Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Book Review: "Rain: A Natural and Cultural History" by Cynthia Barnett

I love books about very specific things. (Remember that whole book on rabies I read? That was an awesome book). So one day while perusing Netgalley I saw a book that was just on rain and thought "I'm going to read this and either think it was awesome or an utter waste of time. Let's find out!" Luckily, I thought it was awesome. The book is not JUST about rain. It's about rain and everything remotely connected to it: trench coats for perverts, umbrella holding as a family job, rain tourism and more!

Did you know that you probably picture rain wrong? You probably think of it as a skinny tip on top and then round on the bottom, right? That's how it looks when it comes from a faucet. When it falls from the sky it's actually opposite due to air pressure.

You know how everyone thinks Seattle is super rainy? It only has 7 thunderstorms a year! Lake Victoria in Uganda has 242 a year!

(Don't ask me what this has to do with rain because I don't remember. Witches travel in thunderstorms?) 50,000 legal executions of witches took place during the Middle Ages. Half of them in present day Germany!

Umbrellas used to only be for rich people. (Poor people just got rained on I guess!) And the style and color of the umbrella had a strict set of rules about who could carry what.

"When it rains, it pours" has nothing to do with rain and everything to do with salt.

This book was full of really interesting and intriguing information. I'm so glad I read it. Even if you're not very science brained it's easily readable! (Most of the super science stuff is in the beginning. Works for skimming!) I give it 3.75 stars out of 5!


  1. I SO wish I could read books like this. I think I would learn so much! (Like your tidbits!) I have tried and I always end up getting bored with topics with narrowed topics. The only exception seems to be The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.

    1. I'll just keep reading them and breaking them down for you. Short enough that you won't get bored :)

  2. I love books like this on really specific topics too! The fun fact about rain drop shape is awesome! I had no idea :)


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