This second part of my end of the year book haul contains almost exclusively popular science books. If you’re even remotely interested in space and physics, you should look in to a couple of these books. If you haven’t already checked it out, the first part of my end of the year book haul can be found if you click right here.
Hyperspace by Michio Kaku is as the subtitle says, ‘A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension’. Truly mind-blowing stuff is discussed here. And on a comprehendible level if you’re willing to be open-minded. It works as an introduction to string theory without going into the depth of the obscure mathematics it’s based on. I’ve already read and liked it a lot. While I can’t claim to fully comprehend all of the stuff mentioned in the book, I walk away with a good chunk of new knowledge, tons of questions and a desire to learn more.
Astrophysics of People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. I’ve actually already read this book, but I didn’t have physical copy. I loved it a lot, so of course I had to buy it. As the title suggests, it’s a short introduction to astrophysics. If you’re curious about the universe it’s definitely worth the read. It is easy to comprehend and the author is very funny.
Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe by Mike Massimino. I’ve only read and heard good things about this autobiography. Massimino, a real life astronaut who has actually been in space, takes the reader on an adventure. He talks about his journey to where he is today, and describes first hand experiences from the vacuum of space. Besides that, I gather he’s a pretty entertaining guy, which is a huge plus.
Now: The Physics of Time by Richard A. Muller. I bought this one at the airport without reading any reviews on goodreads, which I usually do before picking up a book. At first I thought it would be an interesting read about time. But as it started to halfheartedly discredit modern physics, drag and derail. I read a couple of reviews and found out that it turns into more of a philosophical discussion of free will than the physics of time. Therefore I decided to DNF it at page 108 and end my suffering.
Universal: A Journey Through the Cosmos by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw is described as a journey of scientific exploration and, as the title suggests, the cosmos. I’ve already read a couple of popular science books on the subject, but it never hurts to read even more. This one imagines a time before the Big Bang, and it’s goal is to promote understanding of our universe.
Asteroid Hunters by Carrie Nugent is actually a TED talk turned into a book. Nugent explains how scientists can obtain knowledge to prevent an astroid from hitting the earth. It’s all about asteroids, both future and historic discoveries related to them. Detection of asteroids might lead to the first time humans will be able to prevent a natural disaster. As a bonus, it has some gorgeous illustrations that compliments the content. I’m all about those pretty illustrations.
Time Travel: A History by James Gleick is an exploration of time travel in relation to science, literature and how we understand time. The author tracks the evolution of time travel in all its mind-blowing glory, from Proust to Doctor Who and beyond. It seems like an interesting history culminating with how the world and time works here and now.
The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself by Sean Carroll. As the grand title and subtitle suggests, this is a book that connects a bunch of stuff. The author shows how discoveries over the past few centuries has changed our world. And it explains how the world works at different levels and how they connect. I’m doing a shitty job of explaining what it’s about. Surprisingly I haven’t heard that many people talking about it. When I saw it at the bookstore I was immediately drawn to it, which must be a good sign.
The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe is a journalistic narration of the space race by one of the original influencers of the New Journalism literary movement. Unlike traditional journalism, New Journalism utilizes a lot of literary techniques, which sometimes clashes with objectivity. As you can tell from all of the books in my haul, I’m really into space. This book adds history as well as literary amazement to that.
For the past six months I’ve continuously sought more and more information about space. I’m particularly interested in astrophysics, which is possibly the most interesting subject I’ve ever come across. It has made me diverge from my usual reading tastes and habits in order to explore other avenues of literature. Where I started the year off with almost exclusively reading young adult. I’m finishing it off with a fantastic mix of genres within both fiction and non-fiction. Have you discovered a new field of interest that has pushed you to expand your reading horizon this year?