This is one of those books I had never heard of (translated from German), that I stumbled upon in the library and quite enjoyed. Wikipedia says that a movie was based on the book, never encountered that either.
The author really brings to life two scientists that devoted their lives to figuring out the world’s secrets, Carl Friedrich Gauss and Alexander Von Humboldt. The early 19th century comes to life as well. The tale is told skillfully, with understatement and humor. The author manages a winning combination of explaining information while presenting the human side. Frankly, I’m glad I never met either of them – it was no simple matter to be around either one of them!
Here’s to trying books one has never heard of!