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Startalk: Everything You Ever Need to Know about Space Travel, Sci-Fi, the Human Race, the Universe, and Beyond

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This beautifully illustrated companion to celebrated scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s popular podcast and National Geographic Channel TV show is an eye-opening journey for anyone curious about the complexities of our universe. For decades, beloved astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has interpreted science with a combination of brainpower and charm that resonates with fans e This beautifully illustrated companion to celebrated scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s popular podcast and National Geographic Channel TV show is an eye-opening journey for anyone curious about the complexities of our universe. For decades, beloved astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has interpreted science with a combination of brainpower and charm that resonates with fans everywhere. In 2009, he founded StarTalk, the wildly popular podcast that became an Emmy-nominated talk show on the National Geographic Channel this year. Tyson’s pioneering, provocative book will take the greatest hits from the airwaves to the page in one smart, richly illustrated compendium. Featuring vivid photography, thought-provoking sidebars, enlightening facts, and fun quotes from science and entertainment luminaries like Bill Nye and Dan Aykroyd, StarTalk reimagines science’s most challenging topics—from how the brain works to the physics of comic book superheroes—in a relatable, humorous way that will delight fans and new readers alike.


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This beautifully illustrated companion to celebrated scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s popular podcast and National Geographic Channel TV show is an eye-opening journey for anyone curious about the complexities of our universe. For decades, beloved astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has interpreted science with a combination of brainpower and charm that resonates with fans e This beautifully illustrated companion to celebrated scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s popular podcast and National Geographic Channel TV show is an eye-opening journey for anyone curious about the complexities of our universe. For decades, beloved astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has interpreted science with a combination of brainpower and charm that resonates with fans everywhere. In 2009, he founded StarTalk, the wildly popular podcast that became an Emmy-nominated talk show on the National Geographic Channel this year. Tyson’s pioneering, provocative book will take the greatest hits from the airwaves to the page in one smart, richly illustrated compendium. Featuring vivid photography, thought-provoking sidebars, enlightening facts, and fun quotes from science and entertainment luminaries like Bill Nye and Dan Aykroyd, StarTalk reimagines science’s most challenging topics—from how the brain works to the physics of comic book superheroes—in a relatable, humorous way that will delight fans and new readers alike.

30 review for Startalk: Everything You Ever Need to Know about Space Travel, Sci-Fi, the Human Race, the Universe, and Beyond

  1. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    StarTalk: Everything You Want to Know About Space Travel, Sci-Fi, the Human Race, the Universe and Beyond, by Neil deGrasse Tyson, is a simple book that offers small tidbits of information on space related topics of interest. Tyson is a famous astrophysicist and somewhat of a celebrity. He currently hosts a podcast called StarTalk, where famous celebrities, politicians, comedians and scientists mingle and discuss space. This book is a sampling of topics covered on that show. The book discusses ma StarTalk: Everything You Want to Know About Space Travel, Sci-Fi, the Human Race, the Universe and Beyond, by Neil deGrasse Tyson, is a simple book that offers small tidbits of information on space related topics of interest. Tyson is a famous astrophysicist and somewhat of a celebrity. He currently hosts a podcast called StarTalk, where famous celebrities, politicians, comedians and scientists mingle and discuss space. This book is a sampling of topics covered on that show. The book discusses many issues in small detail. Space exploration and its minutia, constellations and stellar bodies, and some of the more theoretical underpinnings of the galaxy and universe are discussed, as well as topics like extraterrestrial life, science fiction and our own planet Earth. Tyson also looks at issues affecting the planet, including climate change, biodiversity loss, and so on. This book was a quick and interesting read, but very shallow in content. Much covered I had read about previously, but there are lots of interesting bits of information in this book about space. For a layman on space and astrophysics (such as myself), this book had a lot of interesting information to offer. I enjoyed my time with it. Negatives include the lack of detail in most of the topics covered (previously mentioned), as well as the Reddit/4Chan style humour on offer - not funny to my tastes. Even so, if the above sounds interesting, or you are looking for a good book on space subjects that you can read in a sitting, or alongside your kids, then this is a good book to pick up for some quick, interesting topics on space.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    Well suited for anyone who doesn't keep upwith current science, or just to keep around as a fun book to read a two-page spread from. It has a breezy tone, and doesn't go into subjects at length, but does take the topics seriously. I didn't think the pulled-out jokes worked very well, but the cocktails amused me. Library copy

