Saturday, May 28, 2016

Rain: A Natural and Cultural History by Cynthia Barnett


Rain is elemental, mysterious, precious, destructive.

It is the subject of countless poems and paintings; the top of the weather report; the source of the world's water. Yet this is the first book to tell the story of rain.

My take: 5 looks

I was intrigued by the  premise of writing about rain. Not water, not floods, not weather. Rain. When I started it, I will admit that it was a tiny bit on the dry side (hehe). However, Barnett's skill at segueing from one topic to another, while weaving both scientific facts with myths, stories, and real events soon became quite mesmerizing. I have never used so many sticky tabs in a book to remember to make notes later.

It's hard to resist a sentence that contains "C. Leonard Woolley - think Indiana Jones with high cheekbones and kneesocks - ..."; and this book abounds with them. From the first meteorologists to the de-feminization of the umbrella, the story of rain as presented by Barnett is both educational and compelling.

Oh, and read the book yourself to find out why I am going to start calling windshield wipers "marys".

Highly recommended.

Thank you to Blogging for Books for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.