520. Books on astronomy & allied sciences
J.L. Heilbron The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories, 1999.
The truth about the separation of science and religion is more complicated than we think. John Heilbron tells the story of four Catholic churches built to fix a date for Easter, meaning they were celestial observatories. This book reveals how they worked and how they led to Galileo’s arrest.
Dava Sobel Galileo’s Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love, 2000.
Science writer Dava Sobel brings us a peek at Galileo Gahlei’s personal life in this look at the letters between the scientist and his oldest daughter. From the age of 13, Suor Maria Celeste was a cloistered nun. But despite this, the two shared a close relationship that serves as a snapshot into the time and place of Galileo, whom Albert Einstein called “the father of modern physics.”
522. Books on techniques, equipment & materials
George Johnson Miss Leavitt’s Stars: The Untold Story of the Woman Who Discovered How to Measure the Universe, 2005.
Henrietta Swan Leavitt was employed as a “human computer” by the Harvard Observatory in the early 20th century. She found a new law for measuring distances across the universe using variable stars, which gain and lose brightness periodically. George Johnson writes this biography of Miss Leavitt, an unsung hero of science.
529. Books on chronology
James Gleick Faster: The Acceleration of Just about Everything, 1999.
Why is it, James Gleick asked, when we have so many labor and time-saving devices, are we more hurried and stressed than ever? In this book, he examines the answer.
For more information on the Further Reading series, see Further Reading: Start Here.