Jake's Reviews > The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist

The Sky Is Not the Limit by Neil deGrasse Tyson
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's review
Sep 02, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, politics, biography, religion, science

Hopefully, likely, someday there will be a comprehensive biography of astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. No rush though. With several published works, and many videos and audio recordings available for free online, the in-process life of Dr. Tyson is quite accessible. And for those of us who want the equivalent of an extended personal conversation, there is The Sky Is Not the Limit. Published in 2004, this book is far from comprehensive. Still, it is a wonderful survey of the life of the man People Magazine hypothesized to be the Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive.

I was hoping for a memoir that focused mainly on relating life events. However, The Sky Is Not the Limit spends a great deal of ink engaging in scientific discussion. In such cases, a briefly recounted memory serves as a springboard to academic discourse. All the material is valuable, but the selling point of memoir is undercut somewhat as a result. A minor criticism, but this book wants for a greater abundance of revealing anecdotes.

At any rate, Dr. Tyson's exciting and candid voice comes through loud and clear. The anecdotes he does share run the gamut from triumph, to tragedy, with humor and surprise included. In terms of offering both vivid personal history and profound reflection, the sections on 9/11 and racism are absorbing. Tyson provides some of his most insightful and bittersweet assessments when recounting his memory of the Apollo 11 moonlanding.

For fans of Neil deGrasse Tyson, this book is of course a must read. For those shopping for a proper introduction to Tyson's scientific knowledge, and his entertaining and accessible style of sharing it, consider trying Death by Black Hole or the more recent Space Chronicles .
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Reading Progress

September 2, 2010 – Shelved
July 14, 2013 – Started Reading
July 14, 2013 – Shelved as: non-fiction
July 14, 2013 – Shelved as: politics
July 14, 2013 – Shelved as: biography
July 14, 2013 – Shelved as: religion
July 14, 2013 – Shelved as: science
July 14, 2013 –
page 63
31.03%
July 14, 2013 –
page 89
43.84%
July 14, 2013 –
page 129
63.55%
July 14, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Preeti Definitely looking forward to reading this, but I agree - a more comprehensive auto/biography would be awesome to read!


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