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  • Title : Rain

  • Author:

  • Ranting:

  • ISBN: 0804137099

  • Number of Pages: 355 pages


Rain Description

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 Cynthia Barnett s Rain begins four billion years ago with the torrents that filled the oceans, and builds to the storms of climate change It weaves to 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 Cynthia Barnett s Rain begins four billion years ago with the torrents that filled the oceans, and builds to the storms of climate change It weaves together science the true shape of a raindrop, the mysteries of frog and fish rains with the human story of our ambition to control rain, from ancient rain dances to the 2,203 miles of levees that attempt to straitjacket the Mississippi River It offers a glimpse of our founding forecaster, Thomas Jefferson, who measured every drizzle long before modern meteorology Two centuries later, rainy skies would help inspire Morrissey s mopes and Kurt Cobain s grunge Rain is also a travelogue, taking readers to Scotland to tell the surprising story of the mackintosh raincoat, and to India, where villagers extract the scent of rain from the monsoon drenched earth and turn it into perfume Now, after thousands of years spent praying for rain or worshiping it burning witches at the stake to stop rain or sacrificing small children to bring it mocking rain with irrigated agriculture and cities built in floodplains even trying to blast rain out of the sky with mortars meant for war, humanity has finally managed to change the rain Only not in ways we intended As climate change upends rainfall patterns and unleashes increasingly severe storms and drought, Barnett shows rain to be a unifying force in a fractured world Too much and not nearly enough, rain is a conversation we share, and this is a book for everyone who has ever experienced it Get A CopyKindle Store Online StoresAudibleBarnes NobleKoboApple iBooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryIndigoHalf.comAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Hardcover, 355 pages Published April 21st 2015 by Crown Publishers More Details Original Title Rain A Natural and Cultural History ISBN 0804137099 ISBN13 9780804137096 Literary Awards National Book Award Nominee for Nonfiction 2015 , Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Science Technology 2015 Other Editions 10 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about Rain, please sign up Popular Answered Questions How can rain be both sad and comforting Could it be in the same way that sad songs are cathartic 1 likelike 2 years ago See all 3 answers Michelle I would say your analogy is apt It is as though the world weeps with you in your grief There is comfort to be found in that flag See 1 question about Rain Lists with This Book Microhistory Social Histories of Just One Thing 1,225 books 1,907 voters Science Friday Radio Show Podcast 101 books 32 voters More lists with this book Community Reviews showing 1 30 filter sort default Rating Details 0 copy ratingGraph.clone j rating_details_tip_graph.remove copy.attr id , rating_details_tip_graph copy.find script.remove j rating_details_tip.prepend copy Mar 22, 2016 HFK rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves nonfiction, society, history, audio, science, travel, nature, culture EDIT 28 12 HFK s Best Nature Read in 2016.Like most humans, I too have a conflicted relationship with rain Most of the time I quite enjoy it, but occasionally I wish it would just stop messing up my plans That is the case often than it is a case of me wishing rain to come and cool the air, make the ground wet and flourishing That is one of the privileges of living in an area that gets just enough dry times as it does get enough wet times, too.We all know the importance of water to our e EDIT 28 12 HFK s Best Nature Read in 2016.Like most humans, I too have a conflicted relationship with rain Most of the time I quite enjoy it, but occasionally I wish it would just stop messing up my plans That is the case often than it is a case of me wishing rain to come and cool the air, make the ground wet and flourishing That is one of the privileges of living in an area that gets just enough dry times as it does get enough wet times, too.We all know the importance of water to our existence, we all know that the source of our water is the beautiful and natural act of rain We know the devastating outcomes of storms and floods, we do know that despite of the dramatic effects of too much rain, it is always better than the dry times experienced around the world The real, silent killers.If there is a right person to write a natural and cultural history of rain, it has to be Cynthia Barnett An environmentalist, an activist, a professional who has the great knowledge and passion to tell the world the comprehensive, meaningful story of The Rain that expands the appreciation of this natural phenomena in ways that are than admirable Rain dives into the scientific side of rain, explaining entertaining ways what is the deal behind this process, and what are its positive and negative affects to our nature The ways rain has shaped animals, our surroundings and the everything green Where is the rainiest areas in the world, where is the silent refugee which makes it possible to fully appreciate the sounds of raindrops And how about weather forecast, how did they came to be, and why it is still important to have thousands of volunteers to collect the data of what happens with the weather around the globe.But Rain is much than just a scientific approach to the subject, it is a love song of cultural history of the rain We worship it, we pray for it, we talk about it constantly, our literature and movies are full of it Rain has been constantly present, in the shadows of our daily life, always there, always documented, changing its own shapes through the multiple different cultures and countries Even though Rain being an nonfiction book, it was so easy to feel Barnett s love and devotion through her chosen words An encyclopedia that surfs through the history in such a intensive enthusiasm that it is almost impossible not to get yourself excited to the moon and back And it makes it impossible to ignore the climatic change for some reason, it seems to happen quite a lot our earth balloon is facing right in this very moment.Audio narration did every bit of justice to the words, and no doubt really pumped up the experience and the feels.Today, I woke to a huge rainstorm, and realized this book really changed my view and appreciation towards rain in a deeper levels than I first thought Such an peaceful moment of being one with the nature, with new and open eyes, knowing exactly what I am witnessing and why flag 52 likesLike see review View all 7 comments Mar 23, 2015 Alan rated it it was amazing I had a professor in grad school who once asked, Why are there so few good books on the weather Finally, here s a good book on the weather all about rain, just enough, too much, too little, and how rain affects human civilization, culture, and survival.The writing is crisp and engaging The stories are compelling and interesting.Many of the historic effects of rain or lack thereof are presented through the experiences of real people and events You will learn about the initial disdain of th I had a professor in grad school who once asked, Why are there so few good books on the weather Finally, here s a good book on the weather all about rain, just enough, too much, too little, and how rain affects human civilization, culture, and survival.The writing is crisp and engaging The stories are compelling and interesting.Many of the historic effects of rain or lack thereof are presented through the experiences of real people and events You will learn about the initial disdain of the English for the umbrella and then their love affair with them, why you hardly ever see traditional bamboo and paper umbrellas in Japan any , efforts to produce wearable truly waterproof clothing, westward expansion across the American Great Plains during a time of moisture and misplaced faith in the fact that the human activity of breaking sod brings rain only to be dashed by the Dust Bowl, and on and on and on I was particularly interested in the episodes where human understanding of rain shifted from mystical water diviners to charlatans who readily took people s money to produce rain or not and the negative impact of these people on developing atmospheric science.In this book you will also read about the impact of climate and weather on contributions to human culture, music, literature, art, e.g., why The Smiths music feels the way it does This is really cool stuff Finally, a really good book about the weather with something for pretty much everyone.5 stars flag 21 likesLike see review View 1 comment Feb 21, 2015 Jaylia3 rated it really liked it Shelves 2015 Rain A Natural History weaves together planetary science, geology, early earth history, meteorology, human history, cultural studies, travel stories, and even poetry into an entertaining and fascinating account of rain and our relationship to it The book is beautifully written vivid, sometimes humorous, and almost poetic without being flowery It s easy to fall under its spell I especially enjoyed all the history and the sections on how depictions or evocations of rain have enhanced various Rain A Natural History weaves together planetary science, geology, early earth history, meteorology, human history, cultural studies, travel stories, and even poetry into an entertaining and fascinating account of rain and our relationship to it The book is beautifully written vivid, sometimes humorous, and almost poetic without being flowery It s easy to fall under its spell I especially enjoyed all the history and the sections on how depictions or evocations of rain have enhanced various works of literature, music, painting, and movies.I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through LibraryThing Review opinions are mine flag 16 likesLike see review Apr 09, 2015 Juliette rated it it was ok Shelves nonfiction, religion, science, history, 2015 I am the target audience for this book I ve sat in the rain at Arthur Ashe stadium for two days in a row, and I did this for two U.S Open tournaments I am a gardener who doesn t use chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or even the garden hose I am a baker who knows that meringues are puffier on dry days I have curly hair that blossoms into a cloud at the first hint of mist, and there still isn t a rainy day that I don t raise my face to the sky to catch the drops.And yet and yet th I am the target audience for this book I ve sat in the rain at Arthur Ashe stadium for two days in a row, and I did this for two U.S Open tournaments I am a gardener who doesn t use chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or even the garden hose I am a baker who knows that meringues are puffier on dry days I have curly hair that blossoms into a cloud at the first hint of mist, and there still isn t a rainy day that I don t raise my face to the sky to catch the drops.And yet and yet this book bored me It s a potpourri of rain facts Barnett begins with the formation of the Earth, which was