of Caroline and Charles Todd. One of them lives in North Carolina and the other in Delaware (not sure which is in which state). It appears that the series is over twenty books long and that a new one is already scheduled to be released early next year. But that's not all "Charles Todd" is writing. The pair started the eleven-book Bess Crawford series in 2009, and they have also written two standalone novels. Now, this is another of my bookish prejudices. I usually avoid fiction written by multiple authors, especially parent-sibling or married teams. Does anyone out there have any experience with the Charles Todd books?

The Deborah Crombie Novels on the Shelf

Deborah Crombie novels are not new to me, and I have in fact read three of the novels pictured here, but seeing several of them clumped together today reminds me that as much as I've enjoyed the four of hers I've already read I really need to read the others. But I really, really don't need to add another fifteen books to my TBR list...but you know I just did.

The rains are falling again as I finish this up, hard and steady, so it looks like we will get another inch or two this afternoon and into the night. I hope the folks already underwater are not experiencing the same because they really don't need that to happen to them after yesterday.


  1. You have been getting a lot of flooding in Texas. The pictures on the news are incredible. I'm glad you're okay where you are!

    1. We sure have. It's kind of amazing that my neighborhood has never flooded even once since the pace picked up. We've been here 20 years and haven't even had water in the front yard yet despite all the flooding that has happened within a mile of us. Thanks.

  2. Glad you are in an area with higher ground, Sam!

    I read Broadchurch and liked it very much, but I didn't even know there was a television series at the time, so it was all new to me. I don't think I've missed a single book in the Ian Rutledge series which is the series that first got me interested in shell shock. I've read a couple of the Bess Crawford books, but still prefer Ian Rutledge. The Deborah Crombie books are always good, too. It pleases me when I find a series that has a lot of books, I can try out the first one and if I like it, know that there are more immediately available, no waiting for the next book. :)

  3. We are something like 39 feet above sea level on this lot, Jenclair, just enough to make a difference.

    I'm going to try one of the Ian Rutledge books soon...gotta see if I can get the first one from the library. Crombie is going to be getting a lot more of my time for sure, but again, I want to go back to the beginning now that I've read four of the latter ones.

    (It's still raining.)


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