Textbooks almost never make their authors rich, and Grant Petty already has a day job as an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin, so he must have had something he wanted to say pretty urgently to write A First Course in Atmospheric Radiation. He has certainly taken a different approach than the authors of the half-dozen tomes that already exist on the subject. His book is aimed directly at beginning students, and it is written in casual language, short on math and long on physical reasoning and applications to real-world problems. The book may not quite live up to what Petty wants it to be, but it will suit its intended audience much better than anything else available. In atmospheric sciences departments everywhere, there are many students who are not interested in radiation-dynamics types with a passing interest in physics. Petty has tailored the book for this kind of student in the hopes that he can convey a few important or interesting ideas. Other texts on the subject are rigorous and complete; this one strives to be engaging above all. It is a near-perfect interpolation between, say, Craig Bohren's books, which people gobble up but which lack the math a textbook needs, and books like Liou's, which are a dense mass of equations. I will bet that more than a few students actually read through Petty's books.