Searching for Stars on an Island in MainePosted: August 9, 2018
Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine
Pantheon (March 27, 2018), 240 pages
Kindle edition $12.99, Amazon hardcover $16.04
I nearly purchased this book a while back, but let myself be put off by an Amazon customer review. Bad decision. After reading the review in the New York Times Book Review I knew I needed to read it. I was not disappointed.
Alan Lightman is a theoretical physicist who has written a number of popular books. He is very effective at writing intelligently for a wide audience.
Lightman covers a lot of territory in this book. His main theme is appreciating the order and wonder in the universe while maintaining his perspective as a scientist. He writes about hummingbirds, ants, and the Big Bang. He has studied Buddhism and read St. Augustine, yet he is an atheist who does not believe in an afterlife. He does, however, place a great deal of value in the beauty and wonder of the world as we know it. His description of spending several minutes watching ants and other insects on one square inch of land is marvelous.
Lightman’s current position is professor of the practice of the humanities at MIT. I do believe that is an ideal role for him.