To Know a Starry Night
by Paul Bogard
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 12 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 31 Dec 2021
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“Against a backdrop rich with purples, blues, and shades of black, a blaze of stars glittering across a vast empty sky spurs our curiosity about the past, driving us inevitably to ponder the future. For millennia, the night sky has been a collective canvas for our stories, maps, traditions, beliefs, and discoveries. Over the course of time, continents have formed and eroded, sea levels have risen and fallen, the chemistry of our atmosphere has changed, and yet the daily cycle of light to dark has remained pretty much the same . . . until the last 100 years.”
—Karen Trevino, from the foreword
No matter where we live, what language we speak, or what culture shapes our worldview, there is always the night. The darkness is a reminder of the ebb and flow, of an opportunity to recharge, of the movement of time. But how many of us have taken the time to truly know a starry night? To really know it.
Combining the lyrical writing of Paul Bogard with the stunning night-sky photography of Beau Rogers, To Know a Starry Night explores the powerful experience of being outside under a natural starry sky\--how important it is to human life, and how so many people don’t know this experience. As the night sky increasingly becomes flooded with artificial-light pollution, this poignant work helps us reconnect with the natural darkness of night, an experience that now, in our time, is fading from our lives.
“Paul Bogard is the unofficial poet laureate of dark skies. This is a terrific work.” —Christopher Cokinos, author of Hope Is the Thing with Feathers and The Fallen Sky
“Paul Bogard brings attention to what we have lost, how our night skies are fading and growing dimmer over time, and how we can strive to protect our starry nights.” —Roberta Moore, co-editor of Wild Nevada
"As an astronomer, I think I know the night sky. But Paul and Beau's book reminds me I mostly know it in small pieces on camera monitors and telescope displays. Through their prose and photographs I am reminded that in reality the night is a multisensory experience, one that includes mind as well as emotion, feeling as well as seeing. Their book is a beautiful testament to how much of ourselves we lose as our city lights obscure the stars." —Dr. Tyler Nordgren, astronomer and artist
“An ode to joy of contemplating the starry sky. . . . The wonderful photographs by Beau Rogers will urge you to search for a dark place to see a star-filled night sky, and Paul will show how to reconcile yourself with the real night, or discover it for the first time. To savor it, to sip it in its complete essence, with your dark-adapted sight, with its sounds, its scents, its temperature, all different from their day counterparts.” —Fabio Falchi, author of The World Atlas of Light Pollution, ISTIL - Light Pollution Science and Technology Institute
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 33 members
A truly beautiful book. ‘To Know a Starry Sky’ is a collection of incredibly photography of the night sky, taken in the USA, mostly in national parks. Alongside this is writing about darkness and the sky. I really enjoyed reading and looking through. Multiple photographs I returned to several times. The night sky is wonderful and how often we take it for granted. It’s a sad thought to think how much we miss these days with light pollution that could be viewed 100 years ago. A book to be looked at over and over again. I would recommend people go for the physical book as I was viewing this on my e-reader and felt the photography would have been even better on a page. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I would like to thank the authors and publisher for kindly sharing an electronic review copy of this book. "To Know a Starry Night" by Paul Bogard and Beau Rogers is a thoughtful literary and artistic tribute to humanity, nature, and, of course, the night sky. This book contains a series of essays by Bogard on the night sky, darkness, light pollution, nature, and relationships. The essays are both philosophical and appreciative of nature. The book is easy to read and identify with since it discusses the environment that surrounds us all. It also evoked a sense of nostalgia in me as I thought back on time I have spend camping and appreciating similar locations described and photographed.. Nearly half of the book is stunningly beautiful night photographs by Rogers. Many of the pictures are from national parks in the Western United States in which the Milky Way is adroitly featured. Each time I turned a page and saw another photograph, I kept hoping that the authors would share their photography tips. I was delighted with the Afterword in which Rogers fulfilled my wish by providing his advise on night photography. The essays and photographs were both lovely. I recommend this book to people who enjoy nighttime outdoors.
