“For anyone who looks up at the night sky and aches for more.”
New / Old Flames are our favorite books – the ones we really think you should read too.
The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light by Paul Bogard
Reviewed by Katie
“The End of Night“ is a book for anyone who looks up at our city night sky and feels an ache inside, knowing it could be so much more – more stars, more light, more everything. Paul Bogard’s nonfiction exploration of night and darkness in our world today is a readable and entertaining look at what we have lost and what we can try to get back.
Part travelogue, part history, part status report, and part philosophical treatise, this book takes the reader from the beaming light of the Luxor in Las Vegas to Victorian England (and the lamplighters of today) to modern day Paris and to more remote areas of the world tucked away in dark corners of Quebec, the Canary Islands, and our National Parks. As I read, I found myself making a travel list based not on what I could see on earth, but rather what such places allow one to see in the sky. Bogard looks at how the night sky has influenced not just science and the environment but also art and our individual lives. He tackles the question of whether light truly makes society safer and if what we’re gaining is greater than what we are losing. Ultimately, The End of Night demonstrates the value of darkness, both in our skies and in our lives and reminds us of what once was and what still is in some corners of the world.
As winter comes to a close and the days grow longer, many of us may find ourselves embracing the increase in daylight. But this book dares to wonder at and explore the magnificence and value of the night. It also reminds us to look up every now and again. Check it out and soon the darkness may start feeling like an old friend.
Katie is a regular blogger for our teen blog and when she’s not reviewing for us she’s a librarian for the National Library of Medicine.