In 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About the Universe, William A. Gutsch ranges, well, throughout the universe. Why 1001? In his introduction, Gutsch sounds like George Bush when he admits that the title is "a publishing thing, not a science thing." A former chair of the Hayden Planetarium who has been Special Science Correspondent for ABC, Gutsch has a chatty yet well-informed style. He recounts the discovery of Pluto and refutes the misconception that the frequency of births rises during the full moon. He is always lively. A sample: "The ice cliffs of Miranda are not only a great geological wonder, they'll also make a great theme park ride someday." Miranda is a moon of Uranus. Thanks to its weak gravity, if you stepped off one of its nine-mile-high cliffs, you wouldn't reach the ground until half an hour later.
Reviewed by Michael Sims.