Book Review: Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine

I set my Goodreads 2019 Reading Goal at 30 books.
I think I was one book shy of the same for 2018.

At this rate, I’ll hit 50.

But who are we kidding, I never maintain this pace for more than a few weeks.
30 it is, and 30 it shall remain.

Up at #3 on this year’s hit-list, direct from my Goodreads feed:

Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine by Alan Lightman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Renowned physicist Alan Lightman illuminates the path that we all tread, whether we want to or not, in searching for meaning and truth in this life. He meanders through the halls of academia and sacred space, all the while anchoring himself in the moss under the stars somewhere off the coast of Maine, and asks the hard questions, many of which have no satisfactory answers.

The dichotomy between science and Christianity is a sad, sad story, and a rift that doesn’t have to be, but widens every day that we refuse humility and cling stubbornly to our baggage and our bias. It is a rare book that addresses this break, this blinding conflict, with truly pure motivations. Lightman tackles the arguments all around, defuses the ticking bombs of every side’s defenses, and brings a calm and sanity to the conversation that is beyond refreshing. He has no agenda, save his own curiosities, and an insatiable craving for real experience.

Beautiful. Brilliant and Beautiful.

View all my reviews

So I can’t say Lightman is always the very most eloquent writer out there, but that doesn’t seem to get in his way. His physicist’s brain gets hung up trying to be artsy once or twice, but then he recovers, and gets back to who he is and what he knows, and these things he articulates with enough luster to outshine those identity-crisis moments. When he’s in his groove, being honest with himself, he is an excellent writer.

Note to self: Don’t try any fancy acrobatics on the page. Just be you.

Also, lest we leave today on too much of an ethereal note…

I was tooleying around a bookstore recently, taking pictures of everything that looked appealing, as one does, and I wished aloud to my children that Goodreads would come out with a fancy scanner that could magically look at a book and enter it into my ‘To Read’ shelf, or any shelf for that matter.

You know what Goodreads has?

They have a fancy scanner that could magically look at a book and enter it into my ‘To Read’ shelf, or any shelf for that matter.


It’s right there in the main menu of the app.

See it?

Can you see the fireflies? Video would have gotten more oohs and aahs.

Amazing. As Alan says, we are only steps away from homo sapiens becoming homo techno. Terrifying. Yet still I love my scanner.

And it actually does work like magic. You don’t need to scan the barcode or anything. You can just hold it up to the book, watch all the little fireflies dance around the cover gathering pertinent cyber-information, and Viola!

There is your book.

Which shelf would you like it on, Madam?

After you download the Goodreads app, and after you’ve grown sick of scanning every book within a six mile radius, don’t forget to order Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine from your local library.

Let me know what you think,

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