Currently reading

The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers
Ayn Rand, Tore Boeckmann, Leonard Peikoff
The Name of the Rose
Umberto Eco
David Mitchell
To the Lighthouse
Virginia Woolf
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Edward Gibbon, Daniel J. Boorstin, Gian Battista Piranesi, Hans-Friedrich Mueller
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Douglas R. Hofstadter
Perfect Wrong Note - Learning to Trust Your Musical Self
William Westney
The Prince
Niccolò Machiavelli
The Varieties of Religious Experience
William James
Twenty Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy
G. Lee Bowie, Robert C. Solