Title: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Published: May 2, 2017
Length: 3 hours 40 min
Genre: Nonfiction, Science
Goodreads Description: What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.
But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day.
*APH = Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
This version of APH, narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson himself, was one of my first forays into the realm of audiobooks. The format was better suited for me because my mind tends to wander when I read nonfiction. In fact, I once tried to read the physical copy of APH, but quickly abandoned it due to my short attention span 😅.
“The power and beauty of physical laws is that they apply everywhere, whether or not you choose to believe in them.”
APH was an accessible history of the cosmos for curious minds
with short attention spans. Tyson condensed the story of the universe’s origin and expansion into roughly 4½ hours of anecdotes of scientific discoveries, digestible analogies, and nerdy jokes. Many of the topics were things I found that I was familiar with already from Tyson’s podcast, StarTalk, and school science classes. These sections of the story dragged a bit for me, but were saved by the fact that 𝙏𝙮𝙨𝙤𝙣 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙣𝙖𝙧𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙖𝙪𝙙𝙞𝙤𝙗𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝙝𝙞𝙢𝙨𝙚𝙡𝙛. (I had to emphasize this point because he has such a fun voice!) Still, there were new ideas Tyson introduced that I had a difficult time understanding, forcing me to rewind and focus more on his more on his words. (I’m a guilty multitasker—it’s really not that efficient lol).
Overall, Tyson successfully delivered his lesson on the cosmos in a fun, light fashion that’s true to his brand. Although APH contained plenty of information that some layman may consider common knowledge, Tyson proved there’s always more to learn. This book left me feeling more curious about the unknown, more insignificant about my place in the universe, yet more at peace with myself and what I do know to be true.
“The cosmic perspective shows Earth to be a mote. But it’s a precious mote and, for the moment, it’s the only home we have.”