The Book of the Moon is exactly what it claims to be: a through look at our nearest celestial neighbor. In this lucid, occasionally humorous guide to all things lunar Maggie Aderin-Pocock- space scientist, science communicator, and self-proclaimed lunatic- is our guide. This isn’t a typical scientific text, but it is my favorite kind. Though this small book is absolutely packed with figures and data, it also explores the deep connection that humans have had with the moon from our earliest days. After describing her background and relationship with the moon in the introduction, Aderin-Pocock breaks The Book of the Moon into four sections:
- Moon 101: The Basics – A description of the physical properties of the moon, its environment, and how it formed.
- Moon Past: The Moon in Our Culture – This was easily my favorite section. Topics here are broken down into groups of five. Five people, five places, five poems, five works of art, and more. The people and works featured here are refreshingly varied, a break from the Eurocentric, whitewashed version of scientific history that we’re all used to seeing.
- Moon Present: A Sharper Focus – Tools and techniques for observing the moon accompanied by a description of our recent past involving the moon from, the beginning of the Space Race to present.
- Moon Future: What Lies Ahead? – An unbiased discussion of the future of science, commerce, and settlement on our moon.
I’m currently pursuing a degree in Earth Science with special interest in Planetary Geology and there was still more for me to learn in this brief, but densely packed little book. For all the information here, I never felt bogged down. Aderin-Pocock’s intense enthusiasm for the moon permeates this whole text and carried you along effortlessly. My only regret upon finishing it is that I wasn’t immediately able to pick up another book by Maggie Aderin-Pocock. In less than 300 pages I’m completely convinced, the next great science communicator- among the likes of Sagan and Nye- now stands before us. Continue reading “Review: The Book of the Moon”