Starbucks Selects a Riveting Memoir of Survival as Next Literary Feature

SEATTLE, May 14, 2009– Starbucks announced today the next title in its book program:
Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival, by Norman Ollestad. To be published on June 2, 2009 by Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, the book is an against-the-odds survival story, as well as a candid portrait of the intense bond between a father and son.  The book will be offered at more than 7,000 Starbucks company-operated locations in the U.S. 

Norman Ollestad, now 41, was thrust into the world of surfing and competitive downhill skiing at a very young age by the father he idolized.  As an eleven year old boy, he was in a plane that crashed into an 8,600 foot mountain engulfed in a blizzard.  He was the only survivor.  Crazy for the Stormis a vivid illustration of his terrifying physical and psychological descent down the mountain in extreme conditions. It is also Ollestad’s portrayal of his touching relationship between he and his father, which reveals how his father instilled in him the characteristics to persevere, and ultimately, survive. 

“Very rarely does a book like Crazy for the Stormcome along,” said Daniel Halpern, President and Publisher of Ecco.  “I think most everyone in publishing recognized this the moment the book was submitted last summer.  It’s a remarkable story, as much a thriller as a memoir.  Beyond the immediate rush of entering this dramatic autobiographical narrative, something amazing begins to emerge from the violence and passion of eleven year old Ollestad’s life.  What the book ultimately reveals is a genuinely tender relationship between a boy and his father.  I’m ecstatic that the good people at Starbucks not only saw the beauty and importance of this book, but committed to it from the very beginning.”

“I always knew that one day I would write about the airplane crash,” explained Ollestad.  “It wasn’t until 27 years later that I felt ready. I was driving along Highway 395 to Mammoth Ski Resort with my six-year-old son, Noah, and he began asking questions about me driving to Mammoth with my father. By the end on the five-hour drive I had chronicled me and Dad’s skiing and surfing exploits, and much of the airplane crash ordeal for Noah. I wanted to demystify the ordeal so that he would understand that reaching deep into yourself to overcome something seemingly indomitable was accessible to everyone, especially him.”

“When selecting a book to carry in our stores we seek out well-written, thought-provoking pieces that spur conversation,” said Chris Bruzzo, vice president of brand content, Starbucks.  “Crazy for the Stormis the right book for right now.  It’s a life-affirming tale that gave us pause to reflect on thriving in the face of adversity. Ultimately, it’s a story about a father and a son, and that makes it a perfect gift for Father’s Day.” 


For additional information about the book, the book tour, a video with Ollestad and more, please visit



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