Black Holes by Sara Latta is non-fiction book that is a quick and captivating read for those who are interested in astronomy and physics but not becoming actual astronomers or physicists.
Latta presents the history and backstory of how the concept of black holes, which started out being called dark stars, has grown into our modern conceptual and theoretical knowledge we now use in studying these unique celestial bodies. From Newton’s Principia, to John Mitchell who first theorized about “dark stars,” to Einstein, Hawking and beyond, Latta presents a scientific history that doesn’t bog the reader down with the overwhelming amount of mathematics which underlies the hypotheses and theories of black holes, but gives a taste to accentuate and assist with the concepts being explained.
The book is laid out in timeline order that would flow smoothly and transition easily, except for an abundance of side notes that explain different concepts. The side notes are interesting and informative, but break the train of thought as you move through the book– some being up to two pages long.
As a nonfiction text, the use of pictures and drawings assist the reader with the concept of imagining the unimaginable. They introduce the reader to the scientists and devices used, the data as it is gathered and assembled, and examples that try to put the scope of vastness being described into context.
Black Holes is about a topic that not everyone would take an interest in without prompting or reason, but not giving this book a chance would leave one with a “hole” in their knowledge of the universe around them. Therefore this books is recommended for the casual to interested science reader.