interesting Then she briefly touches on different cultures associations on rain about a paragraph for each culture s story about the rain Then there s a long chapter that s really product placement for Mackintosh raincoats Then there s a chapter on rain in literature that s filled with conclusory statements What, exactly, were Emily Dickinson s best poems Who chose them There s just too much going on, and this half read like a stream of consciousness.Barnett really hits her stride when she starts detailing the effects of climate change The book would have been better if she d focused on the importance of unpolluted rain rather than stories about rain and the devastation of polluted rainwater and the changes in rainfall patterns globally flag 13 likesLike see review View all 6 comments Feb 01, 2015 Emily rated it it was amazing I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher, and I must admit I was a little wary at first how interesting can you make rain Very interesting, it turns out First of all, the book is beautifully written It is lyrical without being silly or overwrought, and the huge range of topics covered flow easily and smoothly from one to the next without feeling rushed or rambling.As for the substance of the book, I feel that Barnett has written rain s definitive biography She explores how I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher, and I must admit I was a little wary at first how interesting can you make rain Very interesting, it turns out First of all, the book is beautifully written It is lyrical without being silly or overwrought, and the huge range of topics covered flow easily and smoothly from one to the next without feeling rushed or rambling.As for the substance of the book, I feel that Barnett has written rain s definitive biography She explores how rain has shaped religion, culture, fashion, law, art, music, and anything else you could think of It would be easy for this book to be boring, but there is always something new around the corner and the people are fascinating and sometimes funny Her treatment of climate change is brilliantly done as well not too heavy handed and undeniably convincing I couldn t stop reading parts of it out loud to whoever happened to be around at the time.This is definitely one that I ll be telling people to read for awhile flag 8 likesLike see review View 1 comment Nov 23, 2014 Laura Harrison rated it it was amazing I just love books like this Truly a fascinating topic when you think about it Rain really plays such a huge part of so many aspects of our lives Beautiful and well researched book I enjoyed it so very much I think I may actually reread it then gift it to another rain lover flag 8 likesLike see review May 03, 2016 Melora rated it it was amazing This could be a dry subject ha ha but Barnett s wide scope and engaging storytelling bring the wonder, mystery, and profound importance of of this seemingly ordinary phenomenon to life Considering rain from the perspective of history, science, music, literature, politics, etc., Barnett explores her subject through the stories of a farmer on the Great Plains, TV weathermen, raincoat makers, an anthropologist exploring ancient Mesopotamia, a king convinced that witches are thwarting his effort This could be a dry subject ha ha but Barnett s wide scope and engaging storytelling bring the wonder, mystery, and profound importance of of this seemingly ordinary phenomenon to life Considering rain from the perspective of history, science, music, literature, politics, etc., Barnett explores her subject through the stories of a farmer on the Great Plains, TV weathermen, raincoat makers, an anthropologist exploring ancient Mesopotamia, a king convinced that witches are thwarting his efforts to bring his bride across a stormy sea, a patent lawyer heading a project to blast rain out of the sky with siege guns left over from the Civil War, a shyster traveling the country with a mysterious chemical brew guaranteed to draw rain, a whole series of writers who are inspired by and who use rain in their works, movie makers, Indian fragrance manufacturers using techniques thousands of years old to capture the scent of rain, an ichthyologist at the American Museum of Natural History collecting stories of fish and frog rains, engineers struggling to restore the South Florida water system, climate scientists creating models to predict and plan for extreme weather events, a visit to a village in India which may be losing its claim to be the wettest place on earth, and many, many The variety of angles on rain maintains the subject s appeal, and Barnett avoids bogging down in scientific complexities her two earlier, award winning books, Blue Revolution Unmaking America s Water Crisis and Mirage Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S., are on water systems issues she definitely knows her stuff but clearly conveys the essence of the problems she is describing Her sentences occasionally become a bit circuitous, but for the most part her writing is clear and lively I enjoyed this very much as a displaced and homesick Floridian I found the sections on my home state particularly interesting and give it 4 1 2 stars, rounding up to 5 flag 7 likesLike see review View 2 comments Oct 17, 2015 Dov Zeller rated it really liked it Shelves sciency naturish, non fiction, climate change, war and fighting, ecosystems, trauma, urban poverty This book has a lot of great, interesting information about drought, flood, rivers and their natural cycles, landscape, cities and rain, agriculture and rain, the making of raincoats and umbrellas, attempts to use weather in warfare At times I was frustrated with the jumpy movement from one thing to another and because of that I am between a 3 and a 4 review wise There didn t seem to be a clear or meaningful structure in place But I did enjoy what I learned from it and also left it feeling qu This book has a lot of great, interesting information about drought, flood, rivers and their natural cycles, landscape, cities and rain, agriculture and rain, the making of raincoats and umbrellas, attempts to use weather in warfare At times I was frustrated with the jumpy movement from one thing to another and because of that I am between a 3 and a 4 review wise There didn t seem to be a clear or meaningful structure in place But I did enjoy what I learned from it and also left it feeling quite distressed about the acidification of oceans and other bodies of water and rain, too That is a kind of distress that is important and worth feeling and the phenomenon worth understanding a bit better There are endless ways the subjects in here could be approached and I hope another similarly themed book is written soon, and perhaps focuses on ecosystemic weather patterns and phenomenon and less on umbrellas and raincoats flag 5 likesLike see review Nov 15, 2016 Muthuvel Deivendran rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves favorite, audiobook, history, anthology It s one of the magical books I ve encountered since a long time Romance upon Rain An Enriching work by the author Cruising the Americas, Western Europe and Indian subcontinent often, it Covers cultural history of various civilizations BCEs and their rituals, history of rain articles and weather forecasting, geography and little science of planetary rainfall and speculations on climate change, flood warnings with the upcoming frontiers What s for dinner Wilderness flag 5 likesLike see review Mar 02, 2015 Ken rated it really liked it Shelves nonfiction, finished in 2015 Talk about broad Talk about abstract and literal at once The subject is rain and the slant if you can call it that is its natural and cultural history With such a huge topic, Cynthia Barnett has her work cut out for her and, overall, she pulls it off with aplomb Yes, this could have been an encyclopedic style book, but Barnett has a way with words and instead steers toward story Well, stories Multiple.The problem with such Herculean tasks as this is deciding what to write about Rain Talk about broad Talk about abstract and literal at once The subject is rain and the slant if you can call it that is its natural and cultural history With such a huge topic, Cynthia Barnett has her work cut out for her and, overall, she pulls it off with aplomb Yes, this could have been an encyclopedic style book, but Barnett has a way with words and instead steers toward story Well, stories Multiple.The problem with such Herculean tasks as this is deciding what to write about Rain is one big and leaking tent Where to begin Where to go It s like herding cats and dogs, to coin an idiom mentioned in this book Barnett starts, logically enough, with the earth s beginnings, with comparisons to both Mars and Venus, to water s role in these planets evolutions From there she moves to early civilizations, how they dealt with too much and too little rain Reining in rain, no easy task, has been high on man s to do list for centuries Some civilizations the ancient Assyrians, for one, and then the Romans and the Byzantines were better at it than others If there s a small negative to the book, it s the choices that the author is forced to make What should she include Leave out Discuss at length Mention briefly With decisions like that, she s bound to please some readers and disappoint others She dwells on rainmakers, for one the quacks and charlatans who made money by fooling people into thinking they could call on the rain and bring it down for farmers and others at a price. Some used ordnance explosions in the sky rain, as was believed by many a Civil War veteran, including Joshua Chamberlain of the 20th Maine Others used chemical soups that would emit all matter of highly visible gases floating to the heavens But all depended on coincidence and rainy seasons to bail them out To me, this got a little old fast, but Barnett covered than one such character.Then, in the Writers on the Storm section, Barnett gets into writers, composers, artists, who all tapped into rain for their material To me this was fascinating, and I could have read another hundred pages on it, but Barnett moves on sooner rather than later It was not surprising to learn, however, that bad weather induces higher artistic output that is, many famous writers got work done when living in a rainy climate vs a sunny one Being cooped up Yes, but the mood, too Rain has its wiles and will not be denied.Among other topics touched on are scents of rain, how the U.S is enad with rain scents in many cleaning products while the Europeans esp Irish and English prefer sun fresh products, Thomas Jefferson who foolishly built Monticello on a hill, far from the river and easily tapped water supplies , strange rains frogs, eels, mud, etc., falling from the skies , and the high electrocution rates of church bell ringers before folks figured out that water plus high places during thunderstorms equaled shocking finishes Overall, highly entertaining, if jumpy and uneven in spots Given the task taken on rain s natural and cultural history , Barnett than held her own Holds up to front to back reading or to leisurely dipping while reading other books flag 4 likesLike see review Jul 17, 2015 Marjolein rated it really liked it Shelves read in english, non fiction, arc 3.5 Stars Read