Are you looking for a new Astronomy or Science book?
Maybe curious about the next title to borrow from the ASV Library
Do you need an item for the Birthday or Xmas present list on the fridge?

Here are some recommendations to get you started
Please send me your recommendation for addition to the list!

We live in an age where so much information is just a click away. Therefore, much our reading comes from short articles that are just a few pages long. Which is great for a news article, a daily update, or new science discovery. However, when a short articles piques our interest an Internet search often only finds more short articles. Leaving us more thirsty than when we started.

That's when a good book that dives deeper into a subject can be a treasure trove. A good writer who is close to the subject at hand, typically working with others in the field, who includes informed views of colleges not available elsewhere. A good book tells the detailed stories behind the headline story. The history, the human endeavor to find out more, and why that is so important.

Context teaches us the value of knowledge, which feeds the garden of our sometimes abstract minds.


The Stars: A New Way to See Them, H. A. Rey.The Stars

Rey's interest in astronomy began during World War I and led to his desire to redraw constellation diagrams, which he found difficult to remember, so that they were more intuitive. This led to the 1952 publication of The Stars: A New Way to See Them, (ISBN 0-395-24830-2). His constellation diagrams were adopted widely and now appear in many astronomy guides

If you are want to look up at the sky and recognize stars like old friends, then this is your book.

Along the way, you will learn enough about the relative motions of the earth, sun, planets and stars to understand why different parts of the sky are visible at different times of the year, and from various places on earth.


How we see the Sky, Thomas HockeyHow we see the Sky

Gazing up at the heavens from our backyards or a nearby field, most of us see an undifferentiated mess of stars—if, that is, we can see anything at all through the glow of light pollution. Today’s casual observer knows far less about the sky than did our ancestors, who depended on the sun and the moon to tell them the time and on the stars to guide them through the seas.

How We See the Sky gives us back our knowledge of the sky, offering a fascinating overview of what can be seen there without the aid of a telescope. Thomas Hockey begins by scanning the horizon, explaining how the visible universe rotates through this horizon as night turns to day and season to season. Subsequent chapters explore the sun’s and moon’s respective motions through the celestial globe, as well as the appearance of solstices, eclipses, and planets, and how these are accounted for in different kinds of calendars. In every chapter, Hockey introduces the common vocabulary of today’s astronomers, uses examples past and present to explain them, and provides conceptual tools to help newcomers understand the topics he discusses.


ASV Yearbook, Astronomical Society of VictoriaASV Yearbook 2020

Supplied in hard copy to all ASV members as part of their membership and is available to download in .pdf form. So it may sound like there is no need to include it here. However I do so to encourage everyone to have a good read it & more importantly actively use it - I do.

Now in it's 57th year each editor has brought something new to this publication. Over the decades it has moved from it's original technical format with tables of astronomical information to more rounded and readable resource that reflects the southern hemisphere location. Each year current editor Jim Katsifolis calls for content from the membership to include within the pages which give it the unique flavour of the Astronomical Society of Victoria.

There are too many features to list here. I highly recommend you have good browse through, and then put it into your observing kit so you can whip it out when observing.


Astronomy Yearbook, Quasar Publishing
Astronomy Yearbook Quasar

This yearbook has been designed for anyone who looks at the night sky whether you are using just your eyes, a pair of binoculars or a telescope. The book has something for everyone from the basic novice up to the advanced amateur astronomer

This includes those with a casual interest who might just want to know, "what is that bright star next to the Moon?"
This book and a good planisphere are powerful tools for those first learning their way around the sky.



Astronomy Hacks, Barbara & Robert ThompsonAstronomy Hacks

Written by the husband and wife team of Robert Bruce Thompson and Barbara Fritchman Thompson, who each have decades of observing experience, Astronomy Hacks goes through 65 detailed tips and strategies to help amateur astronomers get the most out of their equipment and valuable and all-too-rare observing time. While the term 'hack' sometimes implies some nefarious activity, the authors reclaim the original meaning of the word as a strategy or technique for managing one's time or activities more efficiently.   Recommended by Chris R



A short history of nearly everything, Bill BrysonHistory of Everything

Bill Bryson describes himself as a reluctant traveller, but even when he stays safely at home he can't contain his curiosity about the world around him. A Short History of Nearly Everything is his quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization - how we got from there, being nothing at all, to here, being us. Bill Bryson's challenge is to take subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry and particle physics, and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science.

The ultimate eye-opening journey through time and space, A Short History of Nearly Everything is the biggest-selling popular science book of the 21st century, and reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.





[ many more to come ]