Remembering one of my favorite books from my youth…

Our UniverseMy wife commented tonight that my son (4) was going on at length about which planet was where in the solar system and how if you lived right next to the sun it would be too hot to live, etc… and suggested we get him some books on the planets from the library. This got me to thinking about a book that I used to spend hours and hours reading, I probably read it through cover-to-cover over a hundred times over the years… and a few searches later I found the title and author, Roy A. Gallant, “Our Universe“… but it wasn’t until I found a picture of the book’s cover that I was sure it was the same one.

I probably spent most of my reading time in all my various ‘youth fiction’, like Piers Anthony’s Xanth series, but the runner up would be the World Book encyclopedia set my parents had bought… it was the place I learned all about the Maginot Line, for example… and various picture-filled books like this one and others on World War II aircraft, etc… so many things to look at and to fill your head with thoughts.

Of course, I’m a geek, so we’ll have Encarta around, but I just don’t think you can beat the enjoyment of a full-color oversized book to dig into a topic

Author: Duncan Mackenzie

I'm the Developer Lead for the Channel 9 team, formerly worked on MSDN as a developer, content strategist and author.

10 thoughts on “Remembering one of my favorite books from my youth…”

  1. I’d just feel bad beating you on that auction, though…

    I’m going to have to give my mother a ring and see if she can find it in all my old stuff.

  2. That book rocked! Thanks for reminding me about it. Luckily our library had a (dog-eared) copy, so I went and checked it out to read to my daughter. Anyone remember the little cardboard model telescope that came with it that you got to put together?

  3. Ack, wish I had seen this post a few weeks back. After TechEd I drove down to Miami to the house I grew up in. I am sure that book is still there and I used to love it scanning through it.

  4. Yes that book was awesome. I’m going through year old email, of course the link is gone, don’t even know what it was too, but the picture of this book caught my eye. I have always moved this book with me through the years, as I always thought it was a good reference. My favorite picture was the one where it showed the stars that make up the big dipper, and how they are each at different distances in space. I’ll never forget that picture.

  5. Nice reference to the Xanth series. Centaur Aisle is the first “Real” book I read and I was hooked on reading (and Piers Anthony) from that day forward.

  6. I love that book, I can remember checking that more than once as soon as I learned to read–from my elementary school library, I remember almost dropping it once (or did i drop it) because it was at headheight and was really heavy… one of the coolest features in my mind was a multilayered image with seethrough pages… then there were the beautiful pictures and artist renditions… another cool one I remembered were the blastofars (or whatever they were called) that lived on mars ate metal and farted their way around… or am I mixing two creatures?–no, the blastofars were furry and around their feet clustered groups pink and blue spotted little creatures that looked slimy/sluglike but in reminding you more of beanie babies, with their massive eyes, cute even, and then feeling bad when you read the caption and saw on the opposing page an image of one of them farting a blast of flame and sending the littleuns flying, as they had clustered there for the warmth given off from the smelting furnace inside the blastofar’s belly, but it had no use for them. then there was this guy with massive ears that could close its ears back entirely around its body, looking like an eggshell, and then this guy that was an ice-skater creature on pluto… or the ecosystem on a gas giant with pterodactyl type creatures, and massive blimps guys, and airbore jelly-fish type creatures… the tree of life according to various religions, an artist rendering of Helios or Ra as the egytians called him riding his golden boat? (with egytian farmers below) / fiery chariot across the sky, then traveling along underneath the world. views of the edge of the flat earth and the ocean pouring off it into space… note, the images that I can best describe were all the artist renderings… 🙂 its kindof hard to describe the vast expanses of beauty in space, the spiral galaxies, the quasars, pulsars, and blackholes… the gas giants, supernovas, brown dwarfs white dwarfs, and Class Sol suns.

    What an amazing book… beautiful, made me think and learn alot…

    The things you remember after 12 years…

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