The natural history and preternatural beauty of clouds.



The Book of Clouds

By John A. Day


This spectacular portfolio of pictures from John A. Day -- who boasted a PhD in cloud physics and was known around the world as "The Cloudman" until his death in 2008 -- introduces us to Earth's vast cream-and-cobalt sky-scape. Simple explanations of how and why clouds form, as well as tips for observing, interpreting, and photographing them, make this an indispensable volume for anyone with his or her head in the...well, you know.



The Invention of Clouds

By Richard Hamblyn


A fascinating study of the shy Quaker and amateur meteorologist who, in the early 19th century, "forged the language of the skies." Drawing on his extensive knowledge of Latin, Luke Howard created the classifications -- cirrus, stratus, cumulus, nimbus -- which are used by scientists to this day. Along the way he inspired countless artists and authors, including Goethe, Coleridge, and J. K. Rowling, with his vision of the aerial landscape.



The Cloudspotter's Guide

By Gavin Pretor-Pinney


Starting from the ground up, Pretor-Pinney takes readers on an entertaining, ascending tour of clouds and their unique shapes and characteristics. Along the way, he shares an array of valuable, instructive, and diverting facts about clouds in history, mythology, pop culture, and the arts.




Atmosphere, Clouds, and Climate

By David Randall


One of the Princeton Primers in Climate, this slim volume offers just the right level of scientific detail -- equations, graphs, and charts that are illuminating rather than intimidating -- to teach readers the basics of the energy cycle on our planet. Whether acting as blankets, sponges, or shields, clouds play important roles in earth's ecosystems, which the author explores before embarking on a deeper consideration of feedbacks involving other atmospheric phenomena.



Isaac's Storm

By Erik Larson


The cyclonic cloud form of the hurricane is an instantly recognizable symbol of the power of nature -- simultaneously beautiful and terrifying. At the dawn of the twentieth century, before satellites and storm-exploring airplanes delivered now-familiar images, men like Isaac Cline thought they understood these massive storm systems, but as the Gulf Coast city of Galveston would tragically discover, the scientific study of tempests was still in its infancy. A riveting work of narrative history from the author of Devil in the White City.

April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.