Thursday 17 February 2022

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Universe: And Our Place Within It - Andrew Newsam

What happens inside black holes? Is dark matter real? Could we do anything to prevent being wiped out by an approaching asteroid? Will our explorations of our neighbouring planets reveal life or a new place to settle? What can observations of stars reveal about our origins – and our future?

Professor Andrew Newsam draws on his vast expertise to show us what’s going on beyond the limits of our planet, from our solar system to distant galaxies – and what this tells us about our own place in this vast expanse called ‘the Universe’.

From glowing nebulae to the sweeping majesty of the Milky Way, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Universe will spark your curiosity and help you make sense of the amazing discoveries and fascinating mysteries of the cosmos.

What did I think?

I don't think I've ever read non-fiction as quickly as I read this brilliant book.  I know very little about astronomy although I've always been interested in our solar system, however, many astronomy books just go straight over my head.  This is most definitely not the case with Andrew Newsam's Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Universe: And Our Place Within It that is written in such an informative and engaging way that I found easy to understand and incredibly entertaining.

I not only learnt things, I found that I retained the information and it made me eager to find out more.  The writing is captivating and entertaining without being patronising to any readers who may already know some basics about astronomy.  It's clearly written for the layperson who has no prior knowledge of astronomy and incredibly easy to read.  I'm amazed at how much knowledge about the universe I gained and retained.  It's true what Frank Carson said: it's the way you tell 'em!

There are six chapters: Looking out from Earth, The Sun as a star, The Solar System, Stars, Galaxies, and The Big Bang.  Ranging from 16 to 52 pages long, each chapter covers a lot of ground but it never gets boring and I found myself eager to read just one more chapter, which is almost unheard of for me when reading non-fiction.  There are also some stunning colour images in the middle plate section to enhance and support the text.

So, if you've always wanted to know more about the universe then this is the book for you.  I didn't even hesitate before awarding the full five stars and it deserves every single one of them.  I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for more books by Andrew Newsam and I highly recommend this book.

Many thanks to Alison Menzies for sending me an ARC to read and review; all opinions are my own.

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