It’s a simple subject with somewhat of an easy explanation of what causes it. We don’t think about rain unless we’ve had too much or not enough.
Cynthia Barnett, an environmental journalist, has accomplished the impossible; a highly entertaining and educational work on the history and story of rain. Although technically a scientific book, Rain: A Natural and Cultural History is actually a biography. Barnett traveled the globe covering the scientific explanations of rain as well as highlights its mystery and romance. The storms, downpours, showers and drizzles on our planet affect so much more than we realize.
- Diseases caused by too much, or too little, rain
- Attempts to capture the aroma of rain, both naturally and in laboratories
- Rain’s presence in story and song, from Emily Dickinson and Charles Dickens to Kurt Cobain
- The history of forecasting
- Man’s attempts to make it rain, both earnest and the rise of the charlatan rainmakers
- The mood-altering effects of rain
- Strange accounts of rain (frogs, fish, yellow rain, red rain, inky rain, etc.)
Both scholarly and lyrical, Rain is an extremely interesting book, filled with interviews, research, history, poetry and prose. It’s engaging to read, no matter what the reader’s interest is in scientific topics.
I received Rain: A Natural and Cultural History for free in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review.