Dava Sobel

The Planets

Each chapter of this book deals with one of the planets in the solar system, and goes from early myths, through the history of the study of the planet up to the present day with information from space probes and other observations. The book is written in a much more poetical style than Sobel's earlier works. But this doesn't mean that it's full of airy nothings, on the contrary I was very impressed by her skill in packing such a lot of information into a small space while at the same time producing a book which is easy to read.

Some author's attempts to write in a lyrical style are very off-putting, but I didn't find this with Sobel. Writing one chapter from the view of the meteorite ALH 84001 and, another as a fictional letter from Caroline Herschel to comet finder Maria Mitchell seemed to fit in very well. Perhaps younger readers might prefer something more straightforward or take a while to get used to the style. Apart from that the book should have wide appeal, and it has so much to tell that I feel that even those experienced in the subject are likely to find plenty to interest them.

Amazon.com info
Hardcover 288 pages  
ISBN: 1857028503
Salesrank: 14636653
Weight:1.06 lbs
Published: 2005 Fourth Estate
Marketplace:New from $22.10:Used from $0.75
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 288 pages  
ISBN: 1857028503
Salesrank: 582355
Weight:1.06 lbs
Published: 2005 Fourth Estate
Marketplace:New from £1.98:Used from £0.01
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ISBN: 1857028503
Salesrank: 3393034
Weight:1.06 lbs
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 21.41:Used from CDN$ 1.04
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Product Description
With her bestsellers Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Dava Sobel introduced readers to her rare gift for weaving complex scientific concepts into a compelling narrative. Now Sobel brings her full talents to bear on what is perhaps her most ambitious topic to date-the planets of our solar system. Sobel explores the origins and oddities of the planets through the lens of popular culture, from astrology, mythology, and science fiction to art, music, poetry, biography, and history. Written in her characteristically graceful prose, The Planets is a stunningly original celebration of our solar system and offers a distinctive view of our place in the universe.

* A New York Times extended bestseller
* A Featured Alternate of the Book-of-the-Month Club, History Book Club, Scientific American Book Club, and Natural Science Book Club
* Includes 11 full-color illustrations by artist Lynette R. Cook BACKCOVER: "[The Planets] lets us fall in love with the heavens all over again."
-The New York Times Book Review

"Playful . . . lyrical . . . a guided tour so imaginative that we forget we're being educated as we're being entertained."

" [Sobel] has outdone her extraordinary talent for keeping readers enthralled. . . . Longitude and Galileo's Daughter were exciting enough, but The Planets has a charm of its own . . . . A splendid and enticing book."
-San Francisco Chronicle

"A sublime journey. [Sobel's] writing . . . is as bright as the sun and its thinking as star-studded as the cosmos."
-The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"An incantatory serenade to the Solar System. Grade A-"
-Entertainment Weekly

"Like Sobel's [Longitude and Galileo's Daughter] . . . [The Planets] combines masterful storytelling with clear, engaging explanations of the essential scientific facts."
-Physics World