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The Planets by Dava Sobel
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The Planets (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Dava Sobel (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,602447,593 (3.47)81
The sun's family of planets become a familiar place in this personal account of the lives of other worlds. With her gift for weaving difficult scientific concepts into a compelling story, Sobel explores the planets' origins and oddities through the lens of popular culture, from astrology, mythology, and science fiction to art, music, poetry, biography, and history.--From publisher description.… (more)
Member:jfe16
Title:The Planets
Authors:Dava Sobel (Author)
Info:Penguin Books (2006), Edition: Reprint, 276 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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The Planets by Dava Sobel (2005)

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Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
An interesting mix of fact, myth, culture, astrology, and science fiction woven together with history, biography, and poetry. The prose is lyrical, celebrating the solar system with insight, facts, and explanations folded into , inspiring story-telling. It’s an elegant paean, promising to engage and captivate the reader.

Twelve full-color illustrations accompany the narrative; following are a glossary, notes about the illustrations, details on the narrative, and a bibliography.

Recommended. ( )
  jfe16 | May 22, 2020 |
A lovely little book as fluent in the science of the planets as it is the mythology, the music (!), the literature and the language of outer space. The nomenclature alone in here is worth the price of purchase-- from the many moods of the moon's features ("The Sea of Crises", "The Lake of Fear", "The Sea of Calm") to Jupiter's hold over our sanguine selves and thus the "jovial" (!) disposition of Jupiterians vs. their mercurial, martial, and saturnine counterparts. A nice narrative companion to other mythological histories of the heavens like "Star Names and their Meanings" and a very sympathetic, anthropomorphic guide to outer space. ( )
  uncleflannery | May 16, 2020 |
In this book, Dava Sobel shows her skills in writing for a wide audience. In the beginning, she relates the stories of her fascination with the planets and how mysterious they were to a child of the 1950s. It is really not that hard to imagine that sort of thing since a lot of our recent information on the planets has come from probes and satellites during the time that Sobel was growing up. So as I mentioned, she discusses the diorama that she made of the Solar System that was not to scale and all sorts of other interesting little tidbits of information on the planets.

The book is really short but packed with information and stories. It includes a Glossary at the end if you need some help with the terms and jargon in the book.

Thankfully I could find a copy in the library. I realize that science books are priced at a premium but that still doesn't mean I am willing to shell out 25 US dollars for one. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
A very pleasant tour through the solar system, planet by planet.
  rakerman | May 7, 2019 |
While the language was beautiful, this book simply could not hold my attention. There was little science to be found here, instead focusing more on the wonder of the solar system. Planets and planetary objects are compared to Christian and mythological themes. It simply didn't work for me. ( )
  kateprice88 | Jul 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dava Sobelprimary authorall editionscalculated
Raver, LornaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
At night I lie awake
in the ruthless Unspoken,
knowing that plaents
come to life, bloom,
and die away,
like day-lilies opening
one after another
in every nook and cranny
of the Universe....

-Diane Ackerman, from The Planets: A Cosmic Pastoral
In all the history of mankind, there will be only one generation that will be first to explore the Solar System, on generation for which, in childhood, the planets are distant and indistinct discs moving through the night sky, and for which, in old age, the planets are places, diverse new worlds in the course of exploration.
-Carl Sagan, from The Cosmic Connection; An Extraterrestrial perspective
Dedication
Dedicated with worldfuls of love to my big brothers, Michael V. Sobel, M.D., who named out family cat Captain Marvel, and Stephen Sobel, D.D.S., who bunked with me in Space Camp.
First words
My planet fetish began, as best I can recall, in third grade, at age eight---right around the time I learned that Earth had siblings in space, just as I had older brothers in high school and college.
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