Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization

Macmillan Audio. Sept. 2022. 7:17 hrs. ISBN 9781250867773. $19.99. SCI
This engaging, conversational book begs to be read aloud, and who better than its author? The subtitle says it all: cosmic perspective. Tyson muses on universal topics like war, race, politics, religion, beauty, and gender and identity. Questions are posed and pondered in a tone revealing an unceasing curiosity and pursuit of knowledge. Tyson incorporates humor and examples of modern society to get his points across. He calls astrology “the world’s second oldest profession.” There are many quotes from scientists, philosophers, and more. This thrilling book invites listeners to think deeply about life within a historical and cultural experience. Tyson is kind yet challenging. For example, he points out that no one is truly able to eat only nonliving things; the sole way to do that would be to survive on just milk and honey. He is a marvelous narrator. His tone is genial, lively, and musical. He emphasizes the points he wants the listener to ponder and makes no argument that his beliefs are anything but biased based on his own experiences.
VERDICT Tyson’s warmth and erudition make him a superb narrator of this excellent, thought-provoking book. A must-have for all public libraries.
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