Necessary Luxury: Neil deGrasse Tyson

Astrophysicist, host of National Geographic Channel’s StarTalk, and author of the show’s first companion book, out this month

“A glass of fine aged Burgundy from Vosne-Romanée can be transcendent. I have laid awake at night still experiencing the wine on my palate, wondering how a liquid substance could be so haunting to my senses. I pair it with Roquefort, crackers, and a few dried cranberries. I like to read my old science books by candlelight. It allows me to commune through time with those who read the book before electricity. One I turn to often is Christiaan Huygens’s Celestial Worlds Discover’d; I own the first English translation, from 1698. In it, the Dutch polymath theorizes on what the atmospheres and surfaces of known planets might be like. I keep a collection of fountain pens, which I use to write speeches. Two favorites are a quill pen and a Caelum, by Pelikan, which has the solar system across its barrel.”