City resident and award-winning journalist Kate Miles will launch her newest book, “Superstorm: Nine Days Inside Hurricane Sandy,” Friday, Oct. 17, from 7 to 9 pm. at Left Bank Books, 109 Church St. The event is free, and the community is warmly invited for a talk, book signing and festive reception.

Timed to coincide with the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, “Superstorm” is the first complete moment-by-moment account of the largest Atlantic storm system ever recorded — 1.8 million square feet of tightly coiled bands, with an eye that constantly shifted, disappeared and then grew. The storm was so immense that it could be seen by scientists aboard the International Space Station even as it left meteorologists and emergency workers baffled on the ground.

Miles takes readers into the heart of the storm, covering the nine days from Oct. 21, 2012, when Sandy was first spotted in the Caribbean; to Oct. 29 and 30, when it slammed headlong into the Eastern seaboard of the United States. The details and images of devastation are astounding: nine countries and 24 U.S. states affected over the nine days; more than $65 billion in damage; 9 million homes without power from South Carolina to Maine; more than 100 million miles of shoreline severely eroded; 65,000 boats destroyed in New York Harbor alone, and NYC tunnels and subways filled from floor to ceiling with water; nearly 150 people dead from Jamaica to Canada; and thousands more homeless and still trying to rebuild.

Miles developed her story from extensive interviews with all the key players, from experts at the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service to dozens of mayors, governors, ships’ captains and crews, rescue teams, victims, survivors and families. She details the anguish of the professional forecasters as the drama unfolds, the imprecise science behind identifying and tracking huge storms and the fallibility of our warning systems and aging infrastructure. The book grew out of an article Miles wrote for Outside magazine about the sinking of the HMS Bounty, – the tall ship that had been docked in Belfast just two months before the storm.

Miles is the author of two previous books: “All Standing,” the story of the Jeanie Johnston, an Irish famine ship; and “Adventures with Ari,” an account of the year she spent in the wilderness with her dog. She is writer-in-resident at Green Mountain College, a faculty member for Chatham University’s low-residency MFA program and a scholar-in-residence for the Maine Humanities Council. Her writing has appeared in dozens of publications from “Best American Essays” to History and Popular Mechanics.

No tickets are needed for Friday’s event, although calls to reserve a seat are welcome. For more information, or to pre-order a signed copy of “Superstorm,” contact Left Bank Books at 338-9009 or The shop is open daily and will have “Superstorm” on sale the day before the launch event.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or