ABC News chief meteorologist Ginger Zee pulls back the curtain on her life in Natural Disaster. Ginger grew up in small-town Michigan where she developed an obsession with weather as a young girl. Ginger opens up about her lifelong battle with crippling depression, her romances that range from misguided to dangerous, and her tumultuous professional path. This cyclone of stories may sound familiar to some―it's just that Ginger’s personal tempests happened while she was covering some of the most devastating storms in recent history, including a ferocious tornado that killed a legend in the meteorology field.
This book is for all the mistake makers who have learned to forgive others and themselves―even in the aftermath of man-made, or in this case Zee-made, disasters. It's a story that every young woman should read, a story about finding love and finding it in yourself.
Beloved by Good Morning America’s audience, Ginger is a daily presence for millions. Zee’s gained fame for her social media presence which is as unfiltered as Natural Disaster―from baby barf to doggy doo-doo. She’s shattered the glass ceiling for women in meteorology, but admits here first, she's the one natural disaster she couldn't have forecast.
It's closer to 2.5 star. The first 5 to 7 pages are a metaphor for her condition and natural disasters (flood, hurricane, tornado- weather extremes of blizzard etc.). And if the book would have stayed more in the core of the issue of her depression and drama seeking in turns- then it could have been much better.
But instead it is a memoir of her life and career in weather TV. And that was interesting to me as I'm exactly on her own patch and in nearly every location geographically. Solidly remember her at ABC in Chicago for those stint years. Also recollect in minutia her physical dynamics, voice tone, enthusiasm levels etc. weather presentations style. It was loaded with personality. We liked it. And she has a Western MI story too- entirely within my most familiar and numerous territory. When she talks about Valparaiso University (the library is awesome) and other Grand Rapids gigs- I know the places. Well. So that was interesting to me.
But her style of telling and the core subject matter? She knows the condition, yet is not all that skilled in explaining much about causes, set offs,- the why, how and now of it. Or what has improved. It's a difficult row to hoe, that's for sure. But it's not only depression and most could relate she also had an eating disorder when she was in Chicago (admits it now, partially?) My enjoyment of reading about all of her wedding postponements and changing her mind reversals with all sorts of issues became a chore. I speed read the last half. The form and style went into tangent material of every direction. It sounds like she does hold some apology to have left so many hurts toward others (that poor Joe) behind her.
This book has been touted as being about depression. It is not about depression. Ginger Zee undoubtedly has experienced depression, and acknowledging it here helps to lessen the stigma, but that’s not the main topic of this memoir.
It is a memoir of her career journey, sometimes sad and sometimes funny. For me it was a bit too much of a brag fest. Basically it was an inoffensive, fast read, and if you have a mad passion for Ginger Zee you will probably love it. I read it in the hope of gaining more insight about those who suffer from depression. Alas, that was not to be.
What a refreshing book! I don't often read memoirs, but I found this one on a table at Book Expo America and was intrigued by the title/tag line - Natural Disaster: I Cover Them. I am One. Ginger Zee takes us through a journey not only of her love for meteorology, but of all the bumps and bruises that accompanied her on this path in life. I had not watched her on television before, but will look for her in the future.
I've been a fan of Ginger Zee since she first came on the GMA scene. Intelligent, upbeat, pretty and adventurous is the persona she has embraced on the show. Like many viewers, I was surprised when she came out with this book declaring she was a natural disaster and had fought depression and eating disorders because she seems so polar opposite of that. At the same time, that's TV magic for you and as a viewer you really don't know the reality behind the scenes.
This book reads very much like the Ginger Zee on TV. Off the cuff, we are pals having coffee and here I am telling you my story. She delves into her childhood, college years and the after, mostly concentrating on the rise of her career and some of the personal and professional situations that occurred during her rise to GMA. While she goes into some of the events that caused emotional distress and she takes responsibility for her part, there are many issues that seem glazed over. For example, she does not talk about her diagnosis other than to say she checked herself for a week in a facility, names her therapist and takes responsibility for her issues. She mentions having eating disorders, but this part is never focused on and we don't know if she ever got diagnosed or what the deal was with this part of her life. It was really strange to me that she claims to get gritty in the memoir (basing this on her promo interview on GMA), but that's far from the truth when there is so much glazing and tip-toeing around the hardcore issues.
