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