Archive by category | Publishing

Illustrated books of 2017: the magnificent eight

Illustrated books of 2017: the magnificent eight

There’s something about a collection. We seem to harbour an urge to amass and sort as we build menageries, museums, taxonomies. And the illustrated book is a portable simulacrum, a paper cabinet of curiosities, curated for maximum aesthetic punch.  Read more

Top 20 books: discovering worlds

Kepler-186f, the first validated Earth-size planet to orbit a distant star in the habitable zone. Kepler-186 system about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus.

In terms of job satisfaction, discovering worlds must take the Sachertorte. Sibling astronomers William and Caroline Herschel, for instance, rejoiced in a haul that included Uranus, eight comets and several moons gleaned from what William called the “luxuriant garden” of the skies. Their final tally of deep-sky objects, with that of William’s gifted son John, numbered in the thousands. I’m sure their minds would be boggled by today’s exoplaneteering exploits — such as the TRAPPIST-1 system of seven Earth-like planets that fully emerged this year.  Read more

Tracking the propulsive power of science books

Tracking the propulsive power of science books

What makes a science tome so audacious, original and right that it kickstarts a life’s journey, propelling someone to the bench or field? Science writer Ann Finkbeiner (of The Last Word on Nothing) has written about that for A View from the Bridge. And when Academic Book Week fired up on 23 January, I started musing anew about encounters with remarkable books.  Read more