University Press books are notoriously obscure, at least for the general reader. These presses, which specialize in academic research on specialized topics, are not what you'd call timely.
But The John Hopkins University Press has hit the jackpot, at least when it comes to good timing. We spotted a recent ad (in the NY Review of Books) for this title, Donald R. Prothero's new book Catastrophes! Prothero's subtitle is even more on target: Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Tornadoes, and Other Earth-Shaking Disasters.
We don't know Prothero or his work, but we suspect that he has some important things to say on this topic. He is described in the ad as a paleontologist and geologist who "tells the harrowing stories behind these catastrophic events."
After recent events in Japan, we think Prothero may also be have a pretty good crystal ball.