Books of Clouds

I've been immersed in reading about clouds these past few months. Such a surprise to see how many books, fiction and non-fiction have been written about clouds. It's quite ovewhelming. One of my favorite books is a novel by Stephane Audeguy, called The Theory of Clouds. Had it not been written, this might have been mine to write. It's a fictionalized history of a late 19th-century amateur meteorologist and a contemporary fiction about a collector of cloud literature--an eccentric man who survived Hiroshima's mushroom cloud.
The 19th-century portion of the story is set in Paris, in 1889, the year of the World Fair and the World Meteorological Conference. Audeguy brings the heady scene, egoistical scientists, the swooning crowds to life the way Andrea Barrett has done in her trilogy (Voyage of the Narwhal). I have never been a fan of historical fiction--perhaps a bad dose of James Michener is responsible--but I love these books and this time period when the world was being explored and ordered and Science was earning its uppercase S. Very exciting.
Another favorite read of the season is Billy Collins' The Art of Drowning, which contains the poem "The Biography of a Cloud."
I spent an entire evening at the library recently with the Scribner's Children's Classics series illustrated by N.C. Wyeth. Each book contains fourteen of his color illustrations; many feature clouds that are luscious, fantastic, mood-evoking, and editorial. Most cloud lovers talk about the work of Turner and Constable, but Wyeth's clouds are my territory...until I discover otherwise.