Monday, November 15, 2010

Forecasts and Faith by Barbie Bassett

Forecasts and Faith: Five Keys to Weathering the Storms of Life
Copyright 2010
Dogwood Press - Memoir/Christian Faith
176 pages

Barbie Bassett is a Jackson, Mississippi weather forecaster and Dogwood, the publisher of Forecasts and Faith is a local small press (which also publishes my friend John Floyd's wonderful short stories). Barbie's story is, then, the tale of a Mississippian and local celebrity but it's also a nicely written account of one woman's struggle to do what she wanted and be with the man she loved -- and to keep her faith during the times her plan didn't go as intended.

A blend of memoir and advice on faith, the book tells about Barbie's youth in Mississippi as a farm girl who was fascinated with weather but not swayed by the fact that she was overweight and had crooked teeth. She was absolutely certain it was her calling to be a weather forecaster. She obviously got those teeth fixed and blossomed into quite a beauty; and a combination of faith and determination eventually landed Barbie the right job. But it wasn't all peaches and cream. Barbie Bassett had to endure plenty to acquire the job she wanted. That included buying her way out of a 2-year contract at a news station in Tennessee to take a lesser job in Mississippi so that she could marry and settle in with the man of her dreams.

Each chapter of Forecasts and Faith contains a "key to weathering the storms of life" and describes her own need to focus on those particular keys and how each applied to a particular time or trial in her own life.

I particularly loved reading about Hurricane Katrina from her viewpoint. Anderson Cooper's memoir is the only other place I've seen a fair, accurate accounting of the impact Katrina had on Mississippi. This excerpt from Forecasts and Faith explains why the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast (which, as I recall, is a mere 22 miles long) was flattened:

By ten o'clock, Pearlington, Mississippi was getting pounded. That landfall put the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the right front quadrant--the worst possible place to be in a hurricane because it was the area that would receive the highest storm surge, wind damage, and water damage.

Imagine being a newscaster who knew what was coming and had this little problem to think about, as well:

That's exactly where my husband was.

Eeks. Fortunately, her husband, an EMS manager, was safe and sound. But, I'll bet that was one frightening day for Barbie Bassett, who had no choice but to soldier on in one of the most important jobs anyone can have during a hurricane: keeping those in its path informed.

The bottom line:

A quick, enjoyable read about one woman's determination and faith. I'd particularly recommend this to Mississippians because I think it's probably a lot more enjoyable reading about Barbie if you know who she is, but I'm speaking from the perspective of someone who has watched her weather forecasts for years. I can't say how those who aren't familiar with her would feel about the book but I certainly wouldn't advise anyone to avoid it merely because she's unknown to you.

I finished two books, this weekend: Forecasts and Faith was a library check-out and Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski is a review book that I'll post about on the 19th. Isabel kindly posed with both books. Doesn't she look grumpy?

Really, she was just wondering what on earth her human was doing. I have a face that looks grumpy if I'm not grinning, too. Pity. And, here's Fiona with last week's acquisitions, all from Harper:

Top to bottom:

The Mental Floss History of the United States by Eric Sass

Voice of America by E. C. Osondu

The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern (a Feb. 2011 release)

That's it for today. I have to bury myself in a couple of books that I desperately need to hurry up and finish, including my first read for the local book club I'm planning to attend, this week. I can't wait! I've never been to a face-to-face book club, before. Surviving Monday, everyone?

©2010 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. Thanks for the review! I have this on my Christmas Wish List!

  2. Karen,

    You're welcome! I hope your wish is granted! :)

  3. Have fun at your first f2f book club meeting!!!

  4. Thanks, Les! I can't wait!!


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