all my reviews on Why ever did I decide to read a book about rain It s not as if there isn t enough rain already where I live although there s said to be extreme drought in my region compared to other years, I ve seemed to have failed to notice this change However, it turned out to be a very good decision since it was a very interesting take on not only rain in its many forms but many aspects of culture as well.Human civilization has been in 3.5 Stars Read all my reviews on Why ever did I decide to read a book about rain It s not as if there isn t enough rain already where I live although there s said to be extreme drought in my region compared to other years, I ve seemed to have failed to notice this change However, it turned out to be a very good decision since it was a very interesting take on not only rain in its many forms but many aspects of culture as well.Human civilization has been inseparable from rain, as is also suggested in the first chapters, where drought is given as a possible but likely reason for the ending of early civilizations And indeed, have humans not tried since these early times to manipulate the weather, by appeasing Gods or changing the routes of rivers The chapter on the weather magician is particularly interesting But there are also chapters on raincoats, traditional Japanese umbrellas and many things Or how about rain in music Since the books focusses on so many different aspects that are connected to rain this is much than a simple guide on how rain develops although I might have liked to read a bit about weather science I believe it will have something that interests everyone It s only logical that some pieces interested me than others, but none of the chapters were too long, so this didn t bother me Near the end of the book I did feel like the connection to the rain topic became a little bit less clear, but I still enjoyed it An interesting read and definitely a natural and cultural history of rain Thanks to Blogging for Books for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review flag 4 likesLike see review Nov 23, 2014 Kristi Richardson rated it it was amazing Shelves history, non fiction, first reads, science Into each life some rain must fall,Some days must by dark and dreary,Be still, sad heart, and cease repining Behind the clouds is the sun still shining.LongfellowI was gifted this book through the first reads program at Goodreads I love the rain and the color green That is why I live in the Pacific Northwest What did this book teach me I didn t know what I didn t know about rain but it seems it was a huge amount of information I learned about the ancient peoples dependence on weather for the Into each life some rain must fall,Some days must by dark and dreary,Be still, sad heart, and cease repining Behind the clouds is the sun still shining.LongfellowI was gifted this book through the first reads program at Goodreads I love the rain and the color green That is why I live in the Pacific Northwest What did this book teach me I didn t know what I didn t know about rain but it seems it was a huge amount of information I learned about the ancient peoples dependence on weather for their crops and drinking water I learned about the first weather forecasters and Daniel Defoe s obsession with collecting rain water numbers I learned about the first attempts at creating rain by blasting the skies because during the Civil War soldiers observed the rain after a battle I read about rainmakers and how they conned people and cities and governments into paying them huge amounts of money for rain that the probabilities were on the conman s side Ms Barnett tells us of the literary role rain has in books, poems and movies Charles Dickens wrote about the rain a lot because he lived during the Little Ice Age where it rained an enormous amount Mary Shelley s Frankenstein was written in the year with no summer Author s state that the rain helps them write because nice weather is too distracting I learned about the political consequences of rain legislation and the results if no action is taken to halt the climates change This book is well researched and their are numerous pages of notes in the back.Most of all I remembered why I love rain so much and why we on Earth need it so as to not become Venus in the future flag 4 likesLike see review Mar 10, 2015 Jamie Burgess rated it it was amazing I really loved this book, and reading it made me feel at once like I was learning so much and seeing articulated ideas that I have known all my life Rain is ubiquitous even to the point of being mundane, yet when Barnett explains how it has shaped civilization from the beginning of human existence, I realized how important it is When thinking about environmental issues, as we often do around here, this book brings to light the human dependence upon rain and just how crucial and vital it is an I really loved this book, and reading it made me feel at once like I was learning so much and seeing articulated ideas that I have known all my life Rain is ubiquitous even to the point of being mundane, yet when Barnett explains how it has shaped civilization from the beginning of human existence, I realized how important it is When thinking about environmental issues, as we often do around here, this book brings to light the human dependence upon rain and just how crucial and vital it is and not just so we can have snow on the mountain for skiing, although that is important too I don t think there has ever been a book such as this perhaps anthropologists have studied the meaning of rain in different cultures but never in comparison with one another and all at once, and at times it felt like Barnett was trying to say everything at the same time, like she had learned so many interesting facts and was so eager to share that it all came out in one breath But otherwise, for non fiction it read fluently and well, and Barnett is a good writer who could make the content interesting and draw connections for the reader that you might not otherwise see This is what I think makes for good nonfiction flag 4 likesLike see review May 25, 2015 Stven rated it did not like it I love the subject and I hate to abandon this book but I cannot abide the author s style Everything is an overwrought metaphor, a lame cultural reference, or an outright clich Further, there is no apparent organization of the material One idea follows another in Oh here s another interesting thing fashion I gave the book its eighth chance and am finally bailing after a mere 35 pages in the middle of a sentence that begins Think Indiana Jones flag 4 likesLike see review View 1 comment Mar 31, 2017 R K rated it liked it Shelves educate yourself books, non fiction you should read, recomended books, japanese authors and or setting re, indian authors and or setting rec Not a bad book.It was supple like rain The writing flowed easily and blended from one topic to the next with great ease.The author I could tell had a soft kind voice filled with wisdom This book literal read like rain whichI think is the highest compliment to this author.Her fascination of rain blew my mind I love rain I love rainy weather I love listening to rain I love reading books near an open window on a rainy day But this was nothing to how fascinated people are with rain Barnett Not a bad book.It was supple like rain The writing flowed easily and blended from one topic to the next with great ease.The author I could tell had a soft kind voice filled with wisdom This book literal read like rain whichI think is the highest compliment to this author.Her fascination of rain blew my mind I love rain I love rainy weather I love listening to rain I love reading books near an open window on a rainy day But this was nothing to how fascinated people are with rain Barnett covers cultural significance to discoveries made in hydrology I learned some nifty things.For ex, did you know that the Nimbus 2000 from HP the word nimbus comes from the Latin word for cloud Another interesting thing, the actual inventor of the windshield wiper was Mary Anderson NOT Henry Ford In fact, Mary started the idea and even set out to patent it but it expired before she could get it done Then another women named Charlotte Bridgwood who was the president of the Bridgwood Manufacturing Company came up with the same idea but her patent also expired Finally, comes Henry Ford who took her idea and never acknowledged her nor Mary Anderson.There were some real sad stories like the one about a farmer name Uriah and his devastating life story There were some interesting ones on how a brand named Macintosh that started in Scotland became insanely popular in Japan There were stories on how the umbrella came to be and what other cultures saw the umbrella Stories on how plagues, disease, pandemics came to be due to the rainy conditionsOverall, it s an interesting book on how rain affects us so much and how climate change spells disaster for us The one downside was that there were some real boring parts I was bored out of my mind reading those parts flag 4 likesLike see review Aug 09, 2015 David Dinaburg rated it it was amazing In learning, you don t usually find what you want it is much better to want what you find Take the story of mauve the color was created while looking for an artificial malaria drug It was the first wholly created color dye and ushered in a new age of synthetic fashion The inventor ran with it, sinking his entire family s fortune into a mauve dying factory, and made a mint Mauve didn t fight malaria though, so if William Perkin the creator wasn t adaptable it might have landed in the scraph In learning, you don t usually find what you want it is much better to want what you find Take the story of mauve the color was created while looking for an artificial malaria drug It was the first wholly created color dye and ushered in a new age of synthetic fashion The inventor ran with it, sinking his entire family s fortune into a mauve dying factory, and made a mint Mauve didn t fight malaria though, so if William Perkin the creator wasn t adaptable it might have landed in the scrapheap of history.Rain A Natural and Cultural History is best enjoyed the same way, by letting the narrative take you where it goes That the cover is gorgeous simple, iconic, inviting doesn t hurt I would listen to a stranger that pretty talk about basically anything If, upon seeing Rain on the shelf or as a search algorithm result, your curiosity isn t piqued by how the author is going to fill the three hundred odd pages with stories of rain, then maybe some randomly selected excerpts will draw you in The science hostile skeptics of human caused climate change point to past swings in climate as proof that today s warming is part of a natural cycle Every major scientific society and 97 percent of the world s climate scientists say otherwise in their consensus that human greenhouse gas emissions are to blame for the current warming The culture killing drought of 4,000 years ago has been linked to a centuries long failure of the Asian monsoon Causes of other extreme climate events are better understood, such as the volcanic eruptions that marked the Little Ice Age In contrast, the warming of the past century is not natural in origin humans have become a dominant force To be