Title: Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand
Author: Marcus Chown
Published: April 2019
Publisher: Diversion Books
I received a copy of Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
A mind-bending journey through some of the most weird and wonderful facts about our universe, vividly illuminating the hidden truths that govern our everyday lives.
“The tone is consistently light and breezy…an addictive, intriguing, and entertaining read…a handy guide for anyone yearning to spice up their conversational skills.” — Booklist
Fact: You could fit the whole human race in the volume of a sugar cube.
Fact: The electrical energy in a single mosquito is enough to cause a global mass extinction.
Fact: You age more quickly on the top floor than on the ground floor.
So much of our world seems to make perfect sense, and scientific breakthroughs have helped us understand ourselves, our planet, and our place in the universe in fascinating detail. But our adventures in space, our deepening understanding of the quantum world, and our leaps in technology have also revealed a universe far stranger than we ever imagined.
With brilliant clarity and wit, bestselling author Marcus Chown examines the profound science behind fifty remarkable scientific facts that help explain the vast complexities of our existence.
I don’t read a lot of non-fiction books – not because I don’t see the value in them but because I enjoy escaping into fictional worlds most of the time and I’ve always found non-fiction books to be a little harder to get into and sustain longer periods of reading. Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand was a great book that actually worked for me and my preferred reading style.
Set up as a series of 50 facts ranging from humans, to our world and beyond into space, Chown has woven together stories in easily accessible language that helps the layperson (me!) to understand a lot of really interesting concepts in only a few short pages. Given that each chapter is a new a fact, it’s easy to put down and pick up again, with enough of a connection between topics to sustain longer periods of reading without feeling like the content is getting dry.
Chown injects humour in each topic, often finding a relatable anecdote or quote from popular culture to introduce or explain a concept.
I have to admit to being more deeply invested in the topics related to space – it’s just something I’ve always been interested in – but the book as a whole was a real pleasure to read. It was different (for me) and a very satisfying experience.
I may have even learned a thing or two!