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Your top 3 science / science-related books?


x6gas
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Partly prompted a thread on the LHC / Higgs Boson and partly by the need for Christmas present ideas, I am wondering what people's favourite science / science-related books are and, optionally, why.

Mine are:

1) Cosmos - Carl Sagan: The book of the series which I got for Christmas when I was 10. Before video so I read it cover to cover many times and looked at the pictures in awe countless more...

2) Massive - Ian Sample: Recent book on the search for the Higgs Boson. Explains what it is all about and why it's important in an understandable and entertaining way.

3) Moon Dust - Andrew Smith: Another brilliant book looking at the astronauts involved in the Apollo programme, written from the standpoint that not too far into the future there won't be anyone alive who walked on the moon. (no conspiracy theory posts please).

A close fourth would be Lost Moon - Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Klugar (re-titled Apollo 13 when the movie came out) Like the film only even better!

Seasons Greetings all!

Ian

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For me it would be :

Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything - got me back into science reading in a big way.

Carl Sagan - Comet - a fascinating and readable book on these monster snowballs.

Richard Dawkins - The Blind Watchmaker - for me the best summary of evolution there is.

There's lots more I could mention but these stand out in my mind.

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anyone read "bang history of the universe" the one by brian may and sir.p.m ?

i hear its more a beginers plain english style book,that would be right up my street.

be interested to hear any reviews.

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Impossible question to answer!

I thought about giving two lists, one list of my favourite technical science books and another list for my favourite non-technical science books, but this is still too difficult.

There is one book that is my favourite, and that would be on both of the above lists, as it is both (very) technical (in places) and non-technical.

The Road To Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe: Amazon.co.uk: Sir Roger Penrose: Books

Penrose's ambitious book attempts to give an overview to everyone, from interested laypersons to research scientists, of all of fundamental physics, and of all the math (and more) underlying fundamental physics. Even though Penrose advises readers to skip over any and all math not to their liking, I think that readers who don't have math backgrounds will find it heavy going. It's not necessarily meant to be read from cover - a reader should just open it to whatever topic tickles their fancy. If something in one paragraph is not understandable, the reader should try to find some background elsewhere in the book, or go on to the next paragraph or chapter.

My biggest complaint is that, at 1100 pages, the book is too short!

I might give more of my favourites in other posts.

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Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! has to be there.

Catastrophes and lesser calamities by Tony Hallam is a nice book covering mass extinctions. Comprehensive but not over-lengthy.

Isaac Newton by James Gleick is a good bio.

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Simon Singhs 'Big Bang' has been one of my favourites. A book called 'Cosmic Catasrophes' (sorry - too lazy to go to my bookcase and see who wrote it!), very in depth. I seem to recall John Gribbins general guide to science being interesting. 'The Neptune Files' is also a good one, as is SPM/Brian May book 'Bang'.

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My choice would be..

QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter by Richard P. Feynman.

Very interesting to a beginner astronomer, explains how quantum behaviour of photons and electrons is responsible for things like reflection, refraction, diffraction and pretty much everything else in a straightforward way intended for a complete layperson with no mathematics. Quite an achievement considering he got a Nobel prize for it.

Skywatcher 200p

Complete beginner

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Interesting replies, thanks!

Christmas list duly updated with Mariner of the Nebulae, Big Bang (which is a good catch coz I wanted to read it but it's slipped off of my radar; glad I started this thread!) and Fabric of the Cosmos...

Thanks again and Merry Crimble all...

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I'm presently working my way through How to Teach Quantum Physics to your Dog which is quite a light, entertaining read.

I don't know if you'd classify it as "science", but I'd thoroughly recommend The Undercover Economist. Apart from being quite cheap (the book, not me) it explains a lot and has some mind-boggling chapters - the one on China may even make you cry :icon_salut:

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  • 7 months later...

Just reading through 'The Magic of Reality' by Richard Dawkins. It's a fantastic read so far and I'm loving the illustrations and graphics. The chapter containing the thought experiment which demonstrates evolution by creating a chain of ancestors back through time is absolutely mind-blowing. An excellent read.

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Just reading through 'The Magic of Reality' by Richard Dawkins. It's a fantastic read so far and I'm loving the illustrations and graphics. The chapter containing the thought experiment which demonstrates evolution by creating a chain of ancestors back through time is absolutely mind-blowing. An excellent read.

this is one of the books I am currently reading and I agree - superbly written and very easy to follow.

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