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Jan 30, 2020dixithanoop rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
The book has the classic Neil DeGrasse Tyson signature all over it! It's literally what the name says, in that it's not too technical, but is neither shallow. Tells the story succinctly, sometimes not very precisely, but with enough zest to keep the reader captivated and enough fidelity to never give her an inaccurate picture. The first problem I had with that book is that it's not really well organized. The chapters don't follow any pattern. For example, consecutive chapters in the book talk about dark matter, periodic table of elements, why things have the tendency to be spherical, and then light. And thus, when you begin a chapter, you'd wonder how did the previous chapter link to this! That said, the book is full of eye-popping information about practically all streams of astrophysics. From the concept of Iridium paperweights to the real story of Tuscan municipality installing low pollution Sodium lamps, from the explanation about why most things in the night sky are spherical yet Milky Way is round but flat to poking into dark matter and dark energy to perfect depth that's neither too technical nor too cursory, the book is teeming with magnificent pieces of information. The chapter "The Cosmos on the Table" is particularly intriguing because of the way the author explains an astrophysicist's perspective of the Periodic Table. I don't think I can ever look at the Periodic Table the same way I was taught in school. The book is also funny, and in a nerdy way, It quotes Bible at times, the chapter names are quirky, and the joke about astronomers try to find a solution by considering a 'spherical cow' is specifically witty. For a very "equation" oriented person like me, there were a few places where I found the explanations and comments sort of lacking exactness. For example, in one of the chapters, the author says, "On thirteen mile long Phobos, a 150-pound person would weigh a mere four ounces", and I almost thought I should send an errata to make it 'a person that weighs 150 pound on Earth'. In conclusion, the book is a great read for anyone interested in astrophysics. It doesn't get scholarly, but then, you should have guessed that from the title.