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WLRN #FridayReads: What Are You Reading


What are you reading? WLRN wants to know — and we'll share what we, and other people in the South Florida community, are reading every week in this space.

Tell us what you're reading by replying in the comments, or tweet us @WLRN with the hashtag #FridayReads

Jeff Huffman, meteorologist at the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

“My Hurricane Andrew Story: The story behind the preparation, the terror, the resilience, and the renowned TV coverage of the Great Hurricane of 1992” by Bryan Norcross — I had to put it down because I had so much anxiety reading the book about what I would do in a situation like his. Most TV and radio stations are probably not as prepared as they should be for the worst case scenario. Going in, I thought I would learn a lot of meteorology in covering a major hurricane, but what I got was more about serving my audience. 

It surprised me that Bryan decided to focus less of meteorology and more on the experience of survival. He focused more on the exact details of how they should survive. That’s something you don’t learn in meteorology school, how to say that on the air. I’ve recommended this book to everybody. I made a strong recommendation to all of our staff and students who want to work in the hurricane market so that they would have an understanding of what it would be like and why we spend so much time preparing. In our world of communication, we have many more points of failure than you would think. What I learned is that you can’t assume that the normal methods of communication are going to survive and work in times of crisis. Radio was probably the only way people survived that storm when the power went out.

My biggest takeaway [from the book] it’s just as important if not more to communicate uncertainty than endeavor to be accurate.

Bryan Norcross, Senior Hurricane Specialist at The Weather Channel

“The Great Unknown: Seven Journeys to the Frontiers of Science” by Marcus du Sautoy — The book is about the edge of knowledge. What do we know? How far can we imagine into an atom? How far can we slice an iPhone into pieces and get down into atoms and parts of atoms? Where does it stop and does it really stop there? On the other hand, how big is the universe and do we know how big it is and can we ever know how big it is and can we see into a black hole? Can we ever know what is inside the boundary where the light can’t get out of the black hole? So it’s examining these things and asking questions about knowledge and philosophy and spirituality to some degree. A very, very interesting deep book and a little different than I thought it was going to be, because I thought it was going to be all about science.

I sort of enjoyed it. I enjoyed the physics of it because I studied nuclear physics and I enjoyed the modernization of what I studied when I was in school. But when it got very philosophical it lost me, in terms of my interest. I was anxious to get past of that part and back to the science, because I’m basically a science guy more than I am a philosopher or a spiritualist. I just started the new John Grisham book, called “The Whistler.” So I kind of go back and forth between nonfiction and fiction books. So now I’m in my fiction phase. And it’s fun, too.

Martin Senterfitt, Monroe County Emergency Management director

“Three Mile Island: A nuclear crisis in historical perspective” by J Samuel Walker — this book gives insight into the Three Mile Island event and the mistakes made at the management level. Poor situational awareness, no leadership structure, and antinuclear and pronuclear agendas capitalizing on the moment spin this event quickly out of control.