I picked this one up on the strength of the previous “Friendly Guide” (The Friendly Guide to Shakespeare), and was not disappointed. While Hathaway’s book is ostensibly about the universe, and does contain quite a bit of information about the subject, a better description might be “Lives of the Astronomers.” From Nicolas Copernicus to Stephen Hawking, Hathaway tours the universe by taking a time trip through the many advances of astronomy. Like the guide to Shakespeare, the chapters are short, and sidebars abound. I spent about three months working my way through the book, reading a section or two a night. While it isn’t a substitute for Astronomy 301 (the math quotient was thankfully low), this is a nice book for those of us who like to know a little about a lot.
[Finished 5 November 1994]