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Maas

    Fun little book - with a coffee table style that belies its importance The Elon Musks of the world may give us hope, and the Sean Carrolls of the world might unlock the secrets that give humanity its meaning but – You have to inspire the Elon Musks and the Sean Carrolls first. I have been interested in Science-Communication field since reading Cosmos, and then realizing how many millions of world-improvers it inspired. And books like these – though they seem a bit broad, inspire. Not all of us can Fun little book - with a coffee table style that belies its importance The Elon Musks of the world may give us hope, and the Sean Carrolls of the world might unlock the secrets that give humanity its meaning but – You have to inspire the Elon Musks and the Sean Carrolls first. I have been interested in Science-Communication field since reading Cosmos, and then realizing how many millions of world-improvers it inspired. And books like these – though they seem a bit broad, inspire. Not all of us can be scientists, but still – a general appreciation for such things can make the world a better place. So 5 Stars for Neil deGrasse Tyson and co – would give more if I could!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lily

    This was a wonderfully written book about how space, human beings and sci fi factor into our everyday world. I had the honor of seeing Dr. Tyson in person at the Warner Theater here in DC. He made learning about the stars and space interesting.

  5. 5 out of 5

    P.S. Winn

    Great pictures add to the amazing way this author explains to all about our universe. Anyone who is fascinated by space and wonders what is really out there has to grab a book by this author, someone who knows his stuff.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Iulian Corunga

    Very affordable reading about everything around us.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Aden Walsh

    StarTalk: Everything You Ever Need to Know About Space Travel, Sci-Fi, the human race, the Universe, and Beyond By Neil deGrasse Tyson Review made by Aden W. Do you ever look up to the night sky and wish to know more about space? Or maybe you would like to know more about being human? In the book StarTalk Neil deGrasse Tyson walks you through a repertoire of often intriguing facts about space, planets, sci-fi and numerous conversations between a variety of famous people collected from the podcast StarTalk: Everything You Ever Need to Know About Space Travel, Sci-Fi, the human race, the Universe, and Beyond By Neil deGrasse Tyson Review made by Aden W. Do you ever look up to the night sky and wish to know more about space? Or maybe you would like to know more about being human? In the book StarTalk Neil deGrasse Tyson walks you through a repertoire of often intriguing facts about space, planets, sci-fi and numerous conversations between a variety of famous people collected from the podcast StarTalk. Although all of the information from the book StarTalk is taken directly from the podcast StarTalk, the actual writing was written by astrophysicist Charles Liu. The vast range of information in StarTalk is briefly organized and doesn’t follow a clear path other than the random facts. But because of this the book covers a wide spectrum of information. The book features an array of different PhDs from people such as science educator Bill Nye, astrophysicist Dr. Charles Liu, comedian Chuck Nice and of course astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Even though what I said before about how the book has a broad nature still stands valid, the book is often pretty passionate and Charles Liu adds a touch of goofiness to lots of the writing. Neil has written a plentiful amount of other books in the Science genre like Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries, The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet. Since Charles Liu was the person behind all of the writing here are some books by Charles: The Handy Astronomy Answer Book, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Phoenix. Personally I thought that even though the book was almost random in terms of information being captivating to me, overall the book offers a bunch of relatively compelling information. From my perspective StarTalk will at best give you knowledge of little fun facts about Science and will grant you an joyful afternoon. The humor tends to appeal to a younger audience yet the book occasionally talks about the science behind sex. The writing and editing in StarTalk is fairly good. When you compare Neil deGrasse Tyson’s very well respected reputation StarTalk looks cheesy. Even so I will gladly read more from Neil deGrasse Tyson I imagine that StarTalk is just not my cup of tea. Anyhow I'm getting tired, I would firmly suggest the book StarTalk to others, the content was fun to read and had a cheerful tone to the writing.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stacie