sure, prior to modern industry and the emissions associated with it, people in the distant past suffered devastating climatic shift Given what we ve learned about the lost cultures and the tragic times, it hardly seems advisable to plunge headlong into repeating them That is both topical and relevant to precipitation Levelheaded, relatable, and well informed An excellent excerpt selection, if I do say so myself But perhaps you want something a bit exciting Okay, try this one The U.S military made its first large scale attempt to unleash rain as a weapon during the Vietnam War Beginning with trials in 1966, and continuing every rainy season until July 1972, Project Popeye dropped nearly fifty thousand loads of silver iodide or lead iodide in the clouds over Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia to induce heavy rains The idea was to flood out roads, cause landslides, and make transportation as difficult as possible well beyond monsoon season essentially, to keep the Ho Chi Minh Trail a muddy mess and foil North Vietnam s ability to move supplies and personnelThe House and Senate ultimately adopted anti weather warfare resolutions In 1977, the United States, the Soviet Union, and other nations ratified a UN treaty prohibiting military or any other hostile use of environmental modification techniques I will admit, I did not see that coming As a reader, you re in for many, many exciting tidbits and, as my dad would say, fascinating bon mots and he has said, because he also picked up Rain independently from, and prior to, my reading.Don t blind yourself to only finding artificial quinine instead, let the wonderful storytelling sell you something new and different maybe in mauve flag 3 likesLike see review View 1 comment Nov 22, 2015 Maitrey rated it really liked it Shelves non fic Reading Rain takes one on a tour across a gamut of emotions and experiences that cultures and people across the world have felt while experiencing this amazing phenomenon.This is the first book I ve listened to that was written by Cynthia Barnett, and she did an admirable job of describing rain, something, even as somebody who revels in it, I find a little hard to do The fact that South India is facing an unseasonal spell of showers right now when I m listening to this book might have helped th Reading Rain takes one on a tour across a gamut of emotions and experiences that cultures and people across the world have felt while experiencing this amazing phenomenon.This is the first book I ve listened to that was written by Cynthia Barnett, and she did an admirable job of describing rain, something, even as somebody who revels in it, I find a little hard to do The fact that South India is facing an unseasonal spell of showers right now when I m listening to this book might have helped the fact that I enjoyed it.Barnett takes you through time, from ancient Iraq s storm gods, to of course, Hindu mythology s millennia old connection to India s lifeblood the monsoon There are many chapters devoted to early modern English weather watchers including one Capt Fitzroy, Darwin s expedition leader on the Beagle who founded the English Met , Seattle and Manchester s weird reputation as very rainy cities, and even how, an unseasonal rain spell led to Mary Shelley penning Frankenstein America s weird war on the clouds in the late 19th Century they literally fired mortars, and exploded dynamite in the hope that it might rain in the mid west is some of the most unintentionally funny writing I ve ever read.These chapters of course go on to show that Earth s climate is a massively complicated system, one that we are changing, and still not yet knowledgeable to understand how we are changing it Denial and anti science, especially from politicians and other people in power is not the strategy to be adopted, as the history in this book shows.The book was thematically well organised covering topics such as mythology, literature and films, meteorology, climate change, and quirky travel writing I liked it, but I can see this might at the same time seem like a book trying to bite off too much Also, for a book that was talking about a global history of rain, there was a disproportionate representation of history and writing from the US and UK probably because, hey Barnett is American and speaks English but also quite a bit of India I definitely will not complain about this last bit, Barnett even travelled to Chirapunji the rainiest place in the world in North East India, easily a section I enjoyed the most reading about But there is hardly any Africa, or rainforests anywhere in the tropics actually apart from the US, UK, ad India, there is hardly anything about rain anywhere else in the world, sections that I think would have only enlivened this book.So, apart from minor quibbles, this is a perfect book to read or listen to like I did to an audiobook on rainy evenings Its perfect mix of writing and empathy will only make you want to make you go out experience that wonderful phenomena called rain flag 4 likesLike see review Feb 22, 2015 Blue rated it it was amazing Shelves non fiction, science, economics, history, health, environment, library thing, journalism Rain A Natural and Cultural History is a great piece of research about the past, present, and future of the relationship between humans and this unpredictable part of the weather sphere Barnett introduces the known scientific facts and popular and sometimes unpopular opinions about the notorious precipitation stretching from millions of years ago to the near future A good blend of the personal and cultural with scientific and historical gives the book a well rounded feel there is something Rain A Natural and Cultural History is a great piece of research about the past, present, and future of the relationship between humans and this unpredictable part of the weather sphere Barnett introduces the known scientific facts and popular and sometimes unpopular opinions about the notorious precipitation stretching from millions of years ago to the near future A good blend of the personal and cultural with scientific and historical gives the book a well rounded feel there is something for everyone in these pages I especially enjoyed the chapters about rain prediction and weather forecasting and the Scent of Rain chapter due to my personal interest in perfume The chapter about rain in literature was also highly interesting, and I am now able to understand my urge to write as the winter sets in Recommended for those who like perfume, history of quackery, Captain Fitzroy, and history of religion.Thanks to the publisher and LibraryThing for an ARC in exchange of my honest review flag 3 likesLike see review Mar 11, 2016 Kelly Kittel rated it really liked it Into each life some rain must fall Some days must be dark and dreary So wrote Henry Wadsworth Longfellow way back in the 1800 s, who, I just learned, hailed from my mom s home state of Maine Indeed, as this book reminds, the history of our planet is linked inextricably to rain and by reading it, you will be much better informed about precipitation, which both giveth life and taketh it away It also reminds us that we used to be much, much vulnerable to the weather, in whatever form it Into each life some rain must fall Some days must be dark and dreary So wrote Henry Wadsworth Longfellow way back in the 1800 s, who, I just learned, hailed from my mom s home state of Maine Indeed, as this book reminds, the history of our planet is linked inextricably to rain and by reading it, you will be much better informed about precipitation, which both giveth life and taketh it away It also reminds us that we used to be much, much vulnerable to the weather, in whatever form it took, and even though we give it a great deal of lip service today, we are much, much impervious, Goretex and all.An extensively wet period of geological time is called a pluvial, and in case you re cursing your own rainy afternoon, it might give you pause to remember that our planet has seen times when rain has fallen for hundreds or even thousands of years on end Reading Your Inner Fish last had me examining my fingers and hands with wonder and, likewise, this book had me soaking in a tub and doing the same thing Why So I could check out the wrinkles on my fingers Consider this backstory before we split from primates, our ancestors lived some 10 million years ago during pluvial times in the rain forests of East Africa Fast forward to 2008 when neurobiologist Mark Changizi found a surgical paper from the 1930 s documenting that patients with arm nerve damage don t get any wet wrinkles on their fingers You ve probably never paid them much mind, but contrary to popular belief, these finger furrows are not simply a side effect of water, they re the work of the autonomic nervous system Other primates get them too and, yes, they re an adaptation to rain Like tire treads, these are rain treads Cool, eh They helped us to literally hang in there when the weather was wet and we lived in trees and spent a lot of our days outdoors, as in all of it Even cooler is that, when magnified, our finger wrinkles look like the drainage channels you ve seen from aerial views of river basins and the like Or at the beach when the tide recedes The furrows flow downward, draining the water from our grip They re pliable and if you push on them, water should emerge And they re found nowhere else on our bodies Pretty cool stuff in a book that s filled to overflowing with all kinds of thought provoking things.Like Cloud Nine Everyone knows the phrase used to describe how great you re feeling on, say, a day when there s no rain But here s the origin In 1896, the world s top meteorologists gathered in Paris for the year of the cloud , which sounds suspiciously like a trumped up excuse to visit the City of Light There, in addition to dining on delicious food accompanied by expertly paired wine, they managed to agree upon a numbered system of ten cloud types Called the International Cloud Atlas remember that book and movie , it s still the official guide for identifying clouds As every fourth grader learns, the King of clouds is the towering cumulonimbus and just hazard a guess as to which number it is in the atlas Yes, it s cloud number nine In the second edition of the atlas, however, they shifted the mighty cumulonimbus to number ten The book doesn t say if that cloudy decision also happened in Paris, but I suspect it wasn t a sober one Still, the expression remains Only a select few would get it if you said you felt like you were on Cloud Ten but I might just give it a go Fun fact wind is measured from which direction it blows ocean currents towards which direction they flow I made that mnemonic up but you can use it.My favorite chapter in Rain was Chapter Nine, like the cloud Called Writers on the Storm , it reminds us that when we describe rainstorms as being Shakespearean in size which we do, right it s because The Bard of Avon, himself, lived in England during a pluvial era If you re like my daughter, Bella, you love umbrellas and by this time in the book you ll have learned all about our many inventions for keeping the rain off our hands, feet, and heads But what this chapter also reminds, is that besides making us wet and furrowed, rain creates a mood