Two new books have come out about astronomy recently, and both are by friends of mine!
The first is by Fraser Cain, who runs the Universe Today website and is also coadmin of the Bad Astronomy and Universe Today website. The book is called What's Up 2007, and is a day by day breakdown of what's in the sky. Last year's version (What's Up 2006, duh) was really good, with excellent photographs and was really well written. I expect this one is every bit as good. You can download a copy for free, or, for $25, buy a hardcopy online.
The second book has a little bit of a story. A couple of years ago, astronomer Martin Ratcliffe asked me if I'd be interested in writing a chapter in a book he was putting together about the current state of astronomy. It could be a wrap-up of the year in Bad Astronomy. I said sure without thinking about it, because
a) Martin is a friend, and
b) I do a lot of stuff without thinking about it first.
Well, this one worked out well. It was fun to write the chapter up, and now the book is out!
It's called State of the Universe 2007, and has chapters by many astronomers, including Dick McCray, friend of BA Michelle Thaller, also friend of BA Chris Wanjek (who wrote the wonderful Bad Medicine), and a whole slew of others. It's loaded with nice pictures form ground-based and space-based 'scopes, and has insightful and inside commentary by astronomers. It's the kind of book you can sit and read as well as thumb through and look at pictures or just skim.
My chapter has article about the Chaos Cloud (remember that?), the "Mars as big as the Moon" hoax, some movie reviews, and more. It's been a while since something I wrote was in a book, so I feel pretty good about this.
<hint hint>Both books would make great holiday presents, too!</hint hint>.