I have consumed some really good nonfiction lately – redeeming myself from the Twilight series and a couple hours where I started to keep up with the Kardashians.

Here is the list:

1. Galileo’s Daughter – This was a very sweet, fascinating book. It is the story of Galileo’s ascent and then subsequent turmoils with the Catholic church, interwoven beautifully with the story of his relationship with his daughter, a nun. They had a close relationship and her letters to him are heartbreakingly beautiful. It makes me wish I lived in an age where letters, not Twitter, was king and that I could write as well as Sister Mary Celeste, who was able to make asking for a spool of red thread a gorgeous literary accomplishment.

This book is also a timely read because it is the year of astronomy. Read the book, borrow a telescope, and see Saturn and marvel at what a stupefying and glorious event that must have been for Galileo. He was a man of true genius and insight.

Also noteworthy is that H.M.S. Beagle will be having Galileo workshops later this spring. I hope this plug doesn’t dilute my reccomendation of this book, but I can’t help myself. And I was gushing about the book before I knew about the Galileo workshops.

2. NOVA program Secret of Photo 51. DH borrowed this from the library (Mid-Continent) for me. It was really good – it tells the tale of how Rosalind Franklin was integral to the elucidation of the structure of DNA. And how she got totally ripped off by the men. It is a fascinating, uplifting, sad tale, with Rosalind dying at a very young age – the cause of her ailment most likely being the scientific instrumentation which made her a pioneer of genetic structures. It is only 50 minutes, and totally worth the time. And have your daughters watch it too. And your sons, for that matter.

3. The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner. This was reccomended by my Aunt Betty. It is a *good* book. I didn’t learn that much about happiness, but as a travelogue it is really interesting. It is well-written, funny, and makes me want to go to Iceland and Bhutan very badly.

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