Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Astrophysics for People in a HurryAstrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I feel like an idiot, and I suspect I have retained, at best 3% of this book. I’m not even sure I deserve credit for having read it, as if put on the spot to spout back a space-science fact, or any fact at all, I’m not sure I could do so. I feel panicky inside trying to even figure out what I would say to this imaginary interrogator, so all signs point to inevitable failure.

Still, it’s important to deal with my own ignorance and try to correct it, so I’m happy that I read this book, despite how little I believe I truly grasped. I guess, perhaps, if I listen to it over and over again, eventually it all might stick.

In my defense, there are no required space science courses for many people. I have a Master’s degree, and I’ve never in my life taken a space science course, though some space science was covered in other courses, just at a much lower level (and probably about 20 years ago, which means more than half of what I did know is now probably wrong, inaccurate, or disproven).

In light of one of my new projects at work, it probably would be good for me to reread this one, as well as other books on this topic. That way I start to curb my own knowledge gap, and also, because space science is rather fascinating, even when it’s confusing and overwhelming.

From an outside perspective, it’s reasonably well-written, though often has a textbook feel, and in some sections, a new fact is spouted at you in almost every sentence, which makes it even harder to consume it all and find a place for it in your mind before the next bit of new information arrives. However, it’s not Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s fault that I’m ignorant about astrophysics, and I believe he did try to dumb it down for me as much as possible, without being scientifically vague or inaccurate.

My favorite part was the end, which is not to say I was happy that it ended. I just enjoyed how he kind of brought everything together and talked about what it might or might not mean to people in the last portion of the book. That was finally a section I could easily follow along with and found captivating.

Book 39 read in 2018

Pages: 222

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