This useful book on the solar system can be read and enjoyed by those with little previous acquaintance with astronomy; it is a popular compilation of our present knowledge of that system of heavenly bodies under the principal gravitational influence of the sun (hence the title) of which our own planet is a part. Each one of the more important members of the system receives a chapter's portrait in turn: Sun, Moon, Earth, and the other planets; lesser members of the system -- asteroids, comets and meteors -- are also discussed. The author canvases the possibility of life on other planets, argues the probable nature of the Moon's craters, tells how the asteroids and the more distant planets were discovered, and speculates as to the origin of the solar system. He includes an historical survey of the science. Mr. Pickering has difficulty restraining a penchant for crass asides, but otherwise he writes clearly and competently, and, though his purpose is instructive, his book avoids a textbook tone.