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The Glass Universe
The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars | Dava Sobel
New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Dava Sobel, the captivating, little-known true story of women's landmark contributions to astronomy "Sensitive, exacting, and lit with the wonder of discovery." Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or human computers, to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. At the outset this group included the wives, sisters, and daughters of the resident astronomers, but soon the female corps included graduates of the new women's collegesVassar, Wellesley, and Smith. As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the ladies turned from computation to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates. The glass universe of half a million plates that Harvard amassed over the ensuing decadesthrough the generous support of Mrs. Anna Palmer Draper, the widow of a pioneer in stellar photographyenabled the women to make extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim. They helped discern what stars were made of, divided the stars into meaningful categories for further research, and found a way to measure distances across space by starlight. Their ranks included Williamina Fleming, a Scottish woman originally hired as a maid who went on to identify ten novae and more than three hundred variable stars; Annie Jump Cannon, who designed a stellar classification system that was adopted by astronomers the world over and is still in use; and Dr. Cecilia Helena Payne, who in 1956 became the first ever woman professor of astronomy at Harvardand Harvards first female department chair. Elegantly written and enriched by excerpts from letters, diaries, and memoirs, The Glass Universe is the hidden history of the women whose contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe. From the Hardcover edition.
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Bookwormjillk
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Picked up a new audiobook for the car at the library today. Sports are starting again for the kids so I need to be prepared for a lot of driving.

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Insightsintobooks
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jpmcwisemorgan Look, I‘m trying NOT to buy more books. 😀😉 12mo
Insightsintobooks @jpmcwisemorgan haha me too. Its very hard to restrain myself, but I figured maybe someone else would want to know about it. 😁 12mo
jpmcwisemorgan Yes, I did even though I didn‘t know it. 12mo
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aquariusnat I love her books ! Read two and have the rest on my TBR list ! Her writing draws you completely into the story ! 12mo
Insightsintobooks @aquariusnat That's good to know. :) 12mo
rwmg Wishlisted 12mo
58 likes4 stack adds6 comments
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mhillis
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I just had to have The Glass Universe when it came out but I still haven‘t read it 🤷🏻‍♀️ #space #augustisatrip #tbr

Chrissyreadit I heard her speak about this book at last years National Book Festival. It was very interesting. But, I have not read the book yet either. 1y
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Chrissyreadit @mhillis I really enjoyed Galileao‘s Daughter too- that is what prompted me to hear her speak. I have The Planets also, but still unread. I‘m considering having one day a month for my own little readathon so I can focus on my pleasure reading. 1y
mhillis @Chrissyreadit I forgot about that one! 1y
vkois88 Sounds really neat! 1y
66 likes1 stack add6 comments
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GivenLemons
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Pickpick

A really enjoyable look at the history and contributions of the women that Harvard Observatory hired as computers - more like data analysts! As someone involved in sciences, it‘s nice to see these women being remembered. #history #nonfiction #science

10 likes2 stack adds
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taraWritesSci
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Lunch break #audiobooks and #crochet 😊📚🎧

Maewyn I definitely need a crochet project while I have an audio book. Usually I listen while cooking and driving but crocheting is an excellent idea! 2y
taraWritesSci @Maewyn No more guilt about the books that should be read! 😋 2y
11 likes2 comments
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llwheeler
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Post 2 of 2 - books read so far for #booked2018
It Takes Two to Tumble for unconventional romance (it's not that unconventional, but I took the prompt to mean diverse romance / something that broadens the genre)
The Glass Universe for #blameitonlitsy (thanks, you wonderful enablers)
The Complete Persepolis for diverse non-fic
Hate to Want You for MC with invisible illness (depression)

llwheeler Also used 3 of these for #readingwomenchallenge: The Glass Universe for a genre I never read; The Complete Persepolis for graphic novel/memoir; Hate to Want You for MC with chronic illness 2y
33 likes1 comment
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GeekGrl82
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Pickpick

The book is very interesting, but can be dense at times. It is is fascinating to think of the obstacles these women faced, including refusals of full membership in professional societies, jobs, & far lower pay than their male colleagues. But even facing those obstacles the environment at Harvard was far more welcoming than other facilities around the world. They loved the work that they were doing. There is much to admire in these women.

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llwheeler
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Lazy, lazy #Litsypartyofone afternoon. Just finished Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley (very good, what else would I expect from McKinley) and did my duolingo Korean practice for the day. Sleepy cat on my lap is too cute to move, so time for audiobook and my fishy game on my phone. Who else is #Litsypartyofone-ing today?

Lcsmcat Sweet kitty! 2y
llwheeler @Lcsmcat Thanks! 😊 2y
35 likes2 comments
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llwheeler
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I've seen a few people post about listening to audiobooks at 1.5x or even 2x speed and I was curious so... I just tried changing this one to 1.2x then 1.4x and instantly started giggling at the speeded up voice. 😂😂 thenarratorsoundslikeeverythingissourgent! 😂 not sure that's gonna work for me. Think I'll stick to 1x speed.

