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In the Company of Others: A Father Tim Novel (Father Tim Novels)
 
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In the Company of Others: A Father Tim Novel (Father Tim Novels) [Kindle Edition]

Jan Karon
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Review

"The centerpiece of The 4% Universe is a compelling narrative of science at its best… serve[s] handsomely as an illuminating guide to the dark mysteries lying at the heart of the intersection of astronomy and fundamental physics."
The Wall Street Journal

"Impeccably researched and highly readable."
New Scientist

"A remarkable book and a model for all would-be popular-science writers."
Physics World

"Panek's passion for the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy wins the day. He succeeds because he recognizes that he's writing not just about red shifts and supernovae, but about people...the success of The 4 Percent Universe also stems from Panek's wisdom about how science works."
The Washington Post

"The balance between lively characters and provocative ideas keeps the book moving as quickly as any high stakes thriller, but the pay-off here is an answer of truly cosmic significance...the universe is keeping secrets from us--big secrets. Dark secrets. Panek's joyful journey through the wilds of modern cosmology gives us good reason to care about those secrets, and their sure-to-be surprising answers."
Ad Astra, Magazine of National Space Society

"A superior account of how astronomers discovered that they knew almost nothing about 96 percent of the universe. Science writer Panek (The Invisible Century: Einstein, Freud, and the Search for Hidden Universes, 2005, etc.) points out that 50 years ago astronomers assumed they understood the cosmos and its history from the big bang to galaxy formation to its ultimate fate as expansion continued. One detail remained disturbing: Galaxies were moving too fast. Since gravity controls movements, they had to be heavier than predicted. By the 1980s, this "missing mass" problem became critical as it became clear that galaxies, including ours, were rotating so fast that missing mass far outweighs visible objects such as stars. Even after eliminating gas and dust, "dark matter" represents strange particles unknown to science. Astronomers also believed that gravity was slowing expansion of the universe but debated if galaxies would reverse themselves, continue to recede ever more slowly or (the favorite theory) simply stop. Panek describes frustrating struggles with high-tech detectors, complex computer algorithms and massive telescopes to search distant galaxies for the key. The answer came in the late '90s expansion wasn't slowing but speeding up. Flabbergasted astronomers understood that accelerating billions of galaxies requires immense energy. Since Einstein proved that energy and mass are equivalent, this "dark energy" makes up three-quarters of the universe. Dark energy added to dark matter reduces the familiar universe to 4 percent of the total. Panek delivers vivid sketches of scientists, lucid explanations of their work and revealing descriptions of the often stormy rivalry that led to this scientific revolution, usually a media cliche, but not in this case." 
—Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review

"There has always been more to the universe than we can see. Science journalist Panek (The Invisible Century) offers an insider's view of the quest for what could be the ultimate revelation: the true substance of the unseen dark matter and energy that makes up some 96% of our universe. The search for these hidden elements began in the 1960s with astronomers asking whether the universe would end in an infinitely expanding "Big Chill" or a collapse into a "Big Crunch"--or whether the universe is a just-right "Goldilocks" space that would nurture stars and galaxies forever. To answer this question, scientists calculated the universe's mass and discovered there was far more mass than we could see. But where is this "missing mass" and what kind of exotic "dark" stuff is it made of? Panek gleefully describes a 'Wild West of the mind, where resources were scarce, competition was fierce, and survival depended on small alliances of convenience, often enduring just long enough to publish a paper.' This lively story of big personalities, intellectual competitiveness, and ravenous curiosity is as entertaining as it is illuminating."
—Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

"The 4% Universe is a lively and well-researched account of the personalities and ambitions of modern scientists." 
—Alan Lightman, author of Einstein’s Dreams

"Somebody needed to tell this story—of all that is dark and mysterious in the cosmos. Science writer Richard Panek has risen to that task. In his journalistic yet artful style, Panek guides you through the quirky discoveries that established the existence of dark matter and dark energy. But along the way, you also get to meet the quirky cosmologists who got us there."
—Neil deGrasse Tyson, American Museum of Natural History, author of Death by Black Hole

"A contemporary adventure story of modern-day explorers who venture forth into the universe not by ships, but by telescopes and satellites. . . . Riveting."
—Lee Smolin, author of The Trouble with Physics

