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The Planets

New or Used: 3 copies from $32.00
New or Used: 3 copies from $32.00

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/ Key title After the huge national and international success of LONGITUDE and GALILEO'S DAUGHTER, Dava Sobel tells the human story of the nine planets of our solar system. / A major non-fiction title for autumn 2005 from the author of Longitude and Gallileo's Daughter. / Over 1 million copies sold to date of Longitude in the UK alone. / The Planets will be the Radio 4 Book of the Week in early September 2005. / Major pre-Xmas advetising campaign. / Dava Sobel will be in the UK upon publication with a high profile author tour. / Blanket review, feature and interview coverage assured for this international sensation.

About the Author

Dava Sobel, a former New York Times science reporter, is the author of Longitude, a prize-winning international bestseller, and Galileo's Daughter, which was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize. She has co-authored six books, including Is Anyone Out There? with astronomer Frank Drake, and The Illustrated Longitude with William J. H. Andrewes. Dava Sobel has won a number of awards for her outstanding contribution towards public understanding of science. She lives in East Hampton, New York.


Once again, best-selling author Sobel (Galileo's Daughter) brings science to readers across the spectrum. Her writing is vivid and poetic as she looks at each planet, including the sun and moon, from various scientific and cultural perspectives. The chapter on Earth, for example, begins with the story of Ptolemy's attempts at mapmaking in the year 150 C.E.; the chapter on Saturn opens with a discussion of 20th-century composer Gustav Holst and his orchestral suite the The Planets. In each chapter, Sobel deftly weaves together astrology, music, art, popular culture, history, biography, poetry, and science fiction with current knowledge about our solar system. The resulting fabric offers something for all readers, even those who think they might not be interested in science and space. Highly recommended for public libraries of all sizes and smaller academic libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/05.]-Denise Dayton, Jaffrey Grade Sch., NH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Praise for Longitude: 'Sobel is a stunning talent that continues to sparkle and interest us all as much as the subjects she writes about.' Guardian 'A true life thriller, jam-packed with political intrigue, international warfare, personal feuds and financial skullduggery.' Daily Mail 'Rarely have I enjoyed a book as much as Dava Sobel's Longitude. She has an extraordinary gift of making difficult ideas clear.' Daily Telegraph Praise for Galileo's Daughter: 'This wonderful book blends brilliant storytelling with an elegant, modest take on the history of science, that impossible subject which asks you to sift ambiguous evidence, evaluate the implications of theory, and write the lot up subtly enough to satisfy both historians and scientists...Her delighted respect and sympathy for the minds of the people whose lives she tells shines through all the complexities of the story and the science. And her very last, very short sentence brings tears to the eyes.' Independent 'Dava Sobel has done it again. The bad news for her imitators is that this is the new Longitude' Mail On Sunday

Adult/High School-The author's lifelong fascination with our solar system is evident in these essays that blend the latest scientific knowledge with popular culture, mythology, astrology, literature, music, and more. Beginning with the Big Bang and the Sun in Genesis, Sobel presents the nine planets in turn, inviting readers to share her sense of wonder. Each selection begins with a different point of view. In "Sci-Fi," an ancient meteorite talks of the formation and physical nature of Mars; it is followed by an imaginative discussion of the colonization of the planet, including the views of science-fiction writers. "Night Air" begins with a letter from Caroline Herschel, daughter of Uranus discoverer William Herschel, and also his assistant to the American astronomer Maria Mitchell. Readers will probably assume that this is a real letter; not until the "Details" section at the end of the book is it revealed that it is fiction, although factually accurate. The writing is clear and elegant, almost lyrical at times, and the research is thorough. This unique and attractive book will be of interest to both science students and general readers.-Sandy Freund, Richard Byrd Library, Fairfax County, VA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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