Friday Five Challenge ~ Buy or Pass ~ Northern Lights: The Science, Myth and Wonder of Aurora Borealis

Rosie Amber’s Friday Five Challenge, involves taking only five minutes to choose a book cover which appeals instantly. So take a few minutes, grab yourself a coffee…..and have a browse.


In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

My Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book, and any other details.

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

Astronomy and Cosmology was the this week’s choice, I was looking for something completely different. This cover stood out immediately with an amazing image. 


The book blurb:

Electric green pierced by neon blue, shocking pink spinning into violent red, and shimmering purple sidled up against deep indigo: never before have you seen such high-octane colors in the sky, and never before has a book shown the northern lights-aurora borealis-in such vivid color. In Northern Lights, photographers Calvin Hall and Daryl Pederson bring to print nearly a hundred photographs of this amazing natural phenomenon, shot from remote locations all over Alaska and using no filters or digital enhancement. Just as fascinating are the legends, myths, and science surrounding this polar phenomenon, described by George Bryson. As 2002 marks the peak viewing time of the northern lights in an eleven-year cycle, this book brings the elusive magic of the northern lights to stargazers near and far.

The book was published in 2002 and has 21 reviews, with an average rating of 4.5*, fifteen of which are 5*. Fourteen reviews on Amazon US , average rating 4.9*. It’s only available in paperback but I don’t think it would work in kindle format anyway. There’s a wealth of fabulous photos if the ‘look inside’ feature is anything to go by. The full price is £13.13/$16.05 but other sellers offer new from £7.41/$9.75 and used from £2.77/$0.01. Personally, I think if this interests a buyer it would be worth buying a new edition.

A 2* reviewer says

Gorgeous glossy pages, very inspiring and beautiful. I bought this to surprise my husband when organised a trip for his birthday. He loves it.’ 

which I though didn’t gel with the 2* rating.

One of the 5* verified purchaser reviewers has this to say

‘My parents are going on a trip to (hopefully!) see the Northern Lights in November so I wanted to buy this as a gift so that they could look forward to the forthcoming trip even more. They were absolutely delighted with the book – the photography is absolutely stunning and the text well written and interesting. A lovely book which is well worth the money.’

I’d love to go to Alaska in the hopes of witnessing for myself some of the incredible sights in this book and it would be interesting to read. I like that a review states there’s just enough text to explain the photos without it becoming a text book. 

So would I BUY or PASS? At the moment I’ll PASS but it’s going on my to buy list, from one of the other sellers. It’s a book I’d like to keep picking up and looking through. 

More Friday Five Challenge choices

Rosie searched for Black Friday.

Shelley searched magic and found a Necromancer in Victorian London.

Alison chose a book about two sisters’ survival.

Barb went for a memoir of survival against the odds.

10 thoughts on “Friday Five Challenge ~ Buy or Pass ~ Northern Lights: The Science, Myth and Wonder of Aurora Borealis

  1. What a wonderful gift for someone. I love photography books, I know I’m rubbish at taking pictures so I like to see how it should be done. I agree with Terry, if you can grab a copy for £2.99 then it’s a bargain 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I caught a glimpse of the Northern Lights coming back from Lapland – a very small glimpse as everyone was crowded around the aeroplane windows! A real missed opportunity so I would love to see them properly. Lovely book 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I Love the cover, you know what it will be about instantly, I’d want a paperback of this to enjoy the pictures. A Pass from me today as I don’t have anyone to give it to and I need all my money for Christmas shopping.

    Liked by 1 person

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