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Apollo's Fire: A Journey Through the Extraordinary Wonders of an Ordinary Day
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Apollo's Fire: A Journey Through the Extraordinary Wonders of an Ordinary Day

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  13 reviews
It's the oldest story on Earth. You relive it every day.
So much of our shared daily experience in the world is shaped by the sometimes dramatic, sometimes subtle effects of the Earth's spin, its tilt on its axis, the alternation of light and darkness, the waxing and waning of the moon, the seemingly capricious growth of clouds. The ancient rhythm of the day and night was
ebook, 320 pages
Published November 25th 2008 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Apollo's Fire is structured as a day in the life of the sun, told from the perspective of the earth. It's really lots of little stories strung together from night, to dawn, day, noon, dusk and darkness. Along the way, we learn a bit about many things, some of which are directly related to the daily journey of the earth as it turns on its axis, and some only tangentially related. Some of the topics are clouds, bats, circadean rhythms and Galileo and his telescopic observations.

Some are well know
A cornucopia of random facts about the day/night cycle. Very interesting read.
This book had promise, but for me it failed to deliver. Part of the problem is the structure of the book, how it followed the course of the day, discussing first dawn for a chapter, then midmorning, and so on. The story of Phaethon had to be broken into pieces all across the book, which at times was bewildering. Another miss was the way it tried to be both a science book and a book involved in mythology and culture; now, blending them can be done by some authors, but not in this case. I would ha ...more
If you live 70 years you will have experienced 25567 days. Imagine within the construct of your own biography that you condensed the history and anecdotes of your life during this time to 1 day. What would be your dawn, midday, and sunset? If you like thinking about this then you might like this book. I enjoyed it. That said... perhaps there are some books that are better reads due to the environment from which they are read. Bourbon/water, fireplace and a rainy day anybody? This book is sympath ...more
From the title and cover I expected this book to be more imaginative, mystical. It turned out to be a kind of basic science book, which is ok, but not what I wanted it to be when I picked it up.
I wish the author had delved deeper into scientific methods and inventions outside the Greco-Roman and European Enlightenment realms, if only to throw in stories that most moderately informed people aren't familiar with.
I enjoyed the pacing of the book and the way it follows a day. It made it easy to re
Apollo's Fire follows the sun through a day, considering both scientific and cultural aspects of this journey. Best thing about it: it's broken up into discreet episodes. In other words, it's a good quick break book, or for any other, ah, breaks one might take during the day.

Perhaps the most interesting thing I learned is that the Myth of Phaeton is the first "Dad, can I have the keys, please?" story. This book is alternately fascinating and boring. Just when I'd think I was ready to discard it
One of the most interesting, attention-keeping, well written scientific narratives I've ever had the pleasure of picking up: the cohesion of the myths, literature, and historical references that Sims includes to anchor and move the information forward is amazing, and if textbooks were written this way, every kid in school would finish his homework.
Mar 01, 2008 Kitty rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in time, the universe, and everything
Apollo's Fire is good for dipping in and out of. The book goes through a day's time touching on some of its many aspects in science, mythology, literature, music. There are brief discussions of various topics, giving ideas for avenues to explore. The annotated bibliography is great - many books to add to my to-read list.
It's not a bad book, just not what I thought it would be. I'm sure many people will like it- it's a blend of anecdote, science, literature, and history that probably would have worked for me if I had been in the mood for that. Might be a good book for high school students or an intro level college class.
Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for non-fiction when I picked this up, but I wasn't really taken with it...hope to go back someday, as it is an interesting construct for a book.
Michael A.
Mr Sims coined a great term: storm porn. I would recommend my namesake's book to just about anyone.
Jennifer Kim
I couldn't get into it. I stopped reading it. My time is too precious to waste on a boring book.
Apr 06, 2008 Tracey marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended-tcpl
529 Sims, 2007 - QPB Catalog Apr 2008
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Michael Sims is the author of the acclaimed "The Story of Charlotte's Web, Apollo's Fire: A Day on Earth in Nature and Imagination," "Adam's Navel: A Natural and Cultural History of the Human Form," and editor of "Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories" and "The Dead Witness: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Detective Stories." He lives in western Pennsylva ...more
More about Michael Sims...
Dracula's Guest and Other Victorian Vampire Stories The Story of Charlotte's Web: E.B. White's Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic Adam's Navel: A Natural and Cultural History of the Human Form The Dead Witness: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Detective Stories The Penguin Book of Victorian Women in Crime: Forgotten Cops and Private Eyes from the Time of Sherlock Holmes

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“If there is nothing new under the sun, at least the sun itself is always new, always re-creating itself out of its own inexhaustible fire.” 14 likes
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