LibrarianRyan I think it depends on the book. The one I was reading was soooo slow. It does not do chipmunk voice at all. It sounds like a friend talking. 2y
llwheeler @LibrarianRyan *nod* i could see that. 2y
Dulcinella I do it a lot at 1.5 speed. The talking is so slow....But when it is a book I read specifically for the writing style, I do slow. 2y
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llwheeler @Dulcinella I never thought to change the setting until I saw some people mention it. Fun to experiment - although this book is a fairly dense non-fiction so probably not the best one to experiment with 2y
Dulcinella @llwheeler I agree that it is not fit for every book. But for a thriller or a light roman, it works fine. 2y
llwheeler @Dulcinella i will keep it in mind ☺ 2y
34 likes6 comments
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llwheeler
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Gus is not usually an under the blankets sort of cat but tonight he crawled right under and hasn't come out yet. (Literally as I typed that he came out. Cats.) -20C feels like -29, definitely a night for snuggling under a blanket on the couch. I'm just starting The Glass Universe in audiobook, hopefully will make some progress on it tonight.

dsfisher Beautiful cat. 2y
llwheeler @dsfisher Thanks ☺ 2y
Mdargusch I‘d be under blankets too! So cute! (edited) 2y
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Mimi28 😻😻😻😻 2y
Andrea4 Hahaha i scrolled down and was just leaning over to Ry to say "look at the pretty kitty" and then I realised which kitty it was ? Brrr it's a chilly Gus. 2y
SandyW Our boy kitty is an under the blankets kitty here in SoCal. I think we might never see him if we lived in winter weather. Gus is a cutie! 2y
llwheeler @Andrea4 Haha awesome 2y
llwheeler @SandyW haha guess it's a good thing you don't! My cats tend to pounce/play/fight if one of them is under a blanket or sheet, so that might be why they don't rest much under blankets. Or maybe they will more as they get older. Not sure. But thanks, I also think he's pretty cute ☺ 2y
llwheeler @Mdargusch Yep, definitely chilly! Thanks ☺ 2y
youneverarrived 😻😻😻 2y
Coco Holy moly that‘s cold!!!! Brrr lol!! Super cute kitty 🐱 2y
llwheeler @Coco yeah it was a cold one for sure. Thanks 😊 2y
48 likes2 stack adds12 comments
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emilyesears
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I finished my first yearly challenge: the Dewey Decimal challenge from the GR group I‘m most active in. I read one book for every Dewey category. In the case where I read multiple books in the same category, I picked my favorite one of the year for this collage. Being a librarian-in-training, I loved this challenge!

Lacythebookworm Fun challenge! 2y
DrexEdit Congrats on finishing your challenge! 🎉🎉🎉👏👏👏 I love Dava Sobel books so... Stacked! 😊 2y
jenniferw88 What's the name of the Goodreads group? I may be interested in doing this next year... 2y
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emilyesears @DrexEdit I really liked her book Galileo‘s Daughter! 2y
emilyesears @jenniferw88 Right now it‘s called 2017 Reading Challenge but I bet it‘ll change to 2018 and 2017 Reading Challenge soon. I‘m not sure if they are doing this challenge again next year. They pick different challenges each year. 2y
jenniferw88 @emilyesears thank you! I'll look into it! 2y
20 likes1 stack add6 comments
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emilyesears
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Finished this book this morning in my brother‘s backyard with sun shining and coffee in hand. My brother was cooking bacon on the grill and my furry niece was chasing squirrels to her heart‘s content. Been reading this over a week so glad to get it done. Wouldn‘t necessarily recommend it unless you‘re really interested in astronomy. Reading this completed my Dewey Decimal challenge!

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emilyesears
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I‘ve been reading this for a week now...it‘s not bad, I‘m just not super interested in the minutiae of astronomy. And for a book with such a lady-centric title, there is a lot of discussion of the men of the observatory. I‘m definitely going to finish over Thanksgiving break though!

rubyslippersreads Lovely photo! ⭐️ 2y
16 likes2 comments
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rachel_mbc
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Nothing like a little astronomy on a sunny afternoon in Boston. 🔭

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onesmartcupcake
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Let my Saturday coffee shop camp out continue with this delicious soup and next book!

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JennyIL
Pickpick

This is a very interesting book about the women who worked for the Harvard Observatory, analyzing the data on the glass plates. There are discussions of equal pay, equitable recognition and many unsung achievements of these female pioneers. An educational and entertaining look at a forgotten piece of history.

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rabbitprincess
Pickpick

A great book about awesome women who were pioneers of science. It can get rather detailed when describing the women's achievements, but it always sounded fascinating rather than dull. The cover is pretty, too.

