A Guide to Wider Horizons
“For some, it’s the journey and not the destination.”
In A Guide to Wider Horizons the author provides a photo of himself in Renaissance garb worn while lecturing “about Renaissance astronomy.” This is a clue to the reader: to infer that Krisciunas is himself a Renaissance man, a polymath.
Clocking in at about 130 pages A Guide to Wider Horizons can be read quickly, in less than a day. Its author, Kevin Krisciunas says this “a book about books, and a book about ideas.” In this collection of essays the reader will realize that the author has a bright and curious mind, and is unafraid of controversy—this reviewer finds no little irony in that A Guide to Wider Horizons was authored by a science professor teaching in the great state of Texas.
Though A Guide to Wider Horizons is intended for every reader, it may not be for every reader—the chapters wander from topic to topic with little or at best, idiosyncratic connection. There is no theme only a tenuous connection across sports, mathematics, astronomy, physics, life and literature, while barely scratching the surface of any of the topics. It’s not really about any of those things, which makes A Guide to Wider Horizons difficult to review. This reviewer’s initial intent was to provide a synopsis of each essay, however in the process of writing this review, the synopses felt wrong, seemed distortions of the author’s intent. So this reviewer’s initial plan was tossed and the review is short.
A Guide to Wider Horizons is good but it is difficult for this reviewer to say exactly why.
Your reaction to and enjoyment of A Guide to Wider Horizons depends on where you are in your education and experience. For the young and less experienced (those having a less “filled up” head, perhaps?), A Guide to Wider Horizons is an idiosyncratic tour of ideas, ideas about books, and books about ideas. For the more experienced (though perhaps more jaded?), A Guide to Wider Horizons is a nudge, a reminder of books and movies the reader intended but never got around to, and a reminder to revisit books and movies that were visited some time ago but forgotten, ideas learned but lost. A Guide to Wider Horizons might also serve as a touchstone, offering familiar ideas in a new way, with a twist.
A Guide to Wider Horizons may not be for every reader, but should not to be dismissed out-of-hand. For some, it’s the journey and not the destination.