Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Chasing the Sun: The Epic Story of the Star That Gives Us Life
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on December 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a well-written, very interesting book. However, there is so much information here, I read the book in sections, meaning, I would read some, then lay it aside while I read other books, and then come back to it. That is not to say this is not an interesting book, because it is; it is just a long book covering a great deal about one subject.

That almost sounds bad, but I don't mean it to be. There really is a great deal of interesting, even fascinating, information here, there was just too much of it for me to want to read all at once. Still, a good book that covers the subject extremely well.
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on July 21, 2012
The reason why I loved this book so much is that he didn't just write about astronomy, he added lots of interesting bits of information, stories, myths, anecdotes, etc, that I just couldn't put it down.
Very interesting book, he should write one on the moon :)
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The sun, as we all know, is huge. And it makes for a huge topic as well. I don't know if Cohen covers everything there is about (or under) the sun, but he certainly makes a valiant effort. So we've got eclipses, the way the sun uses fusion, the past, present, and future life (and death) of our sun, its effect on climate, sunspots, the history of science surrounding the sun, its role in art, its role in music, its role in mythologies across the globe, a bit on Tycho Brahe's nose, a section on sunbathing and lots more. All of it, OK, almost all of it, is fascinating. And it's almost always told in engaging, enthusiastic, clear prose with a sense of personal voice. It's a book filled with details, digressions, and footnotes (some longer than this review). It's not a book to read straight through; at least, I couldn't do so. But it's definitely a book to have by your bedside for several nights (or weeks) running. And since you couldn't possibly retain all this fascinating detail, I'm sure it's a book that will reward rereading as well. Highly enjoyable and informative--a good combination
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VINE VOICEon January 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is an impressive encyclopedic resource of all things Sun-related. Clearly this is a labor of love for the author, who covered more solar connections than I'd ever considered existed. Some of it is a bit of a stretch, but I give Cohen props for excitement and comprehensiveness. There's science, history, stories, myth, culture and many random tidbits.

Unfortunately, I found the writing a little dry. The subject is also overwhelming, and I couldn't finish this off for quite some time. Eventually I decided to attack reading this book in chapters, not sequentially.

I would have liked color pictures and illustrations, and found myself wishing this could be translated to a large, thick, impressively beautiful coffee-table book.

As it stands, this is an amazing collection of information on one theme, and kudos for Cohen in tackling a wide-ranging topic in a such a well-organized manner.
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on January 8, 2012
Well written, highly entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable. I read a chapter at a time and then time to reflect. What am amazing story about the star that affects every living thing on the planet. Well worth a read. As Phillip Pullman says; On every single page there is something utterly fascinating.
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VINE VOICEon November 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is an extremely comprehensive book about the sun. It includes past history of how the sun was viewed by earlier cultures and the role it played in their lives. I found it difficult to read as a normal book with a storyline. This was more like a book you read a little here and there, at least to me. As to the other reviewers who found the history part of it off, well, I guess my history knowledge is not that strong, so I didn't notice anything obviously wrong.
For those truly interested in astronomy, the solar system, various cultural histories, then this is a great book to delve into. At over 600 pages long, it covers more than you can ever imagine. Granted, I haven't finished the entire tome, but I pick it up and read sections at a time. It is something I will keep around because I never know when I will want to look up something interesting about the sun.
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on January 29, 2013
I came across this book at a bookstore in Bangkok and became engrossed in it during periods when I preferred to be inside an air conditioned room rather than being out in the intense Sun here so I am biased already in favor of having it do what a really good book should do which is to keep one turning the pages because the subject and the way it is handled so deftly holds the reader. For the past 25 years I have worked on solar energy projects and invented a workable solar cooking stove but like so many of its cousins is probably not culturally acceptable in many areas of the world where it might be most useful as the book well points out in one of the chapters. Without repeating what others have said I will add what I believe to be the most useful thing about the book: it gives one a thorough understanding of the complicated nature of global warming and its human causes. Worth every baht I spent on it.
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VINE VOICEon January 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
There are a lot of books that take one thing - salt, oysters, pencils - and examine its history, science, culture, literature, social impact, myths on and on from multiple viewpoints. In fact, this author did just that for swords in By the Sword: A History of Gladiators, Musketeers, Samurai, Swashbucklers, and Olympic Champions (Modern Library Paperbacks). And like a sword, in unskilled hands this can be a boring blunt weapon. But in the hands of a curious, intelligent, well-rounded wordsmith this format can smoothly slice across subjects. Richard Cohen has written for the New York Times, The New Yorker and British newspapers, and it shows. His research on the Sun is wide-ranging, and we enjoy much more than scientific history with trips to medicine, religion and time keeping. It's 500 pages of fascination.
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VINE VOICEon August 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a book that would be better if there were a little less of it. It's full of wonderful information, but the sheer quantity of it--and a certain lack of imagination in its organization--means that many readers will have trouble recalling much of it.

The premise of _Chasing the Sun_ is that it's about *everything* sun-related. It follows through! Thus we get individual chapters on solar origins, solar astronomy, solar astrology, solar culture, solar dances, solar cooking, solar philosophy, solar psychology, solar imagery, solar folklore ...

It's all great stuff, taken one chapter at a time. Taken all together, it's a little overwhelming. There's no unifying principle that leads from chapter to chapter (contrast this to, for example, Bill Bryson's _A Short History of Nearly Everything_). The upshot is a collection of pieces that are better individually than collectively.

There is a dazzling quantity of research on display here, and the writing is fluid, so I can recommend the book to anyone with an interest in the subject matter. You might, however, be better served by dipping into it than by trying to absorb it all in sequence.
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on February 7, 2013
This is the most comprehensive book about the Sun that I have read. I was astounded at the wide range of subjects that are detailed in it. If you want to fully understand the Sun, this book is a good place to start.
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