"It’s the biggest mystery of all: why is the universe expanding at an accelerated rate? At its heart is a search for what forces and particles make up reality. It baffled Einstein, and it now obsesses a cadre of fascinating cosmologists. By brilliantly capturing their passions and pursuits, Richard Panek has made this cosmic quest exciting and understandable."
—Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and Einstein: His Life and Universe  "The 4% Universe is a reliable and readable account of how scientists discovered—and are struggling to come to grips with—the astounding fact that most of the observable universe has not yet even been observed, much less understood. It has the further merit of relating how scientists arrive at their findings, rather than simply presenting their theories as objects of admiration or adoration. Highly recommended."
—Timothy Ferris, author of Coming of Age in the Milky Way and The Science of Liberty

"Modern cosmology tackles some of the biggest questions we have about the nature of the cosmos. In The 4% Universe, Richard Panek brings this quest down to a human scale. The rivalries, the surprises, and the excitement are brought vividly to life. People are a very tiny percentage of the universe, but we remain the most interesting part."
—Sean Carroll, author of From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time

Product Description

Another stirring page-turner about Father Tim—this time set in County Sligo—from the bestselling author of At Home in Mitford, Somebody Safe with Somebody Good, and other books in the Mitford Series

Jan Karon's new Father Tim series, launched with her New York Times bestselling Home to Holly Springs, thrilled legions of Mitford devotees, and also attracted a whole new set of readers. "Lovely," said USA Today. "Rejoice!" said The Washington Post.

In this second installment in the series, Father Tim and Cynthia arrive in the west of Ireland, intent on researching his Kavanagh ancestry from the comfort of a charming fishing lodge. The charm, however, is broken entirely when Cynthia startles a burglar and sprains her already-injured ankle. Then a cherished and valuable painting is stolen from the lodge owners, and Cynthia's pain pales in comparison to the wound at the center of this bitterly estranged Irish family.

In the Company of Others is a moving testament to the desperate struggle to hide the truth at any cost and the powerful need to confess. Of all her winning novels, Jan Karon says this "dark-haired child" is her favorite.


Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1041 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (Oct. 19 2010)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00452V3ZK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,900 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the Company of Others by Jan Karon Nov. 5 2010
Format:Hardcover
In the Company of Others by Jan Karon (Rated: C)
ISBN: 978-0-670-02212-0
Viking Press
Published October 30, 2010
Hardcover, 399 pages

Reviewed by Sandra

The unlikely protagonist is a 70-year-old retired Episcopalian priest named Tim. He and his 64-year-old wife of 8 years spend a vacation in Ireland, "getting in touch with his roots." While staying at a seemingly charming family-run fishing lodge they encounter a variety of harmless characters.....an idyllic vacation lies ahead. But.... an intruder appears in a bedroom, a valuable painting is stolen, the fishing lodge loses its charm and a mystery begins.

At the heart of the story is the dysfunctional family who own the lodge. Each one has their own secrets and intrigues. "Father" Tim is at the helm trying to help them deal with their issues. Cynthia, too, is sympathetic to their challenges and when she finds a journal dating back to the 1800's, something in the journal helps to solve the mystery of the missing painting and more.

The descriptions are creative. An example is "the water's surface was golden now, hammered by the afternoon sun. Bees droned in the flower beds; the trunks of the beeches convened like patient elephants."

I could hear the Irish lilt in some of the dialogue and this made the story real for me. At one point someone says about prayer to God, "He wouldn't be after hearin' from me." Someone was "overly fond of the table." A nurse was "familiar with the backside of Gehenna."

Biblical references and Yeats' poetry fill this bitter/sweet, slow-moving Irish tale that is essentially about the liberating power of confession, forgiveness, and redemption.

I recommend this book to anyone looking for a story with a happy ending.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jan Karon's Book 2 in the Father Tim series Dec 27 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Finally I was able to purchase Book 2 after eagerly awaiting its release and having loved Book 1 so much. Jan Karon does not disappoint and I have given both Books 1 and 2 as gifts to others. For anyone interested in genealogy, especially Irish genealogy, this book will be greatly enjoyed. Now I am hoping Book 3 is in the works!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "In the Company of Others: A Father Tim Novel" Dec 12 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book, but then her writing of "Father Tim" has been excellent. The entire series has been so interesting.
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