Reading – Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson – 19 in a series

I’ll be highlighting books that I am reading (or re-reading) on all sorts of topics this year — Douglas

Reading – Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson – 19 in a series

Reading -  Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson - 19 in a series

It takes a special talent to explain science — and write a book on highly scientific topics — without erring in 2 possible ways. Typically science books for the layman go into far too much detail with far too much technical jargon and quickly leave the reader disheartened. They want to understand, but without a good intermediary to help bridge the gap from expert to everyman, they fail.

Secondly, science can be explained in such a simplistic way that the reader is left wondering about its importance to the world and also, perhaps, about why scientists find it so difficult to make theoretical and experiential headway into the particular topic. Scientists are always trying to find the “sweet spot” between over complication and oversimplification and it is a difficult path to walk.

Thankfully, Neil Degrasse Dyson has, for whatever reasons, been blessed with the ability to clearly explain complicated scientific concepts to the average person without either talking over their heads or, even worse, talking down to them. This collection of essays holds together nicely as a book, something that doesn’t always happen. Thinking back over my reading there were perhaps 2 times when I lost the thread of what was being discussed, but a quick re-read of a particularly troublesome section seemed to clear it up, at least enough for my purposes. When I read A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking† there were many times when I felt hopelessly lost in the world of theoretical physics, but Astrophysics for People in a Hurry kept me involved, enlightened and educated throughout.

While many of us will never have a need for a deep knowledge of Astrophysics, I am a great believer in knowing a little about a lot. Learning new theories, reading new books and absorbing new ideas keeps us growing throughout our lives. Pick up a copy of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and I think you will enjoy the trip through the cosmos in all its, sometimes confusing, glory.


What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author 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 tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day.

While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal 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.

* A portion of each sale from directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Previously in (Re)Reading:

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