What she does get into more is her career, which is understandable considering that her life is her career or at least she made it that way to get to the top. These portions are interesting, but at the same time they read like a whose who of the anchoring world. She also gets into her romantic relationships, which helped to shape some of the circumstances that triggered her depression.
Overall, it wasn't a bad book but I was a bit disappointed with the some of the glazing of topics. At the end of it all, while she clearly had some issues, many of the issues seemed to stem from bad choices and unrealistic expectations and when she found herself in a corner she spiraled into depression. The self proclaimed "natural disaster" part of the book seemed very superficial and felt like it was overused due to Ginger's meteorological background, but the core issues are never really dealt with. I do, however, dig her message of not being afraid to get help and that both sunny and cloudy days are always ahead, but that having the tools to deal is important.
I am a huge fan of Ginger's but this book was not what I expected.
When she did her book tour, she shared how the book started out with her entering a mental health hospital ten days before starting her job at ABC news. I had expected much more information about her issues with mental illness. She barely touched the topic. And when she did, it was so brief and "vanilla" that I think she did an injustice to the issue. On page 282 she states "There are so many forms of depression so by no means do I think this covers even the start of mental illness, but it is my story and I am lucky to be here to tell it." She is correct that there are many forms of mental illness, but she just lumped every situation into the Depression category. She spoke often of therapy, but did not share her official diagnosis and treatment plan. Left me with a lot of questions.
What Ginger did do is list every name of every professional career person she came into contact with. I was tired of the names. After a while, these people meant nothing to me. I was getting irritated.
Ginger was open and honest with her childhood experiences. I think she had/has ADHD, or could be bipolar. Adrenaline junkie. I certainly think much of her behavior with relationships is just the process of growing up and maturing. She was way too hard on herself.
She briefly touched on her mother and possible mental health issues she may have had, but never went into anything deeper. I found this to be the pattern throughout the book. She so briefly touches a mental health subject and then backs away from it. (Did she have an eating disorder or not?)
I will continue to be a fan of the first female ABC News Chief Meteorologist. Filling Sam Champion's shoes was no easy task. Ginger did it. Kudos to her. She is a hard worker. She is from my neck of the woods (Midwest ~ Michigan ~ Chicago) and it was great to see her flourish in her career in that news market.
After a hurricane comes a rainbow...and that rainbow is Ginger Zee. I really enjoyed Ginger's honest voice, endearing personality, and self discovery in this book. She simply but charmingly tells the story of her humble beginnings in Michigan, her climb to her dream job at GMA, understanding herself, discovering true love, and becoming a mother. Before reading this book, I was not familiar with Ginger, but after reading this I am a big fan. Ginger's openness and gratitude for her natural disasters (i.e. experiences) in life in shaping who she is helped me see how I should embrace my own natural disasters in my life and see them as ways I've grown rather than things I'm not proud of. Also, I have a new appreciation for the weather correspondents I see on TV who have the difficult task of being in the center of the action, danger, heartbreak, and loss of weather disasters. I never thought about how the correspondents are often the first people to encounter, console, and assist victims of natural disasters.
As a viewer of Good Morning America, I was surprised when Ginger was discussing her book and disclosed that she has depression. She always seems so positive and upbeat. I suffer from severe anxiety and depression and felt an immediate curiosity about her struggles. This book is honest and truly captures how all-consuming depression can be. Ginger’s honesty when it came to past missteps in her life and career were so relatable to me, as I have also sabotaged myself at times. Ginger gives insight into the tools she utilizes to manage her depression. I highly recommend this book, as it is so honest and relatable.
I love this bio. Ginger is eloquent, honest and engaging. It was amazing to read about how she changed over the course of her life and learned, and grew, from her mistakes. I honestly wasn't familiar with her work on ABC, but definitely a fan now!
