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Turned Out Nice Again: On Living With the Weather [Hardcover]

Richard Mabey
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

14 Mar 2013
In his trademark style, Richard Mabey weaves together science, art and memoirs (including his own) to show the weather's impact on our culture and national psyche. He rambles through the myths of Golden Summers and our persistent state of denial about the winter; the Impressionists' love affair with London smog, seasonal affective disorder (SAD - do we all get it?) and the mysteries of storm migraines; herrings falling like hail in Norfolk and Saharan dust reddening south-coast cars; moonbows, dog-suns, fog-mirages and Constable's clouds; the fact that English has more words for rain than Inuit has for snow; the curious eccentricity of country clothing and the mathematical behaviour of umbrella sales. We should never apologise for our obsession with the weather. It is one of the most profound influences on the way we live, and something we all experience in common. No wonder it's the natural subject for a greeting between total strangers: 'Turned out nice again.'

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books (14 Mar 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781250529
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781250525
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 11.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Mabey is a naturalist and award-winning author and journalist. He won wide acclaim on the publication of the original Food for Free in 1972 - which has never been out of print since - and again with the publication of the colour edition in 1989. Among his many other acclaimed publications are Gilbert White (Whitbread Biography of the Year) and the ground-breaking bestseller Flora Britannica, which won the British Book Awards' Illustrated Book of the Year and the Botanical Society of the British Isles' President's Award and was runner-up for the BP Natural World Book Prize. He collaborated with Mark Cocker on Birds Britannica, and his book Nature Cure, described as 'a brilliant, candid and heartfelt memoir', was shortlisted for four prestigious prizes: the Whitbread Biography, the J.R. Ackerley for autobiography, Mind (for its investigation into depression) and the Ondaatje for the evocation of the spirit of place. He is an active member of national and local conservation groups and lives in Norfolk.

Product Description


'Thoughtful and elegantly written' TLS --TLS

Book Description

An exploration of our preoccupation with the weather, as heard on BBC Radio 3: Changing Climates.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing & thoughtful look at the weather 18 Mar 2013
By dibri1
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Richard Mabey is the best writer of Nature there has ever been, & he brings a refreshing outlook to an old subject. Mabey has spent his life on the trail of "weather phantoms", and thanks to this, Turned Out Nice Again is replete with such wonders: a Cornish wood that is tidal at the spring equinox, primroses temporarily flowering under the sea; a cave rainbow that flips over on its side to form a circle with a neighbour, the two surrounding him at chest level "like a fallen halo". But there are more ordinary delights here, too: a couple of children using the huge, rhubarb-like leaves of butterbur as umbrellas; a fledgling kingfisher that whirls by his boat on the Norfolk Broads and makes the day feel sunny even though it is not at all (for Mabey, a passing kingfisher is "a flash of fair-weather lightning"). He is not a winter man; as a depressive, its dinge makes him torpid and morose. But this doesn't mean that he doesn't thrill at the sight of a skater hissing across a frozen pond. As he looks on, the mud beneath his feet scrunches enjoyably "like creme brulee".
"There is really no such thing as bad weather," said Ruskin. "Only different kinds of good weather." Read Mabey, and you can almost believe the great man was right.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charm and comfort 21 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There is something delightfully comforting about this dear little book with its 1940s-style cover. The charmingly gentle style in which it is written – by Richard Mabey (our quietest national treasure) – makes it the perfect slim volume for reading in the garden this summer. I have also given two copies as presents.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slight, but worthwhile 1 Mar 2013
By Stewart M TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a slight - about 80 small pages - but nonetheless worthwhile consideration of weather, our relationship with it and eventually our impact on it.

If you are already a fan of the writing of Richard Mabey this will be a very familiar read. It contains sections of introspection, mainly about depression and mental illness, beautifully observed sections about the fine detail of the countryside and (in my opinion) a slightly too reverential approach to a small group of authors - in this case Gilbert White is singled out.

If you are not a fan - or if you are coming fresh to his work - this is about as good an introduction as you could get.

It could be read in a single sitting of less than an hour and leave you asking for more.

