Taking a look at Mother Nature

January 29, 2013
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Ken Ring’s New Zealand Weather Almanac 2013, by Ken Ring (Random House NZ, RRP $50):

The weather is one of those things we all talk about: we care if it’s good, we are even more interested if it’s bad.

Anglers, gardeners, sportspeople and parents, no matter who we are, we are interested in what the weather is doing now and even more interested in what it will be doing in the future.

Ken Ring predicts the weather by the cycles of the moon and claims a pretty good strike rate when it comes to accurately predicting weather patterns.

This 2013 version of his almanac has all the same popular features as earlier volumes, with day-per-page forecasts including gardening advice and moon position information, as well as things such as the potential for rain, and and frost/snow maps.

Gardeners will appreciate the biodynamic planting guides, while the non-gardeners among us will look past them for the minimum temperature graphs and fishing-mad people like my husband will be taking not of the daily best bite times and bite chance ratings.

From my own experience, I can say this is one of those books that will end up tatty and well used by the end of the year, just in time to buy the 2014 model.

Awesome Forces: The Natural Hazards that Threaten New Zealand, edited by Geoff Hicks and Hamish Campbell (Te Papa, RRP $30):

First published in 1998, Awesome Forces has been one of Te Papa Press’s bestselling titles.

The books has now been re-released with significant updates taking into account the many developments in science and events from around the world that have occurred during the past 14 years.

Geologist and palaeontologist Hamish Campbell sets the scene in the book by considering New Zealand’s place on the globe. Then follow chapters by Graham Leonard and Bruce Houghton on volcanism; Kate Clark, Alan Hull and Russ van Dissen on earthquakes; Eileen and Mauri McSaveney on landslides; Willem de Lange on tsunami; Jim Salinger on weather and climate change; are followed by a section on the human side of hazards by Emma Doyle, David Johnston and Sarb Johal, which brings the book to a close.

Jillian Allison-Aitken

I come from the other land down under, where men are men, and sheep are nervous. I'm a sub-editor and in the past have been a proof-reader, news editor and web editor. I am also an ex-columnist, and book and software reviewer for the local daily newspaper.I still read. A lot. And surf the web. Also a lot.You'll find a little about both of those pastimes here, and on By George.

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