    Well, I am embarrassed to admit, I had no idea who Neil deGrasse Tyson was before picking up this book. In fact, I’ve never really been interested in space until I watched Commander Scott Kelly share images during his year in space on the ISS on Instagram. I just recently read his memoir, ENDURANCE, and my interest and piqued and I’m definitely more knowledgeable. This book is perfect for the space and science geek no matter what age. This book is marketed to middle-grade children on up, but adul Well, I am embarrassed to admit, I had no idea who Neil deGrasse Tyson was before picking up this book. In fact, I’ve never really been interested in space until I watched Commander Scott Kelly share images during his year in space on the ISS on Instagram. I just recently read his memoir, ENDURANCE, and my interest and piqued and I’m definitely more knowledgeable. This book is perfect for the space and science geek no matter what age. This book is marketed to middle-grade children on up, but adults will find much to learn and enjoy from this book as well. The pages consist of far-out questions that kids would be likely to ask. Then scientists give their best explanation that a kid could understand. Fascinating facts and fabulous photography fill the pages and kids could stay interested for hours if they are interested in all things space. But, this book isn’t just about space, but the science behind our future. Whether it discusses our future travel to Mars or the possibility of time travel or having a human brain in a robot, all the options and what is involved in making these things happen are included in the pages of this book. It is perfect for those kids that have enough curiosity to kill the cat! Is there life on Mars? Can video games make people violent? Why is football so dangerous? These questions and so many more are answered throughout the over 300 pages of this book. Neil deGrasse Tyson is not the only expert featured in this book. Many well-known people are featured including Chef Anthony Bourdain, Singer Josh Groban, and Actor George Takei just to name a very few. Honestly, I may not agree with all the science featured in this book, but I do think this book is jam-packed with information that kids and adults will find fascinating. It can create opportunities for learning, conversations, and will definitely encourage exploring for more knowledge.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    3.5 stars. I will preface this review by saying that I have never listened to the podcast that it originated from, so I don't know if my expectations going into the book were accurate. I expected this book to focus more on the earth and space, which only covers about the first half of the content; I think the wide-ranging topics probably work better as fodder for a long-running, constantly updating podcast than a single coffee table book published at a finite point in time. As a result of the br 3.5 stars. I will preface this review by saying that I have never listened to the podcast that it originated from, so I don't know if my expectations going into the book were accurate. I expected this book to focus more on the earth and space, which only covers about the first half of the content; I think the wide-ranging topics probably work better as fodder for a long-running, constantly updating podcast than a single coffee table book published at a finite point in time. As a result of the broad range of topics, this book is a grab bag of facts and quotes and never really goes in depth on any one topic, so it's fun and easy to skim, but you won't learn anything other than tidbits here and there. I know this version of the book is meant for adults (there's also a young reader's version available for kids), but something about the layout and the surface-level content made it seem a little juvenile — though the cocktail recipes and sections on love/sex also rendered this version inappropriate for kids. This was definitely a fun read, and fans of the podcast will enjoy the book (I imagine) as will reluctant science readers. But I can't say this book was exactly what I was looking for.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Clare

    This is not an in depth science book, but an interesting read none the less. Subjects covered in this book are varied and most are related to regular science such as: Can you make a souffle in space? Can we survive a magnetic polar reversal? How do I know I have consciousness? There are also theoretical questions that we would find the guys on The Big Bang Theory discussing: Could you play Quidditch in space? Could we use black holes or a TARDIS to time-travel? Could self-aware nanobots turn people in This is not an in depth science book, but an interesting read none the less. Subjects covered in this book are varied and most are related to regular science such as: Can you make a souffle in space? Can we survive a magnetic polar reversal? How do I know I have consciousness? There are also theoretical questions that we would find the guys on The Big Bang Theory discussing: Could you play Quidditch in space? Could we use black holes or a TARDIS to time-travel? Could self-aware nanobots turn people into viruses? Each answer is short but informative. Also, the book contains quite a bit of humor, a look at the accuracy of sci-fi shows and movies, and cocktail recipes that were invented by Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium and one of the hosts of Star Talk on which this book is based, with some collaboration from bartenders.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    This book is great fun and ridiculously informative. I feel sort of uncertain saying I read all of this, but I'm pretty sure I read at least most of it. It's hard to say, because this isn't the kind of book you just read straight through. It's not even like a book of short stories, where you pick one to read, and then another. It's a book of short articles, ranging from a single paragraph to most of a large-format page, and while they're loosely related to a single overall subject it's easy to j This book is great fun and ridiculously informative. I feel sort of uncertain saying I read all of this, but I'm pretty sure I read at least most of it. It's hard to say, because this isn't the kind of book you just read straight through. It's not even like a book of short stories, where you pick one to read, and then another. It's a book of short articles, ranging from a single paragraph to most of a large-format page, and while they're loosely related to a single overall subject it's easy to just pick up and read parts of it here and there. It's a great bathroom book, to be blunt. :) Fundamentalist Christians and other fundamentalist religions probably either won't like it or will actively hate it. It's not polemic. It's not a screed. It's science, and if science offends you, don't read this book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Hal

    An interesting thought provoking coffee table like book that covers a wide range of topics from star stuff to just about everything else. These topics come from Neil deGrasse Tyson's television program which frankly I have never watched but am familiar with him for other appearances in particular his version of Cosmos. The ideas delved into are intriguing at times and certainly educational. However I found the snippets of information given lacking often and the book jumps around to so many dizzyi An interesting thought provoking coffee table like book that covers a wide range of topics from star stuff to just about everything else. These topics come from Neil deGrasse Tyson's television program which frankly I have never watched but am familiar with him for other appearances in particular his version of Cosmos. The ideas delved into are intriguing at times and certainly educational. However I found the snippets of information given lacking often and the book jumps around to so many dizzying array of ideas that it is at times hard to follow or grasp what the point is. Generally though the book does a good job in peaking interest and leading to many adventures into unknowns and what ifs, the graphics are well done, and it is fun.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ahdom