that inspires both melody and verse Rain is the reason so many rock bands came out of England and rain could be the harbinger of grunge since Kurt Cobain hailed from rainy Aberdeen, WA where he penned a song thanks to the weather Indeed, when you stop to consider, you realize that not many of our great authors hailed from our world s sunnier climates Why sit inside writing all day when you can get out and enjoy the sun It reminds me of when my mom visited us in Costa Rica and said, I don t think I d like living here, it s hard to be motivated in this heat Or in Jamaica where the politicians often accused their constituents of being lazy, characterized as they just want to sit under the mango tree all day The author recounts artist after artist who was, indeed, shaped by the weather This includes a lovely story about Isak Dinesen from Out of Africa when she was harvesting maize with her young Swahili laborers, a tedious task, and began rhyming words to pass the time After this, the boys would ask of her, Speak again Speak like rain It is thought that one of my own favorite poets, Emily Dickinson, suffered here in New England from SAD, which I m sure you know is Seasonal Affective Disorder She cranked out poems in spring and summer but her best work came from fall and winter Dark days, indeed, can provide poetic inspiration Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein during the last Little Ice Age in a stretch of freezing rain that was the summer of 1816 in Geneva On a much smaller magnitude of scale, I, myself, finally relented and joined Facebook during the summer of 2009 in the woods of Maine when every day brought rain and rain It s always fun to be reading a book and come across a friend or acquaintance which happened for me on page 203 when the author mentions Jennie Shortridge, who says it took her seven years to write her first novel in relatively rain free Denver, after which she moved to gray Seattle and wrote the next novel in a mere 15 months and now writes a book every two years, saying, The dark and chill keeps me at my desk Indeed, I might agree, sitting here typing in my basement on a rainy day.I also enjoyed Chapter 10, The Scent of Rain , learning the new word, geosmin, which is the familiar musty odor that rises from streets and storm ponds during a deluge A by product of bacteria, geosmin also gives beets their earthy flavor and for me denotes the smell and taste of our terrible tap water in summer Helen Keller said that smell preserves the strongest memories and I think we all agree Rain, itself, picks up odors from all of the molecules it meets on its journey, rendering the smell of city rain different from a country or ocean rain The author travels to Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh, India, where we learn a wave of new words She goes in search of the bottled fragrance called mitti ka attar, which is the smell of the first rain on the ground rain This is extracted from clay disks called khapra, which are left out in the first monsoon rains Also called Petrichor, it s the scent brought on by rain After an ancient and extensive process, this mitti is poured into a special leather bottle called a kuppi, which is VIP as any other kind of container will ruin it And lest you re feeling old, these are the same vessels from the fairy tales of Ali Baba I ve always thought I missed my calling working as a nose in Paris, not knowing until this book about this village in India Here a man named Shukla, who is the village Super Smeller, says of mitti, It is the smell of India And if you re still with me, here s my final fun topic Frogs No book about rain that s worth its salt can successfully conclude without mentioning these rain loving critters In the chapter entitled Strange Rains , the author sanguinely reminds us that frogs are the very symbol of rain for many Native American tribes who, like many cultures, believe that frogs call the rain Frogs are considered to be bioindicators, meaning their well being reflects that of the environment, and because they require both land and aquatic habitat amphibians, right plus have permeable skin that easily absorbs toxins, frogs are faithful signals of ecological havoc A man named Charles Fort, for whom the Fortean Society of the supernatural is named, said, You can judge a society by the health of its frogs Indeed, frogs have survived for past 250 million years but today they are disappearing from rain puddles everywhere Nearly 200 frog species have vanished since 1980 and than a third of all surviving amphibians are now threatened with extinction as part of a larger catastrophe that scientists are calling the world s sixth mass extinction Which is happening right outside your door, folks Our froggy little rain loving bioindicators are definitely trying to tell us something, one way or another As John Fogerty wrote and sang after watching everyone dance naked in the rain at Woodstock, and I wonder, still I wonder, who ll stop the rain Like him, I, too, wonder, and I wanna know, Have you ever seen the rain Even if you think you have, Rain will have you looking at it in a whole new light flag 2 likesLike see review Jun 06, 2015 Patricia rated it it was amazing Recommends it for Book groups, science, environment, history An absolutely fascinating book about rain Extremely well researched and diverse subject matter The book explores ancient droughts, the history of rain through the study of tree rings, the smells of rain, the creation of Mackintosh waterproof fabrics by Charles Macintosh in 1822 and Bill and Robert Gore developing Gore Tex in 1976 , the development of the umbrella and the oldest brolly shop in London dating back to 1830, the development of the windshield wipers in 1916 by two American women Mar An absolutely fascinating book about rain Extremely well researched and diverse subject matter The book explores ancient droughts, the history of rain through the study of tree rings, the smells of rain, the creation of Mackintosh waterproof fabrics by Charles Macintosh in 1822 and Bill and Robert Gore developing Gore Tex in 1976 , the development of the umbrella and the oldest brolly shop in London dating back to 1830, the development of the windshield wipers in 1916 by two American women Mary Anderson and Charlotte Bridgewood both whose patents expired before adoption by the automotive industry, the phenomenon of skies raining frogs, snakes, spiders, the creation of the weather channel in 1982 by John Coleman, the 1896 nine categorizations of clouds with the highest cumulonimbus being on cloud nine, the Indus Valley Harappan people an India Pakistan civilization lost 5,000 years ago due to prolonged drought for two centuries, the settling of the American plains and the destruction of the grasslands, our paving over America which decreases aquifer collection and increases pollution runoff, the science and study of seeding clouds to produce rains and attempts to control wars such as the Vietnam War, the building of homes with thatched roofs versus other materials and Frank Lloyd Wright purposefully designing buildings to bring rain into a structure, the influence of rain in writing from Emily Dickinson, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Mary Shelley, Walter Raymond, Toni Morrison to filmmaking such as Singing In The Rain to the composition of music by the Doors Rider on the Storm, Jimi Hendrix s Rainy Day, Dream Away, Frederic Chopin s Raindrop Prelude, and Morrissey s moody indie pop group the Smiths, capturing the essence of rain in Kannauji, India by the ancient process of mitti attar when in May and June petrichor has built up before the monsoons, the damaging affects of acid rain and the other pollutants dispersed through rain.This is a timely book considering the extreme drought California and other western states are facing Storms continue to become severe Fossil fuels, fracking, deforestation, population growth are impacting our earth Sweet water will be a luxury in the not too distant future This book is a must read for everyone Climate change frightens and divides us, to such an extent that many people simply refuse to talk about it But everyone loves to talk about the rain Too much and not enough, rain is a conversation we share It is an opening to connect in ways as profound as prayer and art, practical as economics, or casual as an exchange between strangers on a stormy day Amid the mysterious workings of Earth and it s atmosphere, one things is clear when we change one part of the rain cycles we change another somewhere else If Fort is right that society shall be judged by the health of its frogs, we re in for a harsh adjudication Frogs have survived in or less their current form for the past 250 million years they made it through the mega droughts and the plivials, the ice ages and asteroids Today they are vanishing perhaps this is why frog rains have become so rare in modern times Nearly two hundred frog species have vanished since 1980 and than a third of all surviving amphibians are now threatened with extinction, part of a larger catastrophe that scientists call the world s sixth mass extinction While rain is one of the trickier parts of the atmosphere to measure and to understand, changing rainfall patterns are among the earliest and most obvious tremors of a warming globe The record breaking year of 2013 2014 was yet telling Exceptional gales carrying extreme rains ravaged the southern coastlines England and Wales , breaching sea walls and turning historical villages into islands Along the coast of southern England, so many severe storms hit the coast that they uncovered hundreds of unexplored shells, bombs, and mines buried on the beaches since World War II In western Wales, storms stripped away a beach to unearth an ancient forest six thousand years old flag 2 likesLike see review May 11, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing Shelves history biography memoir, arc edition, social issues or commentary, environment Who would have thought that a nonfiction book about rain could manage to maintain my interest throughout its almost 300 pages This one certainly did, but then it is about much than just rain.It began with a lovely quote from Ray Bradbury, but the author s own words were quite wonderful too It is obvious that she developed a great love and respect for the subject, that it became close to her heart.The story covers rain and its relatives over the history of time, how it has and does affec Who would have thought that a nonfiction book about rain could manage to maintain my interest throughout its almost 300 pages This one certainly did, but then it is about much than just rain.It began with a lovely quote from Ray Bradbury, but the author s own words were quite wonderful too It is obvious that she developed a great love and respect for the subject, that it became close to her heart.The story covers rain and its relatives over the history of time, how it has and does affect us physically, culturally, politically It explains in a very clear way why what we used to call global warming but now commonly call climate change can make the wet areas wetter and the dry areas drier, the cold colder and the hot hotter.The prognosis is not good The prognosis is frightening.Some of it I knew, like Rick