SCIENCES

Snow: A Scientific and Cultural Exploration

Atria. Nov. 2019. 256p. notes. ISBN 9781982105471. $25. NAT HIST
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Self-described snow addict Whittell (The Times of London) here seeks to explore snow in all of its scientific and cultural milieus. From the science behind how snowflakes are made to topics such as snowflake art and extreme winter sports, Whittell meanders through various aspects of the cold ice crystals, but doesn’t go in-depth on any one characteristic, which keeps the subject light and allows him to cover many disparate subjects in different chapters. His cursory takes help with clarity when he describes the complex science behind snow or more sobering realities such as the time scientists expect the last flake to fall. Whittell adds enjoyable trivia, such as how many snowflakes it takes to build a snowman, throughout the book.
VERDICT A delightful, enjoyable, and meandering read that will appeal to, and amuse, teen and adult readers.

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