_ "Galileo's Daughter," by Dava Sobel (Penguin, $14, paperback): Einstein called Galileo, the inventor of the telescope, "the father of modern physics." But the famous scientist also was father to a daughter who became a nun: Sister Maria Celeste. Sobel, author of "Longitude," has fashioned something of a dual biography based on 124 surviving letters that Maria Celeste sent her father from the convent. Galileo was a devout Catholic, and when his scientific discoveries brought him into conflict with the church, his daughter's letters were of great solace. Sobel's insightful narrative brings history to life.
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