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The Best Book about Clouds: The Cloudspotter's Guide - My Review

Updated on September 29, 2014
Standing over the clouds
Standing over the clouds | Source

My Review for The Cloudspotter's Guide by Gavin Pretor-Pinney

I am always falling over and bumping into things, and Gavin Pretor-Pinney is solely responsible! I have always appreciated a good cloud, but after reading the Cloudspotter's Guide I find even a sky blanketed in grey fascinating. I can't stop looking up at the clouds!

The Cloudspotter's Guide is written with charm, wit and with clear informative explanations to the science of clouds - how and why they form and the different types of cloud. This book is much more than a scientific guide to the weather, it is inspiring, humorous and philosophical too.

The Cloudspotter's Guide has really captured my imagination and I am sure it will capture yours too.

"a gentle and reflective pursuit - one that will lead to a deeper understanding of the physical, emotional and spiritual world."

— Gavin Pretor-Pinney
Skyscrapers | Source

The Cloudspotter's Guide on Amazon

The Cloudspotter's Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds
The Cloudspotter's Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds

It is a lovely book for any bookshelf or coffee table!


Why the Cloudspotter's Guide stands out from other weather books

The Cloudspotter's Guide covers all 10 of the major clouds and some of the more unusual rare clouds too. You will learn how the cloud forms, the variations on the cloud type and how to distinguish it from other clouds. There are anecdotes, quotes and stories about each cloud - the story of the pilot who fell through the middle of a stormy cumulonimbus and survived is gripping! There are fabulous color photos, diagrams and a cloudspotting quiz.

This book is a lot of fun, filled with the author's adventure from his trip to Australia to try "cloud surfing" to his visit to a fish market to buy mackerel to compare to 'mackerel sky' clouds. The descriptions of the clouds are expressive and imaginative, one of my favorites is the "cloud haircut" Pileus cloud, a "supercooled droplet bouffant, worn exclusively by the fashionable Cumulus family". Pretor-Pinney's love of clouds comes through in abundance.

The Cloudspotter's Guide is 320 pages long, and I find it more of a book to dip in and out of than a straight read-it-all-the-way-through book. It is a perfect accompaniment to lying in the garden on a sunny (but with some clouds!) day, giving you ample opportunity to pause from reading and muse upon "nature's poetry."

This book is simply the most straightforward and reader friendly guide to clouds out there, it will inspire the dreamer in you!

"We think that they are Nature's poetry, and the most egalitarian of her displays, since everyone can have a fantastic view of them."

— Gavin Pretor-Pinney
Clouds are amazing
Clouds are amazing | Source

The Cloud Appreciation Society

The Cloudspotting Guide was born out of the Cloud Appreciation Society website. In 2004, Gavin Pretor-Pinney set up the Cloud Appreciation Society because he felt clouds got a bad press or were just ignored. Once the website for the Cloud Appreciation Society was set up, membership just took off! People from all around the world united in their love of cloudspotting and as well as stunning images and news, you can chat and even contribute your cloud poems and art.

Click to visit the Cloud Appreciation Society

The author talking about cloudspotting

Are you a Cloudspotter?

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    • sunriseblue lm profile image

      sunriseblue lm 

      4 years ago

      I have actually read this book and its brilliant! Great review!

    • makingamark profile image

      Katherine Tyrrell 

      8 years ago from London

      I am a cloudspotter and I've got the book and I'm very happy to recommend it. Very good review.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      you know nature is always full of mystery

      great lens

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I do love watching the clouds. Ever since I was little I have enjoyed lying on the grass and making shapes out of the clouds. This is a great review. Definitely on my "I must buy and read list."

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love the clouds. As a kid, my favorite past time was to make out the shapes within the clouds and create my own characters :) Nice review

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      8 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I love looking at clouds; in fact, even have a big Cloud Chart posted on a wall where I can look up the different types. A blue sky with NO clouds is downright boring -- even small wispy clouds are better than NO clouds. My favorite are huge thunderheads seen on the horizon prior to a storm. This Cloudspotter Guide looks terrific. I will definitely have to look into it.


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