The Planets, by Dava Sobel (2005)
Confession time: I originally perused this book because the cover is beautiful.
As a child, I was fascinated with astronomy. As a college Freshman, I took an astronomy course and dropped out after a few weeks. Perhaps now I would be able to grasp the difficult mathematics required for even elementary-level space science. Perhaps. But I think I'm better off with a text like The Planets, which dives into the fascinating history (and indeed much of the science) of our solar system with a sense of whimsy and poetry.
Unlike, apparently, some who have written reviews of this book, I read a few pages before buying it. I do that regardless of topic or genre. To begin reading something is an investment of my time and energy. I've read criticisms of the approach used here, and I don't understand how that approach wasn't apparent from the beginning. I guess this isn't my problem, but I feel a bit sad to read negative reviews by people who really are not within the intended audience here. This is beginning-level stuff, surely, for a general readership with an interest in, not an expertise with, the material.
I know I haven't retained a lot of the specifics Dava Sobel has shared here, but that's not to say I haven't learned a lot. I also have a strong appreciation for how Sobel shaped each chapter, each treatment of individual bodies of the solar system. I'm happy to have read it.
Stream The Blow’s New Album Brand New Abyss
9 minutes ago