Stories in the Stars: An Atlas of Constellations - Susanna Hislop, Hannah Waldron

In “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer,” Walt Whitman reported that he “became tired and sick” at all the facts; worried that science would blunt his sense of wonder, he recovered only when he “Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars,” finding them as mesmerizing as ever. They mesmerize still, as Stories in the Stars (Penguin Press, $30), a beautiful synthesis of science and myth, word and image, shows us.  Written by lifelong star-gazer and actor Susanna Hislop, with images by Hannah Waldron, a versatile designer of textiles and works on paper, this is a grand tour of the universe. From the largest constellation, Hydra, to the smallest, the Southern Cross, the authors take us through each of the official eighty-eight constellations (as codified by the lnternational Astronomical Union in 1922). As diverse and surprising as the stars themselves, these entries retell ancient tales, make up new stories, present folklore from cultures around the world, and report what artists from Ovid to Picasso have made of the spectacle. Then there’s the science. Ptolemy, Copernicus, Galileo, La Caille, Hubble—the learn’d astronomers are here, with concise profiles of their lives and the work they did to establish orders of magnitude, measure light years, and determine that the largest single star among those discussed is R136a1, part of the Tarantula Nebula in the constellation Dorado. Whimsical, wise, informative, charming—make what you will of this atlas: it’s all in how you connect the dots.

Stories in the Stars: An Atlas of Constellations By Susanna Hislop, Hannah Waldron (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Susanna Hislop, Hannah Waldron (Illustrator)
$30.00
ISBN: 9780143128137
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Books - November 3rd, 2015

Eye of the Beholder - Laura J. Snyder

Eye of the Beholder is a fascinating mix of art history and history of science, told through biographies of Johannes Vermeer and Antoni Van Leeuwenhoek. Snyder explores how the invention of microscope, telescope, and devices like camera obscura changed our theories of vision and perhaps even changed how we perceive the world. Vivid and lively, this is perfect non-fiction for both (quoting Van Leeuwenhoek) ‘curious gentlemen dabblers’ and 'learned philosophers' alike.

Eye of the Beholder: Johannes Vermeer, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, and the Reinvention of Seeing By Laura J. Snyder Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780393077469
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 16th, 2015

Eye of the Beholder: Johannes Vermeer, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, and the Reinvention of Seeing By Laura J. Snyder Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780393352887
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 17th, 2016

The Copernicus Complex: Our Cosmic Significance in a Universe of Planets and Probabilities - Caleb Scharf

When Copernicus bumped Earth from its spot as cosmic centerpiece, he destabilized humanity’s sense of itself. We still haven’t recovered. Our search for life in the universe is a struggle to discover if we are unique, and therefore special, or commonplace and thus insignificant. Yet even as we demonstrate our technological wizardry with telescopes, Voyagers, and Rovers, microbiology shows us we’re outnumbered by bacteria, both on the planet and on our bodies. What does this do for humanity’s self-image? Scharf poses philosophical questions and gives answers from sciences ranging from astronomy to biogeochemistry, doing so in prose that not only tames the wild terminology—“hot Jupiters,” “exponential divergence,” and “gravitational lensing” soon seem friendly—but with imagery sharp enough for fiction. Ultimately, Scharf puts life on the line between order and chaos, and if he supplies plenty to think about, he still leaves it all a little mystifying—as the best science writing does.

The Copernicus Complex: Our Cosmic Significance in a Universe of Planets and Probabilities By Caleb Scharf Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780374535575
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux - November 10th, 2015

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