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The planets
Dava Sobel
Adult Nonfiction QB601 .S63 2005

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Sobel's purpose in this lovely and personal volume is to show us the planets as she sees them. Writing in quite a different mode than in her best-selling Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Sobel offers intimate essays inspired by the planets in our solar system, which she describes as "an assortment of magic beans or precious gems in a little private cabinet of wonderAportable, evocative, and swirled in beauty." She frames each essay in a different light, using a particular planet as a stepping stone toward a discussion of larger issues. Her "Jupiter" essay becomes a meditation on astrology, while her essay on the Sun, which relates the actual birth of the universe seemingly ex nihilo, evokes the Genesis account of creation in both its themes and the cadence of its language. Put simply, Sobel's conceits work (even, remarkably, the essay on Mars written from the perspective of a Martian rock) because each beautifully frames its planet. An essay that begins with the story of Sobel's grandmother coming to the United States as an immigrant, for example, sets up the author's musings on the odd nature of Pluto as somewhere in between "planet" and "other." This resonant and eclectic collection,informative, entertaining and poeticAis a joy to read. Agent, Michael Carlisle. (On sale Oct. 11) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Famed for her best-selling Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Sobel sails clear up to the heavens in her latest, a study that takes in not just science but art, culture, and even astrology. With a ten-city tour. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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