Galileo by Mitch Stokes

Galileo went blind.

Galileo never married.

Galileo didn’t invent the telescope.

If you’re thinking ‘I knew that ’cause I read about Galileo obsessively’ or ‘How fascinating, I’ve always wondered whether not Galileo invented the telescope’, I’ve a suggestion for you. Read Galileo by Mitch Stokes, one of the books in Thomas Nelson’s Christian Encounters series. If, after reading those opening lines, you’re considering fleeing this blog in terror for fear you’ve stumbled into some ill-lit corner of cyberspace fraught with destruction, insanity, and mathematics, I’ve a suggestion for you. Don’t read Galileo by Mitch Stokes, one of the books in Thomas Nelson’s Christian Encounters series.

Galileo, aside from its striking and provocative title, mostly has three things going for it. Firstly, it’s short. Not that I have anything long books, mind you, its just that when I’m making an admitted rare foray into the world of mathematics/physical science, the subject matter is weighty enough. A tome that weighs a stone more than my sister is rather unwelcome. Secondly, it’s written from a Christian perspective. Of course, depending on your own perspective, you could consider this a strike against it. Then again, if you’re Stephen Hawking, you might consider its easy 200 pages a strike against it too. Thirdly, it’s got a really cool textured cover (though it is blue, which sort of makes Galileo look like he’s suffering from hypothermia).

The author, Stokes, tries to make the book engaging, he really does. He makes mild stabs at humor, such, “Galileo apparently had no sympathy for future biographers: he named his daughters after his sisters and his son after his father.” (page 76) But his attempts mostly fall half-heartedly. Keep in mind the author is the kind of mind that holds five patents in aeroderivative gas turbine technology. I don’t even know what that means. He bandies about a lot of heavyweight names, although it may only seem like a lot to me, as the sort of person who has trouble remembering what Kepler accomplished.

I still don’t feel like I have a substantially better grasp on Galileo, his life, his work, or his world. So I’d say, if you’re interested in the topic, go for it. It’s a quick read. But unless you have a pressing desire to expand your knowledge of Galileo, I’d probably skip it.

In accordance with Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, I am disclosing that I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My opinions are my own, and I am not required to write a positive review.


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