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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Longitude - Dava Sobel

Let me just say right now that I love Dava Sobel. She is an amazing author. Back in 2008 I read her book Galileo's Daughter (my review) and just loved it. I have heard her other books are just as good so when I saw Longitude at the library I had to read it.

I love this book. I ended up buying this book so my husband could read it.

Longitude is actually subtitled: The True Story of the Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time. This is non-fiction history at its best. It's a short book but it is thorough without being boring.

Here's the plot:

Throughout history, when people sailed the seas, they usually had to hug coasts to know where they were in the world. Then they figured out Latitude and people like Columbus could pretty much set a course based on Latitude and head on over to America. Or wherever they were going. But the problem was Longitude. No one at that time know how big the world was.

I don't want to give more away but the solution to the problem is fascinating. But I won't tell you who came up with the solution because that is the best part. I can't wait for my husband to read it so we can talk about it. This is one of those books you just want to discuss with someone.

Here's the cover of the version I bought:

I had no clue there's an illustrated version! My copy had some photos in the middle but I'm going to have to check this out too:

And there's a movie with Jeremy Irons!?! Oh the things you find when you Google search.
You can check out Dava Sobel's website for more information on Longitude and her other books.

Have you read anything by Dava Sobel?

Also Reviewed by:

Age 30+: A Lifetime of Books


  1. I think you already know about my love for Dava Sobel - she is fantastic! Have you read THE PLANETS? It is a collection of essays on each of the planets. Different from her other books but still very good.

  2. I saw this movie! I really enjoyed it. It was very engaging. I like learning about historical things like that though for the science ones, I sometimes prefer them in the movie format than the book one. Glad the book was so good for this, though! That's splendid :-) If you haven't seen the movie, I think it's good.

  3. I remember wanting to read this when it came out and then I forgot all about it. And I somehow missed the Jeremy Irons movie. Love him.

  4. I read Longitude when it first came out.
    It's an absolutely fantastic book about an amazing discovery.
    It's great you you chanced across it.

  5. I've never read anything by Dava Sobe. Sounds like I need to put this one on my list.

  6. I'd love to read the illustrated version. I've been eyeing this book for a few years. Glad to see that you enjoyed it so much!

  7. Wow, you make this sound really good! I'll have to look for it.


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