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Seven Wonders of the Universe That You Probably Took for Granted Paperback – December 8, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0801897986 ISBN-10: 080189798X Edition: 1st

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Seven Wonders of the Universe That You Probably Took for Granted + Lecture-Tutorials for Introductory Astronomy, 3rd Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; 1 edition (December 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080189798X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801897986
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,914,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


[James'] conversational and at times humourous approach attempts to re-inspire the audience to look more closely at everything around them... If you’d like to understand more about how science affects the world around you without complicated scientific jargon that goes with it, this book is for you. It’s an informative and accessible read that’ll make you rethink whether taking the rubbish out is as boring as you previously thought.

(Nina Pace Cosmos)

James provides a satisfying and entertaining read for those of us who have a latent curiosity, for those who watch Nova or listen to Stephen Hawking and are still left scratching our heads, for those with curious children who demand more than 'just because' in answer to their questions, and for science teachers looking for student-friendly explanations... she doesn't claim to have the mathematical intelligence of Einstein, but she has something he didn't: the ability to explain esoteric scientific theories and concepts so that you understand them.

(Ruth Douillette Internet Review of Books)

Professor James's enthusiasm for our Universe has made me quite ashamed that I've so long pined for a parallel one.

(Emo Philips)

It is no small wonder that Renee James's small book is wonderful. Even readers with sciophobia (fear of science) will find this a fun read, as well as faithful and accurate. The writing shows that the author is wise in psychology, philosophy, and literature as well as science.

(Peter Kreeft, Boston College)

I strongly recommend picking up Seven Wonders of the Universe That You Probably Took for Granted. You’ll never look at the cosmos the same way again.

(Karri Ferron

A lighthearted tour of everyday phenomena like light, time and gravity that also explores what makes Earth special and the evolution of life.

(Science News)

About the Author

C. Renée James is an associate professor of physics at Sam Houston State University. An accomplished scholarly writer, her popular science essays have been published in Sky & Telescope, Astronomy, Current Science, and Mercury.

More About the Author

Dr. James has been distracted by shiny objects in the Universe for as long as she can remember. Trained as a stellar spectroscopist at the astronomy department of the University of Texas at Austin, she later abandoned determining the chemical abundances of metal-poor stars in favor of exploring astronomy and the history of science with the enthusiasm of a kid playing in the mud after a good rain. She has written extensively for both Astronomy and Sky and Telescope magazines, and was awarded the Popular Science Writing Award by a division of the American Astronomical Society. Meanwhile, she's been teaching introductory astronomy for non-science majors at Sam Houston State University since 1999, and is a favorite among students, receiving the Professor of the Year award from the physics students and being nominated for the University's Excellence in Teaching Award. Her unique methods also earned her a Gold Star award from NASA's IGES for inspiring uses of Hubble in education. What people enjoy most about her writing and teaching is her down-to-earth, humorous way of conveying some of the most esoteric and non-intuitive facets of science. In the words of one awe-stricken reader, "Approaching this kind of stuff without scaring people with techno-speak is close to magic."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bill Bauer on December 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fun and entertaining read.

Better yet, it is informative yet accessible to everyone, not just hard science types.

This book's treatment of potentially dense subjects like Light, Gravity, and Time is imminently readable and should appeal to anyone who has ever wondered about things like that and thought "Why?".
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a good book, the concepts were easy to understand. It is quite entertaining to read and really brings out the personality of the author. I have had Dr.James as a professor and she it one of the best teachers I have ever had, very entertaining, again making large complicated concepts simple and easy to understand.
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