Perry s solution At Texas AM University, the atmospheric scientists said global warming was making the hellish conditions worse The governor of Texas, Rick Perry, was skeptical of the professors But he could sink his black leather boots into prayer Perry called upon his fellow Texans to join him in three days prayer for rain Congress has not been our friend in solving the issues In recent years, Congress has resembled the rainmaking 1890s than the emissions lowering 1990s ears open to the influential uninformed rather than its own scientists U.S Senator John Inhofe of Oklahoma, perhaps the most prominent national opponent of meaningful legislation to reduce fossil fuel emissions, has said that humans cannot possibly control the climate because only God can do that I am not as kind as the author these people are not uninformed, they just choose to not believe the evidence they are given.Still, this book is about rain, too much, too little, and its affects Its about culture around the world shaped by rain It is not foremost a political book It s about witchcraft and rainmakers, evolution and plagues For a book about rain, it has an amazingly wide and interesting scope.Our decisions about trying to control rain and its effects have devastating consequences Writing of southern California, the author states, Now, imported water from the Sierra to the north and the Colorado River convinced the region to divert all its rain to sea and rely on someone else s An estimated 85 percent of Los Angeles in urbanized, 65 percent of it paved over sealed by impervious surfaces Every subdivision and shopping mall, parking lot and pancake house prevents rain from soaking back into the ground The rain that used to find its natural course to the aquifer or sea is now channeled, given a new name stormwater and poisoned as it rushes over dirty streets and down gutters This book caused me to Google several of the things the author mentioned If you have never heard of the Double Decker Tree Bridge, it is well worth searching for images While I wanted to learn about the subject of rain and weather, I was afraid this book would be dry, no pun intended It was not It was fascinating but frightening than a Stephen King novel.I was given an advance reader s edition of this book for review The quotes may have changed in the published edition flag 2 likesLike see review Jun 24, 2015 Brian Clegg rated it liked it This fairly chunky book, subtitled a natural and cultural history takes on a subject that causes mixed emotions rain We all need it, however usually it s a case of but not now I think it s fair to say that Cynthia Barnett concentrates on the cultural side than the natural history, but there is some science here in amongst the interesting stories of humanity s interaction with this very distinctive aspect of the weather.Some sections are particularly interesting I was fascinated by t This fairly chunky book, subtitled a natural and cultural history takes on a subject that causes mixed emotions rain We all need it, however usually it s a case of but not now I think it s fair to say that Cynthia Barnett concentrates on the cultural side than the natural history, but there is some science here in amongst the interesting stories of humanity s interaction with this very distinctive aspect of the weather.Some sections are particularly interesting I was fascinated by the attempts to make rain even now, not wholly confirmed as a scientific possibility from firing cannons into the sky to seeding clouds with dry ice and iodide crystals There are strange rains Fort s frogs and the like , monsoons and, of course, the whole business of clouds, intimately tied up with rain itself.Overall, the book proved rather too US centric for my taste, not only having a whole section dedicated to US weather, but also spending far too long reminiscing about TV weather forecasters who would hold no meaning to anyone outside North America In the same section is the book s biggest blooper we are told that the UK s Meteorological Office is universally known as the Met No, it s not That would be the Metropolitan Police.Although there are plenty of good stories, the book lacked an overall arc and while a random jumble of information can be endearing, it is useful to have some helpful structure Some parts contained genuinely interesting stories, but too often there were effectively extended lists which told far too much detail of rain event after rain event Perhaps this came across worse in the chapter Writers on the storm get it , which after a little interesting wandering around the influence of Manchester and Washington State on Morrissey and Kurt Cobain respectively both apparently less rainy locations than their reputation suggests , consists primarily of example after example of writers and artists using rain in their work.The presentation overall also lacked the humour that tends to run through the best definitive cultural natural history books, like Sj berg s excellent The Fly Trap Barnett has a light touch that wanders between poetic and everyday, but rarely captures the same warmth as the experts in this field.I didn t dislike the book, but in the end, reading through chapter after chapter that was a collection of facts, rather than a piece of writing that took me somewhere, became a touch uninspiring flag 2 likesLike see review May 14, 2015 Bookworm rated it it was ok Another book that was not what I thought it would be Given the current drought crisis in California, I was curious to see what was the history of rain I love listening to the rain real or on a white noise smartphone app , I love reading books inside while it s raining outside, I love coming inside and peeling off my wet clothes into warm dry ones, where I can enjoy the rain in warmth So when I saw this book I thought it looked like a great pick up Unfortunately, not so much The author t Another book that was not what I thought it would be Given the current drought crisis in California, I was curious to see what was the history of rain I love listening to the rain real or on a white noise smartphone app , I love reading books inside while it s raining outside, I love coming inside and peeling off my wet clothes into warm dry ones, where I can enjoy the rain in warmth So when I saw this book I thought it looked like a great pick up Unfortunately, not so much The author takes us through a little bit of the science of how rain occurs Then the rest of the book is what role rain plays in history, rather than the natural and cultural history of rain From how the Romans collected rain to the attempts of a Union soldier trying to settle a farm post Civil War to how weather forecasting developed over time, etc rain obviously plays a very important roles in history, but this book isn t actually about the rain I must agree with other negative reviews that say the text is trying too hard to be poetic There are some really interesting stories, topics and anecdotes here, but I couldn t help but feel the author tried much too hard to make it flowery and lyrical It seems like it s trying to be far too much all at once a little science, a little cultural impact music and literature , its role in weather forecasting, how we capture water for farming and other needs, etc I wish it had stuck with ONE topic and stuck with it As it is, I found it hard to stay interested as the author would soon go off on another tangent about another topic and then come back, or stay with one subject for an entire chapter I really wanted to like it, but overall it doesn t live up to the hype Might be cool for weather forecasting fans and the like But as a casual reader, I can t recommend it flag 2 likesLike see review Jun 24, 2015 Richard rated it really liked it Shelves 2015 Writing from sunny Seattle, where we re supposed to be in the depths of June gloom but are instead in a sunshine filled drought Southern Californians don t think much of our drought, claiming theirs in dryer and much, much worse, but those of us in the NW have always known that SoCal is its own canto of the Inferno.Good, now that that s out the waySeattle is not the wettest city in the US, that would be New Orleans, and Seattle doesn t even make the top 15 We do rank sixth in most rainy day Writing from sunny Seattle, where we re supposed to be in the depths of June gloom but are instead in a sunshine filled drought Southern Californians don t think much of our drought, claiming theirs in dryer and much, much worse, but those of us in the NW have always known that SoCal is its own canto of the Inferno.Good, now that that s out the waySeattle is not the wettest city in the US, that would be New Orleans, and Seattle doesn t even make the top 15 We do rank sixth in most rainy days, just 18 days fewer than Rochester, NY However, we re number one in cloudy days, racking up 226 a year or 62% of days So, if you re thinking of moving here just think Gloomy Sunday, a.k.a., The Hungarian Suicide Song, and don t.Gloomy SundayI like popular science, actually the accompanying anecdotes than the science and swoon over Diane Ackerman, and though Rain isn t quite as florid, it does have its moments while providing lots of fascinating information about weather, climate, and rain For instance, did you know that after the earth was formed it rained for a thousand years Or that there s a village in India that traffics in all things attar or scent related, where they claim to have distilled the odor or fresh rain Or that it has indeed rained frogs, and that raining cats and dogs comes from a time of heavy, heavy rains that left the carcasses of strays in the gutters And, yes, there is also science, but I ll leave that to you.Oh, here s a little Seattle humor, it s a weather report that speaks to the 14,000 foot mountain that dominates our skyline When you can t see Mt Rainier, it s raining when you can see Mt Rainier, it s going to rain Rain won t tell you why most umbrellas are black, but another single word book does The name of the book is Coal You can probably figure it out flag 2 likesLike see review May 04, 2015 Meredith rated it really liked it This ranks among the group of particularly successful popular science history books I ve read It is ordered well, and gifted at covering topics in enough depth to get you interested vs too little information or too much given to one event issue and yet still feel like a full picture The writing is good, with bits of humor which come across as natural rather than forced.The book is divided into five sections, which cover different aspects of rain and our relationship with it, with a very good This ranks among the group of particularly successful popular science history books I ve read It is ordered well, and gifted at covering topics in enough depth to get you interested vs too little information or too much given to one event issue and yet still feel like a full picture The writing is good, with bits of humor which come across as natural rather than forced.The book is divided into five sections, which cover different aspects of rain and our relationship with it, with a very good introduction about the origins of rain why we have it and Mars and Venus lost it, the transformation of earth, etc One section deals with the early weather recorders and studiers and the invention