Have Words–Will Write 'Em

On Books, Writers, Most Things Written, Including My Light Verse.

Lost in Space in ‘Black Hole Survival Guide,’ by Janna Levin

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Her “Survival Guide,” illustrated by painter and photographer Lia Halloran, is an exuberant, flashcard-size book of 13 chapters with, naturally, a black cover that draws you in, as it depicts an astronaut similarly attracted toward a mirror-like sphere, perhaps exploring it. Levin takes us on a virtual adventure to black holes, a safe trip that we can actually survive as long as we stay far enough away. Her writing is clear and so colloquial that it sometimes seems as though she’s right there chatting with you, telling a story in a conversation so compelling that you hardly notice the complexity of the actual physics. That’s her trick of talking about science to a lay audience. Levin writes, “I don’t know what it was like where you were…,” before telling the story of black holes as if you were pursuing one in its own territory like you’re the astronaut — you in your space suit on the book’s cover.

You can read my review of Janna Levin’s Black Hole Survival Guide in The Boston Globe by clicking the image below.

You can buy Janna Levin’s Black Hole Survival Guide at Barnes & Noble.

Written by Joe Peschel

December 5th, 2020 at 2:34 pm