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The Smallest Lights in the Universe

A Memoir

by Sara Seager

The Smallest Lights in the Universe by Sara Seager X
The Smallest Lights in the Universe by Sara Seager
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  • Publishes in USA 
    Aug 18, 2020
    320 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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  • Connie L. (Bartlesville, OK)
    The Smallest Light in the Universe
    I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir by a physicist, even though science has never been a favorite subject. Why? Seager is a darn good writer. She is highly skilled with words, and knows how to strike the right balance between telling us about her personal and professional lives. And there is drama and wonder in both. I learned more science from this book than I ever did in school, and enjoyed it in the process. And although we are different in may ways, I could relate to Seager in her struggles to deal with loss and to be a good mother and a great scientist.
  • Lesley F. (San Diego, CA)
    Small Lights Ringing Bells
    OMG A memoir. Not another memoir. I wasn't crazy about the last one I read. But wait...
    After discussing Elderhood by Louise Aaronson in another group, Ms. Seager's descriptions of the hospital and the doctor where Mike was treated, rang a bell. After losing family members to death recently and long ago, Ms. Seager's descriptions of sorrow and recovery hit bells that rang again but with some comfort. After a life-long love of astronomy with a zero tolerance for numbers and physics, Ms Seager's enthuisasm and plain talk about astrophysics rang clear enough that I got a copy of N. Tyson's book to finally read it with some confidence. That's a triple! When it was revealed that her home was my home, many bells rang, making me feel in-the-know about her background. Home-run! I am writing to three book groups right now, recommending her book to all of them. Her personal story reads like a novel, her insight is strengthening.
  • Rebecca G. (Havertown, PA)
    Memorable
    I don't normally read memoirs. I find them self-serving and often times sensationalized to sell. So I'm not sure why I selected this book to read and review. I'm so glad I did. I fell in love with Sara and her story, her heartbreak and triumphs. I knew from the beginning she's Autistic; I'm high on the spectrum myself and I sympathized with her struggles in dealing with people, her feelings of loneliness, and her confusions in understanding the whys and what's of other people. I've never lost a husband but I've lost a sister and I cried when she met the Widows because I do know how important that connection is. I was fascinated by her career and discoveries. I definitely have a renewed interest in space and the possibilities of other planets that sustain life. I plan on following her career from her on out. She's by far my new hero
  • Robin M. (Newark, DE)
    The Biggest Lights in the Universe
    This book, The Smallest Lights in the Universe, grabbed my attention from the middle of the second page. The author writes beautifully, not something I expected from an academic, but her writing holds the wonder of her first view of the stars. I enjoyed Seager's descriptions of the joys and challenges of her work and her personal life and hope she will write more non-academic work in the future.

    I would whole-heartedly recommend this book to my in-person book club, but we don't read biographies or memoirs of living people, so I will recommend it to them as individuals and to everyone else in my reading universe.

    I built a small telescope with my father (a NASA engineer) in 5th grade, and we endured the suburban sky together in our backyard looking at the moon and stars and took the telescope on vacations to state parks an national parks during my teenage years. I later gave it to my son.
  • Rory A. (Ventura, CA)
    Grief Among the Stars
    "The Smallest Lights in the Universe" is an object lesson to those struggling not to drown in overwhelming grief: You are not alone. You have never been alone.

    Support groups could very well feature this in a book club, and there are vast, fascinating questions of the universe in hard science besides.
  • Randi H. (Bronx, NY)
    I'm dreaming of the stars
    The Smallest Lights in the Universe was a fascinating look at both Sara Seager's career and her home life. The book is split between discussing her work as an astrophysicist and her personal life, mostly as a widow after her husband's death. I found the discussions of her work particularly captivating. I gained a deeper understanding of the universe and an appreciation for the scientists studying space. However, the sections concerning her home life, especially after her husband's death, left me wanting a bit more. Especially as a working parent, I wanted to know more about the people who helped her at home and with her children and how they managed. But overall I am very glad to have read this book and will definitely be recommending it to others.
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