SNOW Giles Whittell
Atria Books
ISBN-10: 198210547X
ISBN-13: 978-1982105471
November 19, 2019

Did you know dust is an essential element of a snowflake? Do you know how many snowflakes it takes to make a snowman? Or how many snowmen can be made from Earth's daily snowfall every ten minutes? Besides information about snowflakes and other types of snow, SNOW provides mind-boggling knowledge such as the Earth might once have been a snowball, or the largest snowfalls in a single day, or how much snow drops on the Earth every day. It will utterly surprise the reader because it far exceeds expectations. Why does it snow? What causes snow to be so slippery? How does the Earth benefit from snow? These topics bring up the entertainment snow has provided humans, and its dangers such as avalanches.

Snow captivates author Giles Whittell, a correspondent for England's The Times, who has traveled the world both for his work and for his obsession with snow. Besides explaining snow fall, he tells how snow, which once covered our mountain tops and far northern and southern climes, is now receding, and how its reflective qualities have helped stabilize the Earth's temperatures. Some unfamiliar scientific terminology might slow reading, but SNOW provides fascinating realities about snow and gives warning that the last snowfall may happen this century. This could lead not only to economic disaster for some countries but will also increase global warming.

In SNOW, the author provides a history of human involvement with the cold, white (actually transparent but it reflects white light) substance, and as a ski enthusiast, gives great examples of skiing and mountain climbing extremes and achievements in those sports involving dangerous, or at least risky, snow conditions. Snow is an engrossing book whether you live in a snowy area or not.

Robin Lee