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Physical Pleasures!!!

Oh, No.. Don’t get me wrong. Recently, I rediscovered the pleasures of physics, or in general, the pleasures of science. During school and college days, I was intimidated by science, probably due to the utterly uninspiring and atrocious way it was taught. That fear persisted even while I pursued my engineering degree. And it was sheer chance which reintroduced me to the world of science.

I was, as usual, leafing through travelogues and novels in the bookshop, when I wandered into the science section and picked up ”The Mind of God” by Paul Davies. I went through the preface and index and flipped at random through a few pages. The book looked interesting and I bought it. Upon reading it, I found that it was written in simple layman’s terms and it had no scary equations to grapple with. It provided perspectives and insights into astronomy I had never imagined. Astronomy had fascinated me during school days. I had spent many nights identifying constellations lying on my back on the terrace looking up a sky map by torchlight. ”Black Holes in Space” by Patrick More I had read during my college days was an excellent introduction to those celestial enigmas like black holes, quasars, pulsars and neutrino stars.

Now that my interest in astronomy was rekindled, I went ahead and gathered similar popular science titles. Although I haven’t read all of them, I’m sure the books I have listed below would provide a good introduction to everyone interested in astronomy, genetics, evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology, philosophy and history, some of the subjects I have found the most enchanting and intriguing. I cannot claim beyond a superficial understanding of these subjects, but the questions that they try to answer and some of the bewildering insights they provide have helped to render me a new perspective and respect for life.

My top choices are:

The Mind of God – Paul Davies
Black Holes in Space – Patrick Moore
A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawkins
Surely, You’re Joking Mr.Feynman – Richard Feynman
Meaning of It All – Richard Feynman
Genome – Matt Ridley
Red Queen – Matt Ridley
Guns, Germs and Steel – Jared Diamond
The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee – Jared Diamond
Collapse – Jared Diamond
The Selfish Gene – Richard Dawkins
The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins
The Blind Watchmaker- Richard Dawkins
The Ancestor’s Tale – Richard Dawkins
Darwin’s Dangerous Idea – Daniel Dennett
How The Mind Works – Stephen Pinker
The Blank Slate – Stephen Pinker
The Naked Ape – Desmond Morris
Chaos – James Gleick
The Fabric of Cosmos – Brian Greene
The Elegant Universe – Brian Greene
E=mc2 – David Bodanis
Electric Universe – David Bodanis
The Secret House – David Bodanis
Quirkology – Richard Wiseman
What is History – E H Carr
The Mating Mind – Geoffrey Miller

Categories: Bibliophilia
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