Category: Cosmology

Book Review | “Kepler and the Universe: How one man revolutionized Astronomy” by David K. Love

Posted Monday, 8 August, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction. I received a complimentary copy of “Kepler and the Universe” direct from the publisher Prometheus Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why Astronomy and Space Science interest me:

I positively am fascinated by Quantum Physics & Mechanics as much as everything connected to Astrophysics, Cosmology and Astronomy. Kepler is well known by name for his contributions but this is the first time I saw a biography that true went to the heart of who the man was behind the name.

My fascination with the Solar System began quite innocuously at a young age, when I became quite wicked curious about the universe. Casting my eyes skyward to breathe in the evening skies, whilst the stars were twinkling their magical glow back towards Earth was quite the fascination for me as a child. Learning how to recognise the constellations was fuelled by a concentrated focus workshop I took at my local Science Center; a place I would hang my hat every Summer til my thirteenth year. You could say, I grew up with dual passions firmly rooted in both the Arts & Sciences; exploring what interested me and developing my own curiously curious pursuit of knowledge as a result.

Space Science has re-defined itself since I was growing up in the 1980s and 1990s; as so much has become known since then, whilst new frontiers to explore have constantly kept scientists and layreaders happily on the ‘edge’ of understanding everything that could draw their curious eyes to become giddy with excitement! I have a cross-love of different topics of interest which have the tendency to overlap each other and cross-relate as well, as if your parlaying your interests into Astronomy, AstroPhysics & AstroBotany are close in pursuit whereas any of the realms pursuant to Quantum Physics is not going to be overlooked but happily followed as well. I can still recollect wandering the Science sections of bookshoppes – wherein I would simply move title to title, seeking new threads of interest to keep tabs on whilst sorting out which topics I might one day like to read for a deeper understanding of insight.

At the heart of where my heart lies in all of this, is Albert Einstein, and by osmosis everyone who arrived at their moment of enlightenment within his generation, prior to his birth or in the decades since his death. There is a lot of history within science and the wicked sweet part for a girl whose mind has a fever of curiosity about ‘all of it’ is that when you stumble across a release such as this, you cannot help but become genuinely interested in devouring it’s contents!

I also felt this would start the shift to seek out more books of this nature, where the scientists who have left me wanting to better understand them could perhaps be sought out on a more regular basis than a haphazard spontaneous focus such as I have done in previous years.

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Book Review | “Kepler and the Universe: How one man revolutionized Astronomy” by David K. LoveKepler and the Universe
Subtitle: How one man revolutionized Astronomy
by David K. Love
Source: Direct from Publisher

A contemporary of Galileo and a forerunner of Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was a pioneering German scientist and a pivotal figure in the history of astronomy. This colorful, well-researched biography brings the man and his scientific discoveries to life, showing how his contributions were every bit as important as those of Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton.

It was Kepler who first advocated the completely new concept of a physical force emanating from the sun that controls the motion of the planets—today we call this gravity and take it for granted. He also established that the orbits of the planets were elliptical in shape and not circular. And his three laws of planetary motion are still used by contemporary astronomers and space scientists.

The author focuses not just on these and other momentous breakthroughs but also on Kepler’s arduous life, punctuated by frequent tragedy and hardships. His first wife died young, and eight of the twelve children he fathered succumbed to disease in infancy or childhood. He was frequently caught up in the religious persecutions of the day. His mother narrowly escaped death when she was accused of being a witch.

Intermingling historical and personal details of Kepler’s life with lucid explanations of his scientific research, this book presents a sympathetic portrait of the man and underscores the critical importance of Kepler’s discoveries in the history of astronomy.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781633881068

Genres: Astronomy & Astrophysics, Biography / Autobiography, Non-Fiction, Quantum Physics, Science


Published by Prometheus Books

on 10th November, 2015

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 255

Published By: Prometheus Books (@prometheusbks)

Available Formats: Hardcover and Ebook

About David K. Love

David K. Love

David K. Love is a member of the Royal Astronomical Society and holds a BSc honors degree in astronomy from University College London. After a career as an accountant at British Telecom, he took early voluntary retirement to pursue his scientific interests and writing. He lectures frequently on the history of astronomy and on the origins and evolution of our universe.

