On a Book Review in a Hurry

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Neil deGrasse Tyson is a rock star to many people – definitely an odd descriptor for an astrophysicist who is Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Many consider him to be today’s Carl Sagan – and I find it interesting that (at least to me) he talks and sounds like Dr. Sagan.

No matter in his role as director, author, speaker, interviewee, or television show host, Dr. deGrasse Tyson exudes enthusiasm and commitment to his craft and passion – science – just as Carl Sagan did.

Images of deep space capture a sense of awesome for me – which is one of the reasons I use them as headers on this blog. (Click here to see past headers.) As a geek interested in the intersection of science and religion, those images give me a greater sense of creation. These points, along with interviews I saw with Dr. deGrasse Tyson, his 2017 book became a must-read for me.

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry is a short read (about 200 pages) that made it to the top of the New York Times Best-Seller list. This book is about time, space, particles, forces, and how they fit together in the universe according to the laws of the universe. Yes, he takes readers into complex topics as the Big Bang, dark matter, and dark energy – but he does it with relative simplicity with wit, real-world application, and enthusiasm. Even with his wit and understandable writing style, the topic isn’t naturally easy for all – so I had head scratching.

Logically-sequenced chapters are short with each focusing on a single topic. His easy-to-read text aims at an audience that doesn’t know much astrophysics. The text doesn’t contain new, groundbreaking information, so I consider this book as a primer that can lead to deeper learning if one chooses. (Like a 101 college course that serves as an introduction and springboard.)

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an excellent communicator and I can hear his voice in his words. This booked helped me understand my awe with deep space and creation. He promotes the cosmic perspective from the frontiers; which he describes as humbling, spiritual, redemptive, mind opening, eye opening, transcending, wise, insightful, finding beauty, enabling one to see beyond in order to embrace chemical and genetic kinship, and more. Now that is for me!

I encourage readers to take the time to embrace Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. Besides, it could be a stocking stuffer as a holiday gift. Here’s the link for the book on Amazon.

I end this review with a fantastic video on a similar topic from Symphony of Science featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson.

42 thoughts on “On a Book Review in a Hurry

  1. Delightful! We are part of the universe! I appreciate your review. It reminds me to read this book that has been sitting on my kindle for too long now. Great end video to capture the wonder of our universe and our small part in it. Glorious!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Well said, Frank. I am a big fan of Sagan, Feynman and deGrasse Tyson, all excellent at delivering understandings of science to the laity. It is easy, I think, to be distracted by the mystery of the origin of the Big Bang and miss the profound reality of all that we do know. It wasn’t until the 20th century that we even understood what galaxies were!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jim,
      Now why am I not surprised that you are a big fan of the 3 you mentioned? 😉 Then again, you have good taste.

      I can see how the Big Bang can be a distraction. After all, the enormity and so long ago … let alone the link to so much … the thought is actually overwhelming. On the other hand, those links within the enormity is the excitement that we enjoy.


  3. Thanks for the review as I had not heard that he had written this book. Carl Sagan could certainly relate to people and explain things in a simple way. I have never read anything by deGrasse but love to hear him speak. Husband would love this book.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Two of my favorite people. I first ‘met’ Feynman in math class in high school in the early 60s. My teacher showed films of him explaining how to do some solutions to math problems. He was creative and inspiring. I’ve always enjoyed hearing about him. Tyson is a treasure, too. He has turned on lots of people to science and astronomy.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I bought this book a couple of months ago when I stumbled upon it. I loved reading it! I typically pass along books I’ve read, but this was one I preferred to keep and will undoubtedly read again. My scientific education is weak, but I am always interested and curious and want to understand and know more than I do! I remember watching Sagan and buying “Cosmos,” which stayed on our coffee table for a very long time while I tried to “absorb” it. This is a very good book! The more I read the more I realize what I don’t know, that’s certain!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Debra,
      Why am I not surprised that you already read this book? 🙂 … so thanks for supporting my thoughts in this post.

      Interestingly, I just got a copy of Cosmos (the book). It was in the personal library at the aunt’s house we were dealing with, so that’s one of the books that came home with me.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I really liked this book. I listened to it on audiobook and the author himself is reading it. ..it was fantastic! I was worried whether I would actually understand it, but it really is explained in a way that makes it easy to understand. I did find myself rewinding the audiobook a couple of times because I zoned out for a minute or two, but it was still really easy to follow and I want to learn more about astrophysics now. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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