I read science, biographies, histories, mysteries, adventures, thrillers, educationals, linguistics but not no way, not no how, romances.
It's amazing how attached people got to Pluto, the little planet that tried. This book details with humor, grace, science, history and some good old fun narration, the way Pluto came to be a planet and then morphed into something else. For the science nerd (like me) there's a lot about the history of space examination and exploration, for the historian there's a lot about how Pluto became part of the national identity and for those who love whimsy you'll enjoy how this little planet became the center a huge debate.
Tyson's other book "Death By Black Hole" is better, with a better narrator. But this is a fast and fun read that made me smile throughout. You'll like it. I promise.
I had some great fun reading this book. It is part history, part science but mostly the story of a great race. How large is the universe? How long has it been around? How fast is it expanding? To learn this you need a unit of measurement. In astronomy this is a standard candle (a light source that you can reliably know is a certain distance away.) Two teams of scientists decide to tackle the massive obstacle of reliably finding and measuring super nova so as to ascertain if they can be used as standard candles.
Two teams race off and we watch them explore the heavens, overcome unreal challenges and do their best to answer the big questions. It's humane, funny and at times a wild ride. I had a blast listening to it. The narrator is fun and really on the material. The text bounces expertly between the history, the narrative and the science, making you feel like a part of the team.
If I had a complaint, it's this. The science is unfinished, so the book is as well. The narrative ends, but no real conclusions are drawn by the end. That's the way it is in reality, so the author didn't try to go too far with his writing. Still, I wanted more punch. That said, this is a great book. It does more than tell you a story, it makes you think about the wonder of our universe.