In "A Fine Smirr of Rain," poet and essayist William Bridges explores life and the natural world through the lens of rain. Starting from the question "How long has it been raining?" he describes the world's oldest rock and its evidence of water 4.4 billion years ago. From the sound, shape, and smell of rain, he moves on to "Death by Umbrella" -the rain-related assassinations of a Napoleonic finance minister and (possibly) JFK. Before the book ends, Bridges has touched on rain in literature, Earth's wettest and driest spots, the destruction of rain forests, global warming, and ice-coring in Antarctica. The book concludes with a meditation on the beauty and transience of the world. Bridges is a storyteller, whose work has been called "beautifully crafted" and "never far removed from the daily course of things." Susanna Rich, author of writing textbooks, calls him "by far the most versatile writer I know."