BookshelfJacob deGroot-Maggetti

Chasing the Sun: How the Science of Sunlight Shapes Our Bodies and Minds – Linda Geddes

Thoughts: I found this book browsing the stacks at the Kitchener Public Library, and I think it got mis-catalogued somewhere along the way - a book about the effects of sunlight on our health, I found it next to books on physics and astronomy. It’s not long, it’s full of practical information, and it strikes a good balance between outlining the current state of research and offering anecdotes and case studies for memorability. As someone who until recently has tried to avoid direct sunlight in an effort to minimize my chances of eventually developing skin cancer, I wish I’d come across it several years ago! Based on reading it, I’m going to start taking a more nuanced approach (something along the lines of avoiding sunlight during the summer and while the UV index is high - perhaps 4 or greater - while seeking it out during the fall-winter-spring and when the UV index is 3-ish or lower).

(The notes below are not a summary of the book, but rather raw notes - whatever I thought, at the time, might be worth remembering.)

Geddes, Linda. 2019. Chasing the Sun: How the Science of Sunlight Shapes Our Bodies and Minds. Pegasus Books.


1. The Body Clocks

2. The Body Electric

3. Shift Work

4. Doctor Sunshine

5. Protection Factor

6. A Dark Place

7. Midnight Sun

8. Light Cure

9. Fine-tuning the Clock

10. Clocks for Society



Posted: Oct 18, 2022. Last updated: Aug 31, 2023.