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: 16399765
Published: 2005 Fourth Estate
Amazon price $34.52
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 288 pages  
ISBN: 1857028503
Salesrank: 790110
Weight:1.06 lbs
Published: 2005 Fourth Estate
Marketplace:New from £4.70:Used from £0.01
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ISBN: 1857028503
Salesrank: 3841366
Weight:1.06 lbs
Published: 2005 London : Fourth Estate
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 69.25:Used from CDN$ 0.95
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Product Description
With her blockbuster New York Times bestsellers Longitude and Galileo’s Daughter, Dava Sobel used her rare and luminous gift for weaving difficult scientific concepts into a compelling story to garner rave reviews and attract readers from across the literary spectrum. Now, in The Planets, Sobel brings her full talents to bear on what is perhaps her most ambitious subject to date—the planets of our solar system.

The sun’s family of planets become a familiar place in this personal account of the lives of other worlds. Sobel explores the planets’ origins and oddities through the lens of popular culture, from astrology, mythology, and science fiction to art, music, poetry, biography, and history. A perfect gift and a captivating journey, The Planets is a gorgeously illustrated study of our place in the universe that will mesmerize everyone who has ever gazed with awe at our night sky.

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