May 17th, 2020

Book 30 - 2018

Book 30: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson - 208 pages

Description from
There's no better guide through mind-expanding questions such as what the nature of space and time is, how we fit within the universe, and how the universe fits within us than Neil deGrasse Tyson.

But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in digestible chapters consumable any time and anywhere in the busy day. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry reveals just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.

While travelling through Europe and US recently, I accidentally went on a bit of a mini sci-fi kick, reading two sci-fi novels I'd had piled up for ages. That stirred up all my great feelings for space once more, which was further exacerbated by a trip to see the Enterprise at the U.S.S. Midway in New York, my little Trekkie heart exploding at images of the TOS cast standing in front of the then newly built shuttle. Anyway, while in the gift shop, I noticed this book for purchase. Nearly finished all the other books I'd bought on my holiday (I flew more than 60 hours - lots of reading time!), I decided to purchase it (it was on my list anyway). Neil deGrasse Tyson seems to be something of an American institution, but I feel like, in Australia, he's only just become known - which probably says something sad about Australia's interest in all things space. Anyway, deGrasse Tyson attempts here to distill the mechanics of the Universe into 208 pages - no mean feat, and one he doesn't necessarily achieve outright. At times I really struggled to understand what he was on about (made harder when I was trying to read segments after being awake for over 24 hours - its a long flight from Dallas to Brisbane where I live), so I recommend google or youtube if you get a bit lost. However, overall its an interesting read. Moreover, I really did appreciate deGrasse Tyson's point of view on our place in the cosmos - how the vast of space renders us insignificant. Like deGrasse Tyson, I find this thought comforting (he comments how many do not) - at the end of the day, my tiny little problem is nothing in the scheme of things! Keep on unravelling the universe, Mr deGrasse Tyson!

30 / 50 books. 60% done!

9264 / 15000 pages. 62% done!

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