    This book was so much fun to read. Not only am I already a fan of Tyson's podcast and TV series, StarTalk, the book puts the essence of the the show on easy to read pages. The book is riddled with fun facts, history, comedy, and easy to understand science that makes up our observable world. Throughout the book there are interviews with scientists, celebrities, and scientist celebrities. I love the pictures in the book as well! This book is a perfect coffee table book or one to just plow straight This book was so much fun to read. Not only am I already a fan of Tyson's podcast and TV series, StarTalk, the book puts the essence of the the show on easy to read pages. The book is riddled with fun facts, history, comedy, and easy to understand science that makes up our observable world. Throughout the book there are interviews with scientists, celebrities, and scientist celebrities. I love the pictures in the book as well! This book is a perfect coffee table book or one to just plow straight through. StarTalk is where pop culture and science collides. Please read this and gift it to your friends and family as it perpetuates interest in science and the real world we inhabit... and as Neil would say "Keep looking up!"

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kjersti

    I occasionally watch the author’s tv show with the same title. The book was not what I was expecting, which was more narrative. This is more something to flip through or pickup for a few minutes on a coffee table. I was surprised about the breadth of material, besides space stuff there was subject matter on bacteria, brain creativity, zombies, super hero’s and all kinds of stuff. Like the ethical implications of eradicating the guinea worm...and made a good argument for it! Lol. Enjoyed all the I occasionally watch the author’s tv show with the same title. The book was not what I was expecting, which was more narrative. This is more something to flip through or pickup for a few minutes on a coffee table. I was surprised about the breadth of material, besides space stuff there was subject matter on bacteria, brain creativity, zombies, super hero’s and all kinds of stuff. Like the ethical implications of eradicating the guinea worm...and made a good argument for it! Lol. Enjoyed all the quotes and input from prominent scientists, celebrities, and public figures. My kids enjoyed looking at the pictures and having me read them info about space.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

    Reading through this book, it emphasizes the importance of science on humankind. For centuries, we've fought religion to advance science and even in 2017 we still fight irrational beliefs despite overwhelming evidence to proving them wrong. Even worse still, we are faced with a government that denies many proven scientific tenants and likely delay our progress in many crucial areas.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Eve

    The book takes the best of Neil deGrasse Tyson's radio show & TV series and turns it into an informative, yet fun offering. Beautiful photos of space, combined with trivia and facts. Read my full review here: http://www.geeksofdoom.com/2016/09/13... The book takes the best of Neil deGrasse Tyson's radio show & TV series and turns it into an informative, yet fun offering. Beautiful photos of space, combined with trivia and facts. Read my full review here: http://www.geeksofdoom.com/2016/09/13...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Even though there are tons of pictures there's still a lot of dense information to sift through. It's on a level though where it's understandable by the average person. Kind of like watching "Nova" or other PBS programs.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    Great book! I love the Startalk series and had to have the book. It is filled with beautiful illustrations and great dialog. The main criticism I have is that there wasn't much new information in it. I was a compendium of the show and I will be keeping it for reference material.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    Very thorough and entertaining. Easy to read- while at the same time informative in many subjects. Fun intro to various types of science- good job in connecting them.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    Public Library copy. Fans of science or NDT in particular are sure to enjoy this book based on the show. Great information, nicely produced in book form for all ages.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Fantastically quirky and informative. I had the pleasure of hearing Neil deGrasse Tyson speak when I lived in Ohio and he was entertaining and delightful. This book did not disappoint.

  22. 5 out of 5

    DeAnne

    I'd been expecting something deeper. While this wasn't it, it was still lots of interesting facts and jokes and information, and gorgeous pictures.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    Concise, insightful, good read. I enjoyed it & I learned stuff. YAY. Concise, insightful, good read. I enjoyed it & I learned stuff. YAY.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    Very impressive and an excellent companion volume to the TV series.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Edyta

    If you listen to StarTalk podcast, you already know all the things presented (gloriously) in this book. If you don't, you're in for a real treat and a whole lot of information. Enjoy!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa Holloway

    A great read! Lots of educational material on the science world.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kamil Chmielewski

    All those high level questions you've wondered about space, time, time travel, and other fun science topics are answered in this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Christine Moakley

    Enjoyed reading this book!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Somya

    Really interesting science, and fun to read, about the universe!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Great fun! Read it leisurely or gobble it up (I did), either way, read it.

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