and marketing of rain gear Another covers American Rain with chapters on Thomas Jefferson and the poor placement of Monticello when it came to water access , the insane belief that rain follows the plow by which the great plains were settled a region formerly called the Great American Desert before a brief wet period , and the rainmakers that showed up during droughts including those who tried to practice actual science, not just the outright charlatans.I really enjoyed reading it, learned a lot of new information and made notes on books covering some topics in depth a home run for me and any similarly broad non fiction work My favorite factoid being about the origin of the Neither rain nor sleet nor dark of night phrase coming from Herodotus s descriptions of Persian couriers favorite partly because my mom was a mail carrier for most of my life.This review is based on an ARC copy of the book, and I do hope the final edition has included some pictures and maps flag 2 likesLike see review Sep 09, 2015 Helen rated it it was amazing Shelves nonfiction, history, all time favorites, science What an enchanting book I expected Rain would be well written, but I didn t realize it would be so fascinating Although it reminded me some of Bill Bryson s A Short History of Nearly Everything, Rain is a much better book For me, good nonfiction needs to have a strong, well developed character or than one that I can care about and an arc of a story Here the main character is clearly rain in its presence and absence and many permutations from drizzles to monsoons There s a whole chapt What an enchanting book I expected Rain would be well written, but I didn t realize it would be so fascinating Although it reminded me some of Bill Bryson s A Short History of Nearly Everything, Rain is a much better book For me, good nonfiction needs to have a strong, well developed character or than one that I can care about and an arc of a story Here the main character is clearly rain in its presence and absence and many permutations from drizzles to monsoons There s a whole chapter about the scent of rain and one on strange rains frogs and various colored rains The story is the history of the interaction between rain and the Earth and its human inhabitants There are adaptations to rain raincoats, umbrellas, windshield wipers and there are many, many misguided attempts to control rain, from prayers and human sacrifices to dams and drainage canals It s particularly interesting in our age of climate denial to read about the things people once believed about rain and the things they did as a result In Europe particularly, thousands of women were tortured and killed as witches responsible for storms Here in the US, we believed rain follows the plow and sent settlers to their ruin trying to turn the plains into farmland We also foolishly paid rainmakers to set off cannons and perform magic to bring on rain.I love that it s such a big picture book, but that Cynthia Barnett weaves in many fascinating stories of individual players in the drama of rain through the ages.And there s some great stuff about rain as creative inspiration for writers, musicians and movie makers.If you are at all interested in nature or the forces shaping history, you owe it to yourself to read this book flag 2 likesLike see review Jul 02, 2015 Corinna Scott rated it really liked it I love rain I really do Although I have fleeting moments during our Seattle summers where the Vitamin D tries to worm its way into my blood stream, by and large, I would be one happy lady if I could live only in the drizzly, gray moments of our fall and winter It s no wonder that when I saw this book, I knew I had to read it.In Rain Cynthia Barnett explores everything from the religious manifestations, cultural implications and historical stories of rain across the globe It would have been s I love rain I really do Although I have fleeting moments during our Seattle summers where the Vitamin D tries to worm its way into my blood stream, by and large, I would be one happy lady if I could live only in the drizzly, gray moments of our fall and winter It s no wonder that when I saw this book, I knew I had to read it.In Rain Cynthia Barnett explores everything from the religious manifestations, cultural implications and historical stories of rain across the globe It would have been so easy for Barnett to have written a dry spiel, spouting facts and ladeeda blahblahs technical term but instead she deftly crafts story like narrative that is engaging and informative What I think is the real testament to the book is the fact that I actually remember a lot of the facts I read most startling among them, that our witch trials pale in comparison to the trials in Europe.Overall I think this is one of those great non fiction books that not only makes you feel smarter but actually makes you smarter in a sneaky, lovely, story telling way Barnett s writing is clean, clear and informative and yet lively She does a fabulous job of tying over arching ideas across chapters and tying rain to both day to day life as well as the larger historical picture Definitely a great ready for anyone who loves the gloom, doom and a little drizzle.Bee Tee Dubs I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review But as usual, this girl has got some opinions on her and they re all my own flag 2 likesLike see review Jun 15, 2015 Bill Zarges rated it it was amazing from the whitman quote from the voice of the rain through the first few pages about rain on mars from ray bradbury, i m hooked living in the high chihuahuan desert makes the appreciation of every drop of rain a joy..hope the rest of the book is as good as the first few pages 7 7 finished.when i read non iction i hope to learn something new or be challenged this book worked on both counts i d strongly recommend it well written, well researched, lots of information, an from the whitman quote from the voice of the rain through the first few pages about rain on mars from ray bradbury, i m hooked living in the high chihuahuan desert makes the appreciation of every drop of rain a joy..hope the rest of the book is as good as the first few pages 7 7 finished.when i read non iction i hope to learn something new or be challenged this book worked on both counts i d strongly recommend it well written, well researched, lots of information, and a decidedly pro stance on human caused climate change.the author references the sixth extinction many times and is not afraid o controversy In recent years, Congress has resembled the rainmaking 1890s than the emissions lowering 1990s ears opened to the influential uninformed rather than its own scientists US Senator Jim Imhofe of Oklahoma, perhaps the most prominent national opponent of meaningful legislation to reduce fossil fuel emissions, has said that humans cannot possibly control the climate because only God can do that The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous The statement doesn t jibe with Senator Imhofe s vote in favor of the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments that have done so much to combat acid rain It also ignores fellow Christians who view climate change as one of the great moral challenges of our time 273 274 flag 2 likesLike see review Apr 26, 2017 Rachel rated it really liked it Shelves nonfiction I was not going to review the various fiction nonfiction from my college courses but I decided this one needed to be discussed.I would have loved to read this nonfiction history of rain outside of a college course It was hard to pick it apart to write a paper because the author packs a lot of information into 355 pages However, each chapter tackles scientific and metaphorical aspects of rain and connect to the main point of protecting our lands from pollution and acid rain.The first half of th I was not going to review the various fiction nonfiction from my college courses but I decided this one needed to be discussed.I would have loved to read this nonfiction history of rain outside of a college course It was hard to pick it apart to write a paper because the author packs a lot of information into 355 pages However, each chapter tackles scientific and metaphorical aspects of rain and connect to the main point of protecting our lands from pollution and acid rain.The first half of the novel has info dumping as each chapter looks at many historical and cultural aspects of rain like the umbrella, the scent of rain, and various antidotes about rain I enjoyed the small tales but did not care for the vast amount of information that was packed into large chapters I would have enjoyed from the point of view of the author instead of the heavy focus on historical figures and societies.The second half goes away from the information overload and begins to have a clear focus It was easier to read the last half because I was able to find a main theme.I recommend checking this out even if your like me and do not tend to read nonfiction It reads like a novel and has a powerful overall message at the end flag 2 likesLike see review Nov 12, 2015 Charlene rated it liked it Shelves general science, history, biology, geology, climate I love the idea of capturing the history of rain in a book Barnett will show you how rain related to the burning of witches, the invention of umbrellas and raincoats, and how it affects poets and songwriters She details how the devastating effects of too much or too little rain paved the way for charlatans, whose extortions were far severe that I thought When I bought this book, I had hoped it would include a lot about the scientific history of rain Barnett began the book with how I love the idea of capturing the history of rain in a book Barnett will show you how rain related to the burning of witches, the invention of umbrellas and raincoats, and how it affects poets and songwriters She details how the devastating effects of too much or too little rain paved the way for charlatans, whose extortions were far severe that I thought When I bought this book, I had hoped it would include a lot about the scientific history of rain Barnett began the book with how rain came to fill the crevices of Earth I had hoped I would read details about that as well as hear the delicious science behind flooding, the dustbowl, and other weather related phenomenon I love the water cycle It s magical So, even though the title Rain A Natural and Cultural History is taken, I really really hope someone writes a book called Rain A Natural History that focuses on the science behind rain, especially how it relates to ecology There is a wonderful lecture series called the Ecological Planet by John Kricher that will make you fall in love with the science of rain That is not to say I didn t enjoy the cultural history in this book It was great But I needed of the natural part to really love it flag 2 likesLike see review previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next new topicDiscuss This Book topics posts views last activity Reading Along Wit Cynthia Barnett, Rain A Natural and Cultural History 1 4 Apr 22, 2015 05 44AM Science and Inquiry Rain 2 21 Apr 10, 2015 01 27AM More topics Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers Also Enjoyed More about Cynthia Barnett Books by Cynthia Barnett More Share This Book Tweet

