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I would like to read a book that describes all the latest discoveries out in the universe - the structure of the universe, interesting new astronomical bodies, planets, etc.
I am a Biochemist, but read extensively in Science, so an intermediate level of difficulty would be appropriate.
Would anyone have a recommendation for me?
Thanks very much,
New Theories of Everything by John D. Barrow, ISBN 0192807218 / 9780192807212
The Stars of Heaven by Clifford Pickover
Universe by Robert Dinwiddie -- a**beautiful, lavish coffe-table sized book that has EVERYTHING!! This is a book like the National Geo books, the ultimate first class reference on everything starting from Earth itself and going out to the ends of the known universe. A huge treasure trove of astronomical info.
The View from the Center of the Universe: Discovering Our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmosby Joel R. Primack
That's a start. Or just browse my catalog under books tagged Astronomy/Cosmos for others.
You aren't going to have a lot of luck finding a single book covering all of that; cosmology ("the structure of the universe") and extrasolar planets are very different fields.
You're probably going to have more luck with the former. As it happens my father-in-law requested this sort of book for Christmas last year (my partner is an astronomer, and I have a PhD in astronomy but have left the field). I got him Dark Side of the Universe and Death by Black Hole. I would steer clear of any of the string-theory sort of things like The Elegant Universe. The Accelerating Universe might be an option -- the author is a good scientist, though I can't vouch one way or the other for his popularization abilities -- but the blurbs from Amazon give me pause, since the two astronomers they quote are, while not crackpots, firmly stuck in the past and refuse to accept modern results.
As for the extrasolar planet issue, I really think Sky & Telescope might be your best bet -- the most common book on LibraryThing is the badly outdated Planet Quest. It looks like the list of popular-level books and articles on exoplanets.org hasn't been updated recently, either; there may just not be much out there.
Peteb, I found a bunch in your Catalog that sound good. Lorax, Death by Black Hole sounds interesting, and Noisy - thanks for reminding me about APOD - I haven't been there in awhile.
I will take some of your suggestions to the library and see what I can find!
I read Mario Livio's The Golden Ratio a few years ago, was not impressed, and have avoided his other books.
The only book of this sort I've had a look at recently is Many Worlds in One by Alex Vilenkin (and that only a couple of chapters). It seemed nicely written, and addresses some interesting cosmology (eternal inflation) that I don't know enough about to assess.