Two book reviews for you today, they’re not very long because it’s way too hot and muggy, and I’m still recovering from Paris.
Published by: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 23rd August 2016
Four centuries ago, Galileo first turned a telescope to look up at the night sky. His discoveries opened the cosmos, revealing the geometry and dynamics of the solar system. Today’s telescopic equipment, stretching over the whole spectrum from visible light to radio and millimetre astronomy, through infrared to ultravioletX-rays and gamma rays, has again transformed our understanding of the whole Universe.
In this book Francis Graham-Smith explains how this technology can be engaged to give us a more in-depth picture of the nature of the universe. Looking at both ground-based telescopes and telescopes on spacecraft, he analyses their major discoveries, from planets and pulsars to cosmology. Large research teams and massive data handling are necessary, but the excitement of discovery is increasingly shared by a growing public, who can even join in some of the analysis by remote computer techniques. Observational astronomy has become international. All major projects are now partnerships; most notably the Square Kilometre Array, which will involve astronomers from over 100 countries and will physically exist in several of them. Covering the history and development of telescopes from Galileo to the present day, Eyes on the Sky traces what happens when humankind looks up.
As regular readers will know, this is the second book this year that I’ve read about the history of telescopes (the first being Mapping the Heavens) and I think the difference between them is one of degree. Eye’s on the sky is aimed at a more popular market but is still in-depth enough for the more knowledgeable reader. The focus is also slightly different, as a more specialised area – the development of full spectrum instruments rather than the full history of astronomy – is covered.
The book is fully illustrated and with a comprehensive ‘Notes’ section, for further reading. This is an easy to read book which follows a chronological and wavelength order. I really recommend it to astronomy enthusiasts.
My local library has moved in to a new building, the ‘Immingham Hub’. I went for a visit yesterday, because I needed to print off some patterns I’d bought and wanted to make, but also to have a nose round.
Published by: Corsair
Publication Date: 3rd March 2016
After a busy eight days I was absolutely exhausted and my depression was acting up, so today I have done nothing. I’m feeling much better this evening so I thought I’d write a couple of reviews. I’ve been updating my writers CV and my log of submissions. It’s quite sad, I’ve had a few letters published but nothing else, except for a piece in an anthology about writing, I have two whole sentences in it. I sent a couple of queries off to local papers today but I don’t expect to hear anything, I haven’t when I’ve emailed them before. I keep looking at my submissions log and I’m sure I’ve missed things out; I know I’ve sent queries to a couple of newspapers and to local magazines, I think I must have forgotten to log them. How silly of me.
But that’s enough of that, on to the reviews. Both these books came from netgalley.com and I’ve already given my feedback on that website. I usually wait and do it all at once but I was twitchy last night and needed to distract myself.Continue reading “A couple of quick reviews”
Published by: Little, Brown Book Group UK
Publication Date: 20th October 2015
Night Vale is a small desert town where all the conspiracy theories you’ve ever heard are actually true. It is here that the lives of two women, with two mysteries, will converge.
Nineteen-year-old Night Vale pawn shop owner Jackie Fierro is given a paper marked ‘KING CITY’ by a mysterious man in a tan jacket. She can’t seem to get the paper to leave her hand, and no one who meets this man can remember anything about him. Jackie is determined to uncover the mystery of King City before she herself unravels.
Diane Crayton’s son, Josh, is moody and also a shape shifter. And lately Diane’s started to see her son’s father everywhere she goes, looking the same as the day he left years earlier. Josh, looking different every time Diane sees him, shows a stronger and stronger interest in his estranged father, leading to a disaster Diane can see coming, even as she is helpless to prevent it.
Diane’s search to reconnect with her son and Jackie’s search for her former routine life collide as they find themselves coming back to two words: ‘KING CITY’. It is King City that holds the key to both of their mysteries, and their futures . . . if they can ever find it.
I love the Night Vale podcasts; the utter surrealism of the plot is perfect listening. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work so well in the extended format of a novel. While the plot has some merit, the writing is laboured and after a couple of chapters I found it dull.
I’m disappointed but have to give this one a 2/5
So there shall be writing news. Continue reading “I promised writing news”
Hey, I’ve had a not so great few weeks, and have got behind with my reviews (sorry!) but to make up for it, here’s four book reviews.