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Rain: A Natural and Cultural History By Cynthia Barnett,

  • Title: Rain: A Natural and Cultural History
  • Author: Cynthia Barnett
  • ISBN: 9781501224683
  • Page: 164
  • Format: Audio CD
  • A natural history of rain, told through a lyrical blend of science, cultural history, and human dramaIt is elemental, mysterious, precious, destructive It is the subject of countless poems and paintings the top of the weather report the source of all the world s water Yet this is the first audiobook to tell the story of rain.Cynthia Barnett s Rain begins four billion yA natural history of rain, told through a lyrical blend of science, cultural history, and human dramaIt is elemental, mysterious, precious, destructive It is the subject of countless poems and paintings the top of the weather report the source of all the world s water Yet this is the first audiobook 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 colored rains with the human story of our attempts 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 an audiobook for everyone who has ever experienced it.
    Rain A Natural and Cultural History A natural history of rain told through a lyrical blend of science cultural history and human dramaIt is elemental mysterious precious destructive It is the subject of countless poems and paintin

    One thought on “Rain: A Natural and Cultural History”

    1. 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 [...]

    2. 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 Engli [...]

    3. 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 [...]

    4. 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 m [...]

    5. 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 [...]

    6. 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

    7. 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 b [...]

    8. 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 [...]

    9. 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.

    10. 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 a [...]

    11. 3.5 Stars Read all my reviews on urlphantomhiveoklikes 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 rai [...]

    12. 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 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 d [...]

    13. 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 n [...]

    14. 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

    15. 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 cu [...]

    16. 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 [...]

    17. 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 [...]

    18. 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 e [...]

    19. 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 [...]

    20. 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 [...]

    21. 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 phy [...]

    22. 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 [...]

    23. 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 t [...]

    24. 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, ju [...]

    25. 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 int [...]

    26. 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 th [...]

    27. 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 ea [...]

    28. 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 joyhope 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 hum [...]

    29. 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 [...]

    30. 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 [...]

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