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title link preview Rain A Natural and Cultural History avg rating preview Rain A Natural and Cultural HistoryGoodreads rating 3.86 1077 ratings small image preview click here close med image preview click here close BBCode url img img url url Rain A Natural and Cultural History by Cynthia Barnett url Share on your website Trivia About Rain A Natural a 20 trivia questions More quizzes trivia Quotes from Rain A Natural a Rain brings us together in one of the last untamed encounters with nature that we experience routinely, able to turn the suburbs and even the city wild Huddled with our fellow humans under construction scaffolding to escape a deluge, we are bound in the memory and mystery of exhilarating, confounding, life giving rain 3 likes Ovid recounts Jupiter s disgust with the evil deeds of humans their contempt for the gods, their violence, their lust for slaughter He decides to wipe them out, which disappoints his fellow gods because who will bring incense to their altars No worries, Jupiter says, he ll create another race of beings far superior to the first 1 likes More quotes renderRatingGraph 299, 440, 254, 60, 24 if rating_details rating_details.insert top rating_graph 2017 Goodreads Inc about us advertise author program jobs api our blog authors advertisers blog terms privacy help switch to mobile version

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Rain Reviews

Rain
HFK

EDIT 28 12 HFK s Best Nature Read in 2016.Like most humans, I too have a conflicted relationship with rain Most of the time I quite enjoy it, but occasionally I wish it would just stop messing up my plans That is the case often than it is a case of me wishing rain to come and cool the air, make the ground wet and flourishing That is one of the privileges of living in an area that gets just enough dry times as it does get enough wet times, too.We all know the importance of water to our e

Rain
Alan

I had a professor in grad school who once asked, Why are there so few good books on the weather Finally, here s a good book on the weather all about rain, just enough, too much, too little, and how rain affects human civilization, culture, and survival.The writing is crisp and engaging The stories are compelling and interesting.Many of the historic effects of rain or lack thereof are presented through the experiences of real people and events You will learn about the initial disdain of th

Rain
Jaylia3

Rain A Natural History weaves together planetary science, geology, early earth history, meteorology, human history, cultural studies, travel stories, and even poetry into an entertaining and fascinating account of rain and our relationship to it The book is beautifully written vivid, sometimes humorous, and almost poetic without being flowery It s easy to fall under its spell I especially enjoyed all the history and the sections on how depictions or evocations of rain have enhanced various

Rain
Juliette

I am the target audience for this book I ve sat in the rain at Arthur Ashe stadium for two days in a row, and I did this for two U.S Open tournaments I am a gardener who doesn t use chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or even the garden hose I am a baker who knows that meringues are puffier on dry days I have curly hair that blossoms into a cloud at the first hint of mist, and there still isn t a rainy day that I don t raise my face to the sky to catch the drops.And yet and yet th

Rain
Emily

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher, and I must admit I was a little wary at first how interesting can you make rain Very interesting, it turns out First of all, the book is beautifully written It is lyrical without being silly or overwrought, and the huge range of topics covered flow easily and smoothly from one to the next without feeling rushed or rambling.As for the substance of the book, I feel that Barnett has written rain s definitive biography She explores how

Rain
Laura Harrison

I just love books like this Truly a fascinating topic when you think about it Rain really plays such a huge part of so many aspects of our lives Beautiful and well researched book I enjoyed it so very much I think I may actually reread it then gift it to another rain lover

Rain
Melora

This could be a dry subject ha ha but Barnett s wide scope and engaging storytelling bring the wonder, mystery, and profound importance of of this seemingly ordinary phenomenon to life Considering rain from the perspective of history, science, music, literature, politics, etc., Barnett explores her subject through the stories of a farmer on the Great Plains, TV weathermen, raincoat makers, an anthropologist exploring ancient Mesopotamia, a king convinced that witches are thwarting his effort

Rain
Dov Zeller

This book has a lot of great, interesting information about drought, flood, rivers and their natural cycles, landscape, cities and rain, agriculture and rain, the making of raincoats and umbrellas, attempts to use weather in warfare At times I was frustrated with the jumpy movement from one thing to another and because of that I am between a 3 and a 4 review wise There didn t seem to be a clear or meaningful structure in place But I did enjoy what I learned from it and also left it feeling qu

Rain
Muthuvel Deivendran

It s one of the magical books I ve encountered since a long time Romance upon Rain An Enriching work by the author.

Rain
Ken

Talk about broad Talk about abstract and literal at once The subject is rain and the slant if you can call it that is its natural and cultural history With such a huge topic, Cynthia Barnett has her work cut out for her and, overall, she pulls it off with aplomb Yes, this could have been an encyclopedic style book, but Barnett has a way with words and instead steers toward story Well, stories Multiple.The problem with such Herculean tasks as this is deciding what to write about Rain

thumbnail Title: Rain
Author:Cynthia Barnett
ISBN :0804137099
ranting: 2.5
Reviewer: 96 Reviews
Description: 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

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