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rabbitprincess
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What's a party without cake? My bf's mom makes a ❤️-shaped Valentine's cake every year. The body is cherry chip. The icing is supposed to be pink but she ran out of food colouring, so the pink is very faint. (One year she made a green 💚 instead 😆) Tea is DavidsTea Chocolate-Covered Almond.
#litsypartyofone

hollytucker Yum! 3y
Suzze Love David's teas. And that cake looks very tasty. 3y
rabbitprincess @hollytucker @Suzze It was good! A very big piece of cake though. Sugar crash in 3...2...😴 3y
24 likes3 comments
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rabbitprincess
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Yeeeeeah I think today is a good day to continue #litsypartyofone 😁

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rabbitprincess

"Astronomers, many of whom had considered the Sun a temperate, potentially habitable world, were shocked to learn of its inferno-like heat."

???

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Suelizbeth
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Science, bookish essays, essays about nature, all designed to soothe and educate and uplift and celebrate our humanness and our oneness. #Allisnotlost

Suzze Don't you love those bookends? Every time someone comes over they notice mine. 3y
Suelizbeth @Suzette I do! They cause much puzzlement. ❤️📚 3y
DrexEdit I have stack envy. 💚😁 3y
Suelizbeth @Suzze Well, I don't know how that happened. 3y
42 likes5 comments
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CJEskriett
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I'm loving Miss Bruce! 💪👏

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temptingpersephone
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Panpan

The subtitle and summary would have you believe this book is about LADIES, and while several are mentioned, the accomplishments and pursuits of men in the field too often intrude. To enter this book in search of a detailed account of the work and personal lives of late nineteenth century female astronomers is to be letdown. The focus, rather, is on The Harvard Observatory as an institution. Interesting, not what I was after.

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CJEskriett
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Today's #libraryhaul

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annamatopoetry
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2 likes1 stack add
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quirkyreader
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I may be a day late, but this definitely is a #WonderWomanWednesday post. An of course the article is from the guardian.

38 likes1 stack add
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Mimi28
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Ok the Glass Universe has a waiting list and is due the 6th, and the Girls has a waiting list and is due the 7th. I am going to try to read both. Wish me luck! This 17 year old cat forced me off my laptop, threw up in my room, then got into everything in the house. She really needs a nap so I can read, lol 😻😻📚📚❤❤

Eyelit 🍀 3y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Those cat eyes!! 😻 3y
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DebinHawaii 🐱❤️ 3y
Suzze Sounds like she's still pretty frisky for 17! Lovely girl. 3y
Merethebookgal Happy birthday! 😍 3y
SusanInTiburon Adorable 3y
LauraBeth Awwwww 😻 3y
Zelma What a cutie! 😻 3y
sprainedbrain Awwww!! 😻 3y
Joybishoptx Sweet kitty! 😻😻 3y
Megabooks Adorable!! 😻😻 3y
52 likes1 stack add12 comments
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mhillis
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#bookishgifts My parents gave me two books for Xmas this year! I'm really looking forward to reading these📚🎁#seasonsreadings2016

Cinfhen They look good 😊 3y
mhillis @Cinfhen The Glass Universe was on Brain Pickings list for best science books of the year! And I've been a bit obsessed with The Stranger since reading it as a student😊 3y
49 likes2 comments
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bookwormmichelle
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New Dava Sobel, and about awesome women astronomers. ✴️✴️✴️✴️✴️

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upthecatpunx
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Pickpick

Preface: a little dense for the way I listen to audiobooks. That said, this book was great and is being added to my wishlist for purchase & rereading at a later date. Wonderfully researched and beautifully told tale about the women who helped shape astronomy on their own and with the men in their lives.

#history #science #nonfiction #audiobook #womeninscience

hollytucker Love the picture!! 3y
7 likes2 comments
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MariaCristina
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#bookmail early Christmas present to myself (as if I actually justify book acquisitions)

britt_brooke Pretty photo. 📷👌🏻 3y
MariaCristina @britt_brooke Thanks! I'm just going to take photos in front of the Christmas tree year-round. Makes everything prettier. ✨ 3y
7 likes1 stack add2 comments
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BethFishReads
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Here are 6 books I want to read in December. All released this month. I provided short descriptions on my blog on Monday, if you're curious. #SeasonsReadings2016 http://www.bethfishreads.com/2016/11/stacked-up-book-thoughts-9-books-to.html?m=...

BeththeBookDragon I love Dava Sobel! 3y
LeahBergen The two food ones look good! 3y
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BethFishReads @LeahBergen I know, right? 3y
RealLifeReading Mincemeat definitely has an attractive cover! 3y
DebinHawaii Yep--loving the sounds of the food ones! 🍴📚❤️ 3y
45 likes7 comments