Listen to the author on a podcast about Kepler and the Universe

Converse via: #Kepler, #Space, #Astronomy + #ScienceBooks

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Posted Monday, 8 August, 2016 by jorielov in #FuellYourSciFi, #JorieLovesIndies, 16th Century, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cosmology, Johannes Kepler, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Popular Astronomy, Prometheus Books, Quantum | Mechanics Physics Theory, Science, Space Science

*SFN* | A Book Showcase [focused on] Time Travel!

Posted Tuesday, 5 November, 2013 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 12 Comments

SFN_TimeTravel

Time travel is such a curious prospect to wrap one’s mind around because it bends and yields to our understandings of everything that we hold rather dear! To be able to tip the veils back and peer into our past, whether lived or unlived (as time is temporal) is such a proposition to make anyone curious, I would think the possibilities and the repercussions of time travel being used for the good or succombing to evil, make time travel a bit of a dicey proposition! I, myself, have always been keenly in tune with time travel plots in other media outlets such as tv serials as outlayed in my post just the other night! However, as far as reading about time travel in the purest sense of the word, that is something I have only begun to do in recent years! Mind you, I would have started far sooner if I could have sorted out how to get copies of the next books in a certain young adult series I will be highlighting ever so shortly! The main appeal for me, is seeing a glimpse into different cultures, traditions, and lifestyles of not only the historical (and known) past but of people we may not have ever expected to cross paths with who live in other galaxies and worlds completely! There are unlimited number of transportal routes one could take as a time traveler, and part of the adventure for me is making the journey into the complete unknown!

My earliest memory of reading a book that involved the displacement or disbursement of time would be “The Purple Door” by Janifer C. De Vos. This served as a gateway into an exciting series entitled: Guardians. I was in elementary school at the time when I read it, and this book served as an electrifying catapult into a whole new dimension of experiencing a story! You see, the main character travels into a different time and space whilst only expecting to be having a summer job at an antiques store! My memory of the particulars surrounding this series has vacated my memory banks, but I do look forward to re-reading it at some point (once I locate which box I have put it in!), as I was able to find the next two books in the series (via Powells which has a lovely out-of-print service!): The Silver Glass and The Dark Watch.

What disappointed me at the time I read The Purple Door, is that I could not carry-on with the series closer to when I had discovered the first book! (this would become a trait for certain series unfortunately!) I would always aspire to find other series which would push the envelope and limits on time and our sensory perceptions of time. It would take quite a long while for me to unearth A Wrinkle in Time, as a segue into reading my introduction to Quantum Physics library which I had purchased out of a mail-order book club (I believe it was called: The Library of Science originally) towards the start of the 2000’s. I was attempting to get into The Elegant Universe: Super-Strings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory by Brian Greene as well as Lucifer’s Legacy: The Meaning of Asymmetry by Frank Close. What I appreciated about the first book in “The Time Quartet” series is that it illuminates the aspects of the quantum realms within the scope of what can be imagined. The hardest part I think of quantum physics isn’t the mathematical language needed to take the theories to a higher level of understanding, but rather, the ability to directly imagine and purport into imagery what the theories are attempting to show us! In this way, I have always highly recommended that anyone keen on this side of science to start with A Wrinkle in Time! From there, I moved forward into Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin Abbott Abbott, which helped fuse the two together for me! I shifted easily back into where I had left off in my readings for the books of Greene & Close, as well as attempting to seek out other scientists who were producing books on these subjects that fascinated me so very much! The short list of people who intrigued me were: Clifford A. Pickover, Michio Kaku, Professor Stephen Hawking, and Carl Sagan.

I took a bit of a hiatus from my pursuit of reading non-fiction pieces on time and the quantum realms, opting instead when a new branch of my local library opened to seek out fictional stories that were cast into the same vein as The Purple Door of my youth! I wanted to seek out other writers’ to pick up where I had left off before exchanging the fictional side of this subject for the non-fiction! This is how I came to become immersed into the awe-inspiring worlds of The Golden Hour by Maiya Williams, The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone, and The Dragon in the Driveway by Kate Klimo! What I hadn’t realised at the time is that each of these was the gateway book into a brand-new series! I am still working my way towards reading the next installments as my local library only has the original beginnings rather than the sequels!