My only concern is that on two occasions Mabey seems to conflate meteorological and geological phenomenon. He identifies the climate of the UK to be generally benign - citing a lack of volcanoes or tsunamis. And he identifies a "halcyon day" as being caused (at least partly) but the incoming tide flowing over a bottle of wine. None of these is in any way a weather (or even climate) related event. This struck me as unfortunate.

With the exception of the point in the last paragraph, I would highly recommend this book - just don't take on a train journey that last more that 40 minutes!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This intriguing and affectionate look at the weather made me think of the varied weather we experience in the UK in a somewhat different manner. The author looks briefly at the way the weather affects how we feel - dark days make us feel quiet and depressed, sunny days cheer us up and strong winds make some people feel on edge.

The weather has a huge effect on our daily lives and it is something we all talk about. A comment on the weather is often the first thing we say to people after we say hello. It is because our weather is so varied that we find it such a common topic of conversation. Our memory of weather events which we personally witnessed tends to be selective. For example many people remember the hot summer of 1976 but far fewer remember the equally hot summer of 1975.

The author quotes from various diarists such as Francis Kilvert and Gilbert White who both made a point of mentioning the weather in their work. I enjoyed reading this little book which is written in an easy and entertaining style and it reminded me that we often confuse weather with climate. I also learned of a phenomenon which I have never seen or heard of before - moon rainbows. I shall now be looking out for them if there is bright moonlight and rain showers - an uncommon combination.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect book for a summers day 6 July 2013
This is a charming little book about the relationship between the British and the weather; the title is the greeting that two strangers will normally exchange rather then hello.

It is a very short book, on 90 pages, and it is split into five chapters. He writes about the exceptional weather moments that we have had, and also the mundane. We can go from snow one week in June, to balmy weather a week later. In the past he has suffer from depression, which he wrote about in his book Nature Cure, and he explores the way that weather can affect mood and emotion, and how even a wrong forecast can.

Even though it is short, consider it a distillation of the writers art.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars very slight book 25 Mar 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Really very disappointed with this having enjoyed Mabey's previous books. It's very slight and shallow with nothing more than a few googled quotes and personal reminiscences. He tells us he lives in East Anglia umpteen times but very little about weather patterns, trends or extremes and it barely adds up to 100 pages. Poorly edited too with several mistakes and misprints. Such a wasted opportunity! Ckme on Mabey and Profile. You can do better than this!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars When the wind blows
My daughter bought me this book as a birthday present, correctly perceiving a new-found interest in the weather arising from my having recently started work for the national... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jeremy Walton
5.0 out of 5 stars Smashing
Mabey is a favourite author of mine and I already own several of his books, and thought this would be a lovely addition to the collection. Read more
Published 6 months ago by neal moss
5.0 out of 5 stars Too short but super sweet
This book is a dream for any weather fan. A glorious mix of fact, fiction and myth. Like a British summer evening... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Lottie_cbj
3.0 out of 5 stars Good writing
Richard Mabey's prose is always to be savoured, and this book is no exception. There's only so much that one can say about the weather, and that is why this book lacks a certain... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mrs. R. Baxter
4.0 out of 5 stars I felt it in my bones
Very readable and thought provoking. There is a temptation to deny global warming because of the impractical remedies. Embrace it?
Published 9 months ago by RJ
5.0 out of 5 stars What's the weather like?
I loved this book and wished it had been longer. I have not read a book by this author before but am now looking for more. Read more
Published 9 months ago by berylp
4.0 out of 5 stars Turned out nice again
Very well written book with a touch of humour..we in Britain are obsessed with the weather. Now I understand why!
Published 9 months ago by jessie
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
Until I started reading this I never realised how much we talk about the weather and how much it affects our daily lives. Read more
Published 10 months ago by welshdragon007
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting
A wonderful book about the weather, nature, moods, literature, painting and language. Weather, we learn is so much more than metereology - we are affected by it in so many ways. Read more
Published 13 months ago by helen
2.0 out of 5 stars Mabey's writing marred by poor proof-reading
I love Richard Mabey's writing but half way through the first chapter I was already distracted into looking for the next proof-reading error. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Alison Leonard
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