Skip to main content

This Book Will Light a Fire!

Reading The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow is a little like reading the grandest fairy tale only it’s real. Your imagination is totally hijacked to find out such things as we are made from the same ingredients as stardust and we contain more atoms within our bodies--so small in relation to our astral cousins--than there are stars in the universe. And it is only by this very specific arrangement of certain events, through a particularly mixed concoction of ingredients, that life such as ours is even possible. And the cosmos doesn’t have a single history but a multiplicity of histories, of possibilities. Within its potentially infinite grasp lie endless, numberless, fantastic capabilities. Okay, so maybe I’m reading my own take into what is actual fact. I don’t even pretend to understand the scope of what is contained in this book. But I loved it, every word. I wrote in the margins and on the end pages. It caught fire inside and raised gooseflesh on my skin! And the peeks of humor were a delight and unexpected, like the effect of champagne bubbles. Who knew physics could make you laugh?


You don’t have to “get” physics to get the gift from this book. There is something in the language that resonates, that automatically ignites the mind and sends it rattling down previously unknown or unseen avenues. It is a mind-opening adventure, a journey in words and ideas, a magical, mystery tour that I can highly recommend.

Comments

It's not too often someone makes me want to get out there and read physics! Great review, and it sounds like an amazing book.
Unknown said…
I love Hawking! Sometimes, he loses me, but I keep forging ahead. I really like Elegant Universe too. All of these things fascinate me.

Popular posts from this blog

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button": Did you love it or hate it?

Earlier this week, Colleen and I went to see "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", the extraordinary movie based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I loved it. Colleen not s'much. (I was sitting there choked in tears at the end of the three hour film, so I only vaguely remember her saying something about "watching paint dry.") I want to see it again, so I'm trying to get the Gare Bear to go with me this weekend, but I won't be surprised if he reacts the same way Colleen did. The movie is long. And odd. It requires patience and a complete suspension of disbelief that modern audiences simply aren't trained for, so you've got to be in the right mood for it. The same is true of the short story, though the story and script have very little in common -- at least superficially. The story is very Fitzgerald (though it's not an example of his best writing, IMHO), and the setting -- Baltimore during the industrial revolution, Spanish Americ

APATHY AND OTHER SMALL VICTORIES by Paul Neilan is only good if you enjoy things like laughter

The only thing Shane cares about is leaving. Usually on a Greyhound bus, right before his life falls apart again. Just like he planned. But this time it's complicated: there's a sadistic corporate climber who thinks she's his girlfriend, a rent-subsidized affair with his landlord's wife, and the bizarrely appealing deaf assistant to Shane's cosmically unstable dentist. When one of the women is murdered, and Shane is the only suspect who doesn't care enough to act like he didn't do it, the question becomes just how he'll clear the good name he never had and doesn't particularly want: his own.