The Cloudspotter's Guide is an interesting premise, and one that I hoped would equip me ably to glance heavenwards and confidently see what was what, working as I do outdoors in all weathers - and yes - even perhaps "amaze my friends" (as neat tricks in my childhood always promised)!
The book starts well: copiously illustrated and nicely laid out with good summary introductions of each major cloud type encountered chapter by chapter. The author's style is necessarily informative and somewhat entertaining, though this latter trait becomes a trifle tiresome in places as I got the impression he was trying just a bit too hard to be funny. I enjoyed these early chapters (on the low altitude clouds) as I genuinely felt I was learning something (as was my hope) and the subject matter was all quite digestible. But as I progressed through the book, I felt by the midway point that it was all becoming a bit of a blur. I felt bogged down with the confusing explanations of physics, and convection, and.... other stuff. It seems that one cloud began to roll into another, and I found it challenging to tell my Nimbostratus from my Stratocumulus.
I think it's probably me - physics and chemistry were never my strongest subjects, and pretty much all of the science I've learnt as an adult has been tree-related. (But I have read popular science books with trees as the main subject matter that were well-written and not too bamboozling... So I know it can be done.) Finding myself becoming bored with the book, I've abandoned it to the bathroom window sill, where it will doubtless remain until our next epic storm or other freak weather event pushes me to reconsider just why Cumulonimbus occur!