In keeping with this earnest approach of mine, I decided that it would be best to dip into both of my conjoined interests, and find a steady balance between fiction and non-fiction even during Sci-Fi November! My viewings of “Doctor Who” have brought back to life my excitement and pure giddiness in celebrating a time traveler on the small screen! However, I do not want to only rely on my ability to seek out media forms of story-telling, and would rather garnish a bit of a nice foothold in literature as this is one particular subject that has been written on for quite a long time! As with Steampunk, I am finding that there are many facets that determine the outcome of a time travel adventure! Sometimes the time travel elements are subtle, barely noticeable, and other times, they have such resounding effects that it puts everyone in the story in direct peril! I have found time travel to be used in cross-genres, such as: juvenile and young adult fiction, romance, historical fiction, science fiction, and even high fantasy! I am sure there are a heap of others, but what I wanted to say, is that due to the diverse selection, I could very well be reading stories of time travel for many an eon yet to come! And, what a thrilling revelation that is for someone as giddy as I am about the written word!?

I can honestly say, that when it comes to my journey into books whose central theme is ‘Time Travel’, I am as much as a beginner with this genre as I was with Steampunk! I only have a few books under me to where I have been able to seek out authors & stories that catch my fancy to read!  Which is why I would love to open up a discussion thread right now, and encourage anyone who has had history with Time Travel in Literature to post a link back to a post on your own blog that delves into how you came to start reading Time Travel &/or of whom your favourite authors, stand-alone novels, and Time Travel serial books would be!? Be sure to come back to this post to attach the link of your post in the comments! ONLY link directly to the post you created on this topic, DO NOT link to the main page of your blog! I will be checking! Thank you! I cannot wait to see what everyone’s post!! :)

In the intrim, these are the books I pulled from my local library to explore this month:

The Skin Map (Book One: Bright Empires series) by Steve Lawhead
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
WorldSoul (Book One: WorldSoul series) by Liz Williams
(non-fiction) Breaking the Time Barrier: The Race to Build the First Time Machine by Jenny Randles
(non-fiction) Time Travel in Einstein’s Universe: The Physical Possibilities of Travel Through Time by Richard J. Gott
(non-fiction) Time: A Traveler’s Guide by Clifford A. Pickover
The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer
The Little Book by Selden Edwards
The Little Prince by Selden Edwards
The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma
The Kingdom of Ohio by Matthew Fleming
Expiration Date by Duane Swierczynski
City at the End of Time by Greg Bear

I wanted to select a broad selection of novels that would not only change my preconceptions of what you can experience in time travel literature but I wanted to be a bit bold and daring in my choices! I decided to shift away from the quite obvious choice of reading “The Time Machine” as much as the fact, I already knew I would not want to read “The Time Traveler’s Wife” having had seen the film of the same name! (truly one of the most gutting motion pictures to experience!) I decided to dip into non-fiction as well for a bit, as I do have a keen interest in the science behind science fiction, and I knew that this would be a great branch to cross-relate into science! I am not sure if I will finish the non-fiction titles during the month, but whatever I am able to read in those selections I shall relay to you! Normally a non-fiction book takes me a bit longer to read in full due to the length and depth!

I am curious once more if anyone participating in SFN or a reader who is visiting our blogs during the event has a familiarity with the choices I have made!? And, if you perhaps have others to suggest to me in return!?

This feature is brought to you by:

Sci-Fi November | Hosted by Rinn Reads

{SOURCES: Sci-Fi November Badge provided by Rinn Reads for participants to advert the month long event and to encourage people to follow along with those of us who are contributing! Post lovely provided by Shabby Blogs with edits by Jorie in Fotoflexer.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

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Posted Tuesday, 5 November, 2013 by jorielov in Astronomy, Bookish Discussions, Brothers and Sisters, Cosmology, Library Find, Library Love, Quantum Physics, Revolutionary France, Sci-Fi November, Science Fiction, SFN Bingo, Time Travel, Time Travel Adventure