I really liked this book. I have been watching Good Morning America for years and would never have known about Ginger's mental health struggles. As a therapist I am always so thankful when people share their stories of mental health and addiction with others - helps to normalize and remove some of the stigma. Ginger read the audio and I thought she did a great job.
Warning: weather anecdote ahead! Breezy, light, warm doses of sunshine & rain. A quick read. Bravo to Ginger for attacking the stigma of mental health. Unfortunately, the book just touches on so many topics. This book would have been more enjoyable if we could have explored weather chasing and other barely explored topics. I found myself saying “What?! Tell me more!” Maybe it is the nature of a memoir to “breeze” past topics. Possibly, I was expecting more of a biography?
It was interesting to read about Ginger Zee's road to becoming a meteorologist for Good Morning America and some of her struggles along the way. Overall, I thought the term "Natural Disaster" was simultaneously used too often and then also not in a consistent enough manner. I had a little trouble following the timeline of events as well because Ginger would reminisce and then jump back into more contemporary events and then go back in time to a different experience that marked her in some way and therefore influenced what was happening in the present moment. Tricky or indicative of being a "Natural Disaster".
It is hard to be so honest sometimes, but I felt that from her in this book. Working through her own personal demons and coming into a time of life where she loves life and herself was familiar and felt real. Everyone has their “stuff” to deal with, but sharing can be one of the best places to start clearing through it and figuring out who we truly are.
“Ginger opens up about her lifelong battle with crippling depression, her romances that range from misguided to dangerous, and her tumultuous professional path. ”
A friend gave me this book and asked that I let her know what I thought.
I had a few chuckles but mostly just read along and tried to stay focused. I found it a little distracting that the book doesn’t flow in chronological order. Ginger doesn’t really go into much detail about her depression. She does talk about it but not in a way that I could feel empathetic about. In fact, it had me wondering if she was diagnosed with depression or just thought she was depressed.
She is very fortunate in the way her career fell into place. I believe that she’s thankful. I think that’s the message I got from the book.
A memoir that reminds you that what you see is not the whole story. On TV Ginger Z has always looked so perky and pulled together. Her story reveals that she has had struggles with depression. It was inspiring to read how she has tackled her battles head-on and has become a stronger woman on her journey.
I did not want this book to end but couldn't stop myself from reading. I love Ginger Zee, she is smart, well dressed, and seems like a all around great person that's what drew me to this book. But like all of us she is not perfect , she has battles she must conquer and still smile for us everyday on live tv. She is not only a professional but she is a wife and mother that is strong and adventurous. This book highlights her struggle with depression, self destruction and her adventures while making it to the top. It's passionate and real. It's honest and at times makes you cry but then makes you laugh. At times I would find myself YouTube ing segments she did and just being in aww knowing what was going on in her life. I loved this book with all my heart and hope that if you read it you will feel the same. Someday I want to meet Ginger and give her a great big hug and say Thank you!! Till then I will watch her every morning on GMA. I love you Ginger, you go girl !
I'd heard negative reviews about this book but wanted to read it anyways. I found it very enjoyable and I truly learned a lot about working in meteorology! Ginger is refreshingly raw and it was a pleasure to learn her story.
This read was something I've been looking forward to since I heard that Ginger was coming out with a book about Depression. I think we often think that if someone is in the spotlight and they have a lot of money that their life isn't tough but that's not the reality. It's refreshing when a celebrity opens up about a struggle that people face everyday.
"Ten Days before I started my job at ABC News, I checked myself into a mental health hospital"
Boom. Ginger comes out with rawness and realness in the first sentence of the book. She continues to explore different relationships, different jobs and family that came into her life and how they've shaped her. She tells us about abusive boyfriends she has felt like she's had to please as well as multiple executives that didn't always believe in her but nevertheless she kept going.
This isn't a book that you should go into thinking this will cure my depression or help me get over it. Let me make this clear as I have depression myself. Depression is something you live with you're entire life. It's not something you "get rid of" but rather something you learn to manage.
