iPad iBook Review: The Magic Of Reality for iPad
Reviewed by Tom Slayton
The Magic Of Reality is, at its simplest, an eBook for iPad; but that description doesn't do it justice. Within its digital pages, you will find a treasure trove of highly accessible information on such subjects as: What are things made of? and What is a rainbow? Every page is beautifully illustrated and many are animated. The Magic Of Reality is not simply a book; it is an experience.
First and foremost, this is a book about our world. In it, the author, renowned Scientist and Author Richard Dawkins, makes a very compelling case for acknowledging that science is much more magical than mythology. It is important to note, however, that while Dr. Dawkins does not seek to set science against religion, he does not distinguish between currently held religious beliefs and those of our distant ancestors. Consequently, it is possible that some people may find his purely secular approach to our world as somewhat off-putting. This can be said of nearly every science text ever written, however, so my recommendation is to dive in and enjoy the artfully delivered content as it was intended; a means of understanding and appreciating the magic of the world around us.
In The Magic Of Reality, you will find answers to some very fundamental questions. At first glance, you may think that you know the answers to at least some of these topics. However, the complete answer, at least in my case, was always so much more complex and interesting than I had at first imagined. For instance, I thought that I had a fairly accurate understanding of rainbows. However, after reading the relevant chapter, I learned that there were massive gaps and assumptions in my knowledge; gaps that ultimately contained the most interesting parts of rainbows. Unless you are a scientist yourself, it is impossible to read this book without learning something. This, of course, may be said of many, many books (if not all), The Magic Of Reality succeeds where so many fall short because the author has achieved his goal of explaining these concepts in ways that are accessible and wondrous without being condescending.
While the information contained within this book is both interesting and informative, it's the superb interface and polished graphics that make it a joy to read. As with other eBooks, page-turns are accomplished by swiping left or right. However, instead of requiring the reader to flip back to a home screen to find his/her way around, The Magic Of Reality allows you to swipe downward from the top of the screen with two fingers to bring up a chapter and a page list. Both of these are completely scrollable, of course, and are made up of thumbnails that are large enough to see without squinting. This ingenious design makes it possible to instantly jump effortlessly throughout the book, whether it's just a few pages at a time or entire chapters. As you explore The Magic Of Reality, you will also find movies and narrations, as well as interactive experiences similar to what you would encounter at a children's science center or museum. All in all, this book sports over 250 illustrations (75 of which are animated). The combined multimedia experience will earn this book a permanent place on your iPad, and will become a showcase for its capabilities in much the same way as Theodore Gray's The Elements.
The Magic Of Reality is science made magical, and brought to life through artfully delivered graphics, animation, and sound. Its formidable combination of content and presentation make it an instant classic.
Seller: Random House
Release Date: September 23, 2011
Buy App: The Magic Of Reality for iPad
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