*SFN* | Feature: Seventeen to Seven: One Girl’s Quest for Sci-Fi

Posted Friday, 1 November, 2013 by jorielov , , , , , , , 7 Comments

SFN Feature badge created by Jorie in Canva

A Curious Title for a Curious Attachment:

I am not even sure if I could properly explain when my initial attachment and curiosity that surrounds the genre of ‘science fiction’ first began, because I grew up in a family who was already wholly enthused with Star Trek (the Original Series), Star Wars (the Original Trilogy), and Battlestar Gallactica (the Original Series). Therefore, from the time before I even entered kindergarten, I had a working knowledge of the characters I would lateron become beloved within the Star Trek and Star Wars Universes. I still remember eager to return home from a boring day in elementary school, to see which episodes my Dad was able to tape from the Trek marathon as we ‘d sit and watch them together! I have a LOT of fond memories of seeing Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Scotty through the eyes of my father! This sparked a pulling towards science fiction story-lines across multi-visual media outlets, which included but are not limited too: motion picture, tv serials, sound for motion picture, and literature. I appreciated the art of including science within the confines of the story arcs, as much as daring to push the breadth of what was readily known with the limitlessness of what theoretically could be plausible.

I am quite sure, that aside from an appreciation of MacGyver part of the reason I was keen on science from such a young age, was the fact I was a mainstay at the local science center whilst growing up! I was completely enraptured by the planets (early roots of seeking knowledge of Cosmology, Astronomy, AstroBotany, etc), solar system, the oceans, and the diverse ecological systems that are on Earth from one continent to the next; as much as how different each section of Earth can remain completely independent, yet co-dependent of each other. The inter-threads of connection were something that I picked up in the very beginning, but it was my yearning desire to understand not only the natural world outside my front door, but the upper atmospheres (i.e. Meteorology to Space Science) straight-through to what existed beyond our sphere and ventured into the dark unknowns of the galaxy where we see glintings of at night whilst peering upwards towards the constellations and moon.  Whose assurance of presence is never forsaken no matter where we find ourselves positioned on Earth. You can change hemispheres, (North to South or vice versa) and even Coasts (East to West or vice versa) and you’ll still be exalted in the pure awe of what you will find once your eyes are cast heavenward. I learnt the outlines of constellations whilst participating in the planetarium and observation laboratory at the science center. I participated in a Young Astronauts Program as much as attend Space Camp (when it was quite an extraordinarily exotic place to visit and not just an exit on an interstate).

Through my pursuit of science fiction, the undercurrent desires of my heart and curiosity of thirst to understand how everything worked, kept revolving around theoretical science rather than finite or applied sciences. I used to joke around with classmates and teachers alike exclaiming, “There isn’t an ‘alogy’ that I haven’t met that I didn’t like or wish to know more of!” This was my cheeky declaration that hinted at the fact that I ‘collected’ an appreciation for more branches of science than most would dare think possible! It was in the sixth grade that I learnt the most about the oceans and the currents and how they intersected with the patterns of climate. How a shifting in the tides could cause irrevocable damage and how the patterns of our moon affected the tides. The greater sense of how each branch of science was one leaf towards the whole equation fascinated me to no end!

And, then you have science fiction in the background, etching these theories and fact into stories that leap alive before your eyes, jettisoning your imagination into hyper-drive as you explore the possibilities of what is limited and unlimited, what is conceivable and what challenges your perceptional irises. My eighth grade year, Quantum Leap was a tv serial that combined my passion for science and history.  As it jumped like gangbusters into a new sub-genre where time travel, quantum physics, and the acceleration through historical actuarial data to right the wrongs of the past proved to be a tv serial that was unlike any other I had thus become exposed to. I liked the tenacity of the series mission and the depth of which the writers took the episodes.

I quirkly give a nodding to the first beginnings of my genesis towards a new height of understanding in the science fiction community, as the roots of what I appreciated began before I was seven years old, but that is the approximate age in which I started to stand my ground and assert what I liked or didn’t like about certain sci-fi media platforms. I knew my leanings and tendencies, and I was constantly seeking out new realms to explore. By seventeen, I had joined the Science Fiction Book Club, whereupon I was casting a net of discovery into seeking the very beginnings of the genre itself, as grandmothers and grandfathers of the literary side of sci-fi were spoken about throughout the monthly club mailings. I ate up the knowledge inside those pamphlets which afforded me a guide like a lost wanderer in the desert seeking a map to find the nearest nomad community. I didn’t have a lot of friends who appreciated this genre.  Those that did I noticed liked other aspects of it more than I did which is why I sort of presumed outside of my family, I might run a bit solo in my pursuits.