Ginger, thank you for telling your story, your truth and giving people hope. My journey may look a bit different than yours but I could truly relate to your story. This is people's reality and we need to let go of mental health stigma.
I would recommend people pick this up - it's a quick but powerful read.
Disclaimer: I do not watch Good Morning America. I do not watch Dancing with the Stars. I could not pick Ginger Zee out of a lineup. So why did I read this book? I grew up in Grand Rapids/Rockford, Michigan, where Ginger grew up, and the description of the book made it seem where she grew up played a significant role in her life. My curiosity was piqued.
I don't know if she had a ghostwriter. The tone was a little bit ditsy/juvenile and she gives only a superficial account of her therapy in the mental hospital. I can't say I was wowed or amazed. When she described her first few years working for GMA, being on the road non-stop just to get two minutes of coverage in front of a tree fallen on a house, I thought what a waste of money on the part of the network. I dislike television coverage of weather for this very reason. Ginger certainly has been to a lot of interesting places on the network's dime, though, so good for her.
If you want to read this because you like Ginger Zee, go for it, but if you are hoping it gives you some insight into dealing with depression or other mental health issues, it's too superficial for that. I am glad for Ginger that she found the love of her life and has found new meaning with her children.
My oh my, all I knew of Ginger Zee was the bubbly meteorologist from television (and a couple episodes of Dancing With the Stars). Everyone has a story, and Ginger's is a rip-roaring eye-opener from page 1. Those of us who lead numbingly normal lives are prone to look at those glamorous, gilded gals on television and believe that they've glided through life to their pinnacle of success, spared the hurts and disappointments the rest of us mere mortals experience. But it simply isn't true. I won't give away the "behind the curtain" reality of Ginger's life, but suffice to say, I found more in common with her than I ever would have imagined. I appreciated her advice not to absorb other peoples' energy, reminding empaths to "stay in your own lane". I was impressed by her magnanimous spirit toward her almost-stepdad, aptly named Dickhead. As Ginger reminds us, a champion is defined not by the victories but by the challenges, and you can learn from everyone, even a dickhead. And that is as much as I am going to share. You will have to read the rest for yourselves!
I really wanted to like this memoir because I really like Ginger Zee. But something wasn't doing it for me. While I appreciated the rawness of the material and her candor, I think something about the way this memoir was organized made it feel a bit abrasive to me. That feeling started early on and never left. I'm not going to lie, I think knowing more about Ginger really helps me see her more as a person now and not just as a meterologist, which is a huge plus to this, but I almost feel like I know too much now? Which is ridiculous, I know. I think there were just parts where I thought we would get very deep, and yet didn't (which I understand, that'd be a lot to ask of any author), whereas stories that didn't need to get too deep did in fact go there. Maybe that was it? I think I'm also very used to a chronological nature when it comes to memoirs and this was hopped around a lot which made it a little hard to follow at points.
As a fellow meteorologist, I was really excited to read this book. I appreciate how raw and real Ginger was when sharing her story, and I really loved hearing her read it via Audible. It goes through all of the emotions - battling depression and eating disorders, surviving the initial hell of the broadcast industry (trying to get your first "break"), the haters that come with being a broadcast meteorologist, mom life, divorce, relationship struggles, success, etc. I had no idea that she had such a complex background, and I commend her on opening up to her viewers and fans!
Let me start off by saying that I am a HUGE weather nerd. My dream job would be a meteorologist. So I was super excited to read Ginger Zee's book. This was a very real and honest book and I enjoyed it. She does not hold back when discussing her troubled past and some of the scary experiences that have helped shape her. I loved the weather portions, of course, and her natural disaster metaphor was spot on. The only complaint I have is that she used this metaphor on just about every other page of the book. That got very old, very fast. Otherwise, it was a great read!
Ginger Zee... I see her on GMA on my one day off, but have never understood her story. In this book, she’s a straight shooter - she does not mince words. She is picture perfect proof that someone you might see on TV, might not be so perfect. We all have struggled... and she makes you feel that you don’t have to apologize for chaos, or the choices you have made along the way. ❤️