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A Sense of the Mysterious

A sense of the Mysterious by Alan Lightman is primarily a collection of his essays that have previously appeared in various other magazines and publications. The essays cover a wide range of topics and range from his personal observations about being a scientist to short biographies about other scientists. Overall I didn't find the book that engaging. While the essays were organized well, I didn't find themes that followed through all of them to really tie the book together. They felt just like a collection that had been repackaged together.

In many of the essays I found the author's frequent digressions to be distracting and superfluous as they didn't offer any support of the main topic. With all of that said there are nuggets of reflection buried throughout the book that I found myself agreeing with and broadening my own perceptions. The concept of the "creative moment" isn't something I have felt to the same degree as Mr. Lightman I have briefly touched its outer edge and agree with his description. His "Prisoner of the Wired World" reflects many of the same feelings as the ceaseless society talk. Overall the book's short essay format makes for quick reading with one or two small nuggets to be gleamed from each piece.

Tags: books science