Today my wish will be rather science than fiction. I would like to read “Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light” by Jane Brox.
“In Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light, Jane Brox illuminates the fascinating and forgotten history of man-made light, tracing its development through centuries of sputtering, smoking candles, to the gradual refinement of gas and, finally, electric light. Brox captures the sense of wonder that permeated the Chicago World’s Fair as electric light lit up the “White City,” and shows how quickly we became reliant on electric light, recounting the trepidation and anxiety that accompanied the mandatory blackouts of World War II and the power outages that have plagued New York City’s power grid since the 1960s. Brox also addresses the unexpected consequences of light pollution, detailing the struggles of astronomers who are no longer able to see stars, and migrating birds that confusedly circle lit buildings at night until they die from exhaustion. Brilliant is an eloquent account of how a luxury so quickly became a necessity, and permanently changed human history. –Lynette Mong”