Seventeen to Seven is my metaphor for realising that for each passion we carve a niche for out in our lives is a constant and ever-changing beginning and starting ground towards our full understanding of what that passion can yield. We will always have ground to cover whether that means uncovering which writers of the past exhume the context of stories we appreciate or whether that means we take a stand against ‘sequels’ and stand firm in line with the originals that we feel still have merit.

Whilst we walk through November together, you’ll start to find glimpses of where I fall in the science fiction world, where my feet amble around in the media choices we all have before us, and how I seek a course that is true and right for me to tread. I am challenging myself to seek out authors who write in the sub-genres of: Steampunk (as foretold in my inclusion of The Clockwork Carnival), Dystopian (as I have always been on the fence), and Time Travel (a closet interest that truly is one that I seek out the most). I wanted to push the limits of what I might perceive to be of interest to me, and challenge myself to dig into a genre like Dystopia which I have overlooked thinking there wasn’t a part of it that I would be keen to read (or watch).

As you root around my blog, you’ll notice that I am a blog tour hostess with Tomorrow Comes Media (which features books from Seventh Star Press), of which I have already posted a lovely assortment of science fiction and epic fantasy reviews throughout September and October! IF you’re keen to know which ones I am referring to, kindly scope out this indexed category: Seventh Star Press. I will be making cross-references with my experiences towards this regard, as they cross-sect my posts for SFN! I want to make a special shout-out for Stephen Zimmer who is looking for new hosts for Tomorrow Comes Media! Therefore, if you like the books I’ve reviewed on my blog, think about contacting him to be a tour host!

Join me, as I embark on a daily blogging challenge, where each new day that dawns this month will lead to 30! full days of science fiction ruminations that reflect and expand on my own interests in a realm that is as fascinating as considering the poem about heaven in a grain of sand! All posts will be archived on my SFN: November dedicated page at the header of my blog and indexed through my blog itself by the category: Sci-Fi November. Either way, you can always jump forward and back into which posts you might have missed whilst hopping through to the other lovely bloggers who are taking part in this wonderfully wicked sci-fi event!!

In the forefront of my blog each week you’ll find a book tour being hosted at the top of my blog. However, I am going to be blogging quite a heap of dedicated posts for SFN which will run underneath the header posts for the book tours! As much as posting about the first book in a fantasy book series: Finnikin of the Rock,  which I meant to post about last month! There are a lot of curious things going on in November on Jorie Loves A Story, and I look forward to seeing who alights on my blog in the comment threads whilst Autumn swings into full force! And, to those who are ducking in and out from participating in Nanowrimo — WELCOME! I’ve been there, and I know how happy I was to take a reprieve!

My hat is tipped with warm gratitude to Rinn, of Rinn Reads, who set-up this event and brought all of us together!

Remember if your a tweater to engage in conversation on this channel: #RRSciMonth

And, for those of you who like to converse in the blogosphere, please take the time to sit a spell with each of us on your blog touring adventures, dropping us a note or two, returning back to see our replies, and helping us make this event a chatter-happy and friendly event where conversations and the mirth of sharing our conjoined passion for sci-fi possible!!

This feature is brought to you by:

Sci-Fi November | Hosted by Rinn Reads{SOURCES: Sci-Fi November Badge provided by Rinn Reads for participants to advert the month long event and to encourage people to follow along with those of us who are contributing! SFN badge used with permission. SFN Feature badge created by Jorie in Canva.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

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Posted Friday, 1 November, 2013 by jorielov in AstroBotany, Astronomy, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cosmology, Dystopian, Ecology, France Book Tours, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Mail-Order Book Clubs, Meteorology, Oceanography, Quantum Physics, Sci-Fi November, Science Fiction, Space Science, Steampunk, The Clockwork Carnival, Time Travel, Tomorrow Comes Media