To Know a Starry Night by Paul Bogard is a beautiful book with very approachable writing that relates the darkness, and our loss of it, with life in general as well as specific lives. The review copy I received included the Preface, Foreward, Introduction, and first chapter. This didn't surprise me because, well, I read the description and the first line, in bold, with asterisks before and after it, states this is a preview of the first chapter. Not sure how well one reads when they miss the very first line, but, well, whatever. I mention how much of the book I have read because while I am usually reluctant to recommend a book without more, I am familiar with both Bogard's writing and the University of Nevada Press quality to comfortably recommend with this disclaimer. When I can actually see a complete copy I may well bump my rating up and will definitely add some details to my review. The photography is beautiful and the text serves as both educational and reflective musing. The problem of light pollution is a major part of what most readers will take away. It is more than just not being able to see more stars or rarely (for many never) experiencing anything approaching real darkness. It affects nature in a myriad of ways. The one thing I can't speak to even with my qualified recommendation is the evenness of the writing throughout. The first chapter reads like a self-contained essay, so if each chapter is essentially separate, though connected, essays, there will likely be one or two that won't speak to a reader like some of the others may. This is true of any collection of essays or short stories, some appeal more and some appeal less. That said, I believe, based on Bogard's previous writing, that it will be a case of a reader connecting or not with an essay rather than any of the essays being weak or poorly written. EDIT: I saw a copy of the entire book and as expected the chapters were very much like separate, though connected, essays. In essence, he shares a personal experience about the night sky and the darkness, or lack thereof, then connects that to what people miss by not only never seeing anything approaching very dark but never being, for lack of a better term, out of the light. Which brings us back to the importance of addressing light pollution. As a result of seeing the rest of the stunning photographs and reading the rest of his heartfelt essays/chapters, I bumped my rating up. Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
To Know a Starry Night is a collection of night sky photographs presented in the way that they should be: unobstructed by light pollution. The photography is presented alongside commentary about the night sky, with the introduction and first chapter included in this book preview. As a night sky enthusiast, I found To Know a Starry Night to be a stunning book. There are few things that stack up to the beauty of the night sky that is not drowning in city lights. I enjoyed the writing style as well, with the author's passion for the topic clearly shining through each paragraph of this book preview. I am so thrilled about this book, and I cannot wait to pick up a copy of the full book when it is published. Thanks to Netgalley and University of Nevada Press for this ARC; this is my honest and voluntary review.
This is a beautiful book. I love the stories that go along with the beautiful photographs. I feel the need to explore more with my own camera! This book speaks to me on many different levels.
To Know a Starry Night is an absolutely stunning book with lyrical writing by Paul Bogard accompanied by dazzling photographs of the night sky by photograoher Beau Rogers. It is fairly short with interconnecting chapters that at times feel like a meditation on the beauty of the night and, at others, an explanation of the science of light pollution, its effects on how we see and relate to night, and how much we have lost because of it. Bogard also speaks of his childhood viewing stars with his father, his travels to the very few places left where it is still possible to view a sky full of stars and his efforts to ensure his daughter knows that beauty that is so rarely see by most of us. This is a quietly lovely book and I recommend it highly. <i>Thanks to Negalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review</i>
To Know a Starry Night is a lovely photography book with images of night skies, mostly in the American West and with accompanying ruminative text about stars, nighttime, skies, and the place they've held in the author's journey. Included are some quotes from poets, laments of light pollution, and anecdotes. This would be a lovely coffee table book.
This is a beautiful book full of breathtaking photos of the night sky. But that’s not all. The text conveys what it’s like to experience the night through the author’s personal experiences. It also highlights light pollution and the importance of preserving places where we can get in touch with the night sky and see the amazing beauty it holds. The astrophotography is outstanding. The book contains many photos of the Milky Way taken in national parks in the western part of the United States. It also has night photos of cities, beautiful in their own way, to contrast with the peace of nature. It would be a great book to keep on your coffee table and look at again and again. Thank you to University of Nevada Press and NetGalley for my digital copy.
Such an exquisite book! Aside from offering stunning photos of night skies from all around the country, the sentiments that Paul Bogard expresses throughout the book are just so touching, thought-provoking, and enjoyable. I have seen two truly dark skies in the Australian Outback and in Namibia and am fortunate enough to live in an area where I see the Milky Way most nights, and as Paul expresses, there really is just something awe inspiring about seeing the Milk Way and the primal night sky. The photos are great in and of themselves, but I truly hope readers take Paul's missives about truly experiencing the night sky as inspiration to seek out the night sky themselves. I've just finished the book and have already texted three friends about this book and would absolutely recommend it to everyone.
This is such a beautiful book! Thought-provoking, lyrical, poetical,philosophical yet educational. I loved how the book talks about light pollutions and the impact it has on the night-time sky gazing and the universe and the things we are missing out when our night skies is polluted with the artificial lights. Infact, it made me sad when he said about us and the future generations not being able to see the stars and the universe at night anymore as much as those people back in the olden days did where they can easily see the stars and the universe just from their own backyard!, all because of light pollutions!. The part where the author reminisced about his childhood memories of walking in the woods and the desserts with his father at night to view the night skies, made me reminisced my own childhood memories whereby i would sit outside in my home lawn at night and gaze admiringly at the stars. I'd let my own imaginations take me to somewhere magical where it is just myself and universe and melts away all my sadness and loneliness. I loved when the author quoted how much the vast universe just takes away our sadness and loneliness by making us think that the universe is bigger than our own problems are!. Also, i still remember how fascinated i am in learning about the planets and the galaxies where i'd go to the school library during recess and read those books on the planets and watch planet documentaries. I loved how the author also is reminding us on going out at night and spending some quality time with yourself and nature by viewing the night skies and to cherish its beauty while it is still there. Of course, the beautiful and visually stunning night skies photographs are living proofs of this beauty that if not taken care of will diminish. What a big loss would that be for us and the future generations.
To Know a Starry Night is absolutely breathtaking, both in words and photography, and eye-opening in content. The author and photography aims to show the full beauty of the night sky and the sad fact that we are "losing stars" due to light pollution, though many of us don’t even realize what we are missing - the solace of nature and connection to our past, our place in the universe. This book is just stunningly beautiful to look at and yet educational about a topic most of us may not consider. Highly recommended for everyone, especially those with an interest in astronomy, photography, conservation, and nature. I am so very grateful to Netgalley and University of Nevada Press for the opportunity to read and review To Know a Starry Night.
As an adult living on the US east coast, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen the stars, and I mean decades! The night sky photography here reminds me of my childhood traveling the western US and visiting national parks with my parents. My parents upbringing in the rural Appalachians , animals, sky and mountains berms and mountains and this has rubbed off on me. This book is the culmination of five contributors’ work. Each shows their love of nature and well-placed concern regarding our stewardship of mother earth. Karen Travino, a colleague of Paul’s in astro tourism, notes the multi sensory aspects of ecology in her beautiful preface. Scott Slovic wrote the foreward and connected Paul and Beau. He notes the unifying experience of the sky, an experience leveler, from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s rapturous transcendentalist essays to Ken Lambert’s observations from behind prison bars. As one who sees connections in nature, he does as well in this social sphere, by introducing Paul the writer and Beau the photographer. This is a stunning coffee table book, full of night sky photography and language that connect us to the sky above and ground below. If you remember starry nights like I do, this book helps keep alive those memories. If you haven’t been out into nature to see the sky, get your hands on this book to see what you have been missing. And if urbanization continues its exponential growth unchecked, this book will document for future generations what we have lost. What we have lost? This book also describes light pollution, measured by means of the Bortle scale, with photographs from space. Light pollution is an important concept to understand, since much of nature’s life cycles depend on the daily cycles of light and dark to cue their behavior. Which is the most lit up country? Some may jokingly guess Ireland or Russia. Or Jamaica? But of course, the United States tops the list, especially New England, but so does England, France, Italy, as do the cities of Cairo and Dubai. Paul Bogard’s essays have an autobiographical quality showing us how he bonded with those he loves under the star studded skies. From times shared with his beloved dog to the birth of his daughter, the book is emotionally raw, personal journey as well as educational observations. Thank you NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for my feedback.