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  • How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming

  • By: Mike Brown
  • Narrated by: Ryan Gesell
  • Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 714
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 529
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 534

The solar system most of us grew up with included nine planets, with Mercury closest to the sun and Pluto at the outer edge. Then, in 2005, astronomer Mike Brown made the discovery of a lifetime: a 10th planet, Eris, slightly bigger than Pluto. But instead of its resulting in one more planet being added to our solar system, Brown's find ignited a firestorm of controversy that riled the usually sedate world of astronomy and launched him into the public eye.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Informative and fun

  • By Rickapolis on 12-21-10

How to Find a Planet

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-10-12

I heard about this book from the Bad Astronomy column at Discover Magazine's website. I am interested in astronomy and space, but I don't come from a physics background (I am a nursing student). The good thing is you don't need to have a background in physics or astronomy to enjoy this book.

The best books about science are written by scientists who still love their subject as much as an excited elementary school student first encountering the material for the first time. It never gets "old." Brown clearly enjoys thinking very deeply about the edges of our solar system and he communicates this sense of wonder at nature very well.

Mike Brown explains three things very well in this book:

1. How he went about finding planets in the Kuiper Belt. One thing I did not consider is that writing the computer code to analyze your data is just as time consuming as taking the pictures in the first place.

2. The controversy surrounding a planet that Mike Brown discovered, but was announced as discovered by a Spanish astronomer before Brown had enough time to write a scientific paper about it.

3. How the International Astronomical Union came to the decision to demote Pluto as a dwarf planet, and subsequently all of the other planets that Brown had discovered. Brown spends a lot of time clearly explaining why he thinks this is the most accurate way to describe the solar system.

Brown spends a lot of time talking about his family, particularly his daughter Lilah. I have young daughter around the same age as Brown's daughter, so I could relate to how he felt like part of his story could be best explained by his feelings surrounding her first few months of life. Being a parent of a young child really does consume most of your time. For non-parents though, I could see how these sections could be tedious.

I listened to the book in about four or five days. If Mike Brown wrote another one, I would listen to that one too.

  • Bringing Up Bebe

  • One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting
  • By: Pamela Druckerman
  • Narrated by: Abby Craden
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,863
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,367
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,347

The secret behind France's astonishingly well-behaved children is here. When American journalist Pamela Druckerman has a baby in Paris, she doesn't aspire to become a "French parent". French parenting isn't a known thing, like French fashion or French cheese. Even French parents themselves insist they aren't doing anything special. But French children are far better behaved and more in command of themselves than American kids....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Inspiring

  • By Em on 04-15-12

Light and Entertaining

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-10-12

I listen to audiobooks when I run or do housework, so I prefer something that is a little light and easy to digest in chunks here and there. This book (and recording) fit the bill.

If you are a mother who is a little annoyed by all of the hyper-parenting going on around you, then you will enjoy this book. I found some of Druckerman's insights very interesting, especially the part about the French national eating schedule and how this encourages patience.

The one thing that was annoying to me is when the narrator used a thick French accent when relaying something a French person said. The accent sounded too over-emphasized and fake, like she was over acting. Other than that, a very quick and enjoyable listen.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful