Succinct Guide to Space and Time

In 223 pages (according to Goodreads) or just over 3.5 hours on audio book Tyson aims to break down all of space and time. No small feat, but he does a decent job of it.

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry is a succinct guide on all things space and time. It's short and filled with Tyson's biting wit. However, it is not Astrophysics for Dummies. It expects some basic knowledge of the subject matter and can require more focus than the title implies. He also packs as much information as he can into this compact package, so although I enjoyed it I expect there are some pieces that I missed because I wasn't listening closely enough.

Tyson does an incredible job of breaking down these huge and foundational concepts into analogies that make sense for most people. His ability to make the vast and unknowable cosmos understandable is remarkable. He even reads the audio book himself which is always a win for me. His ability to inject excitement and curiosity into what he is explaining makes science fun and engaging. Tyson is truly a master at bringing the magic into science and reminding us all how awe inspiring it can be to stare up at the night sky.

We are stardust brought to life, then empowered by the universe to figure itself out—and we have only just begun.

Overall, I liked this a lot. I came away with the knowledge of dark energy and a few other key pieces I didn't have before. I could probably give it a re-read and come away with even more. This book fits in a Goldilocks zone of existing knowledge of astrophysics: if you took a college course on the subject there probably isn't much there for you, and if you know absolutely nothing this might not work either. However, if you find yourself with some knowledge from pop culture and well-written science fiction but you're looking for something based in reality, give this one a try.