Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Review: Rain A Natural and Cultural History

A Natural and Cultural History
Cynthia Barnett

This fascinating book is full of wonderful details, such as how the first rain coat came to be know as the Mackintosh. It covers tales of how ancient civilizations dealt with rain. And it covers interesting accounts of weird and wacky rains, like frog rain and dirt rain. Some facts may even surprise, for instance, many think of Seattle Washington as a very rainy city but according to Barnett it only gets about seven thunderstorms a year. But the clouds that descend upon the city, blanket it about 230 days a year giving one the impression that it is a wet city. On the flip side, Mobile Alabama, which I personally associate with warm and very sunny weather, is the wettest city in the United States, receiving around 65 inches of rain per year.

The book is about more than weather statistics. It looks at the role rain has played throughout civilization and how different societies have dealt with it. And there are some interesting facts about our modern day society as well. Facts about the first weather forecaster and how we came to have a television channel devoted entirely to weather. Personally, I found that this book made me think a lot about an element that many of us take for granted. Especially since we have easy access to data which tells us what to expect on a daily basis. And like me, it will probably make you want to run out and buy a rain gauge for the backyard so you can find out exactly what is going on with the rain in your area.

In short this is a well written book, with witty chapter titles and interesting and informative content on a topic that many of us take for granted. I will definitely stop to appreciate the next rain storm that passes my way.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for allowing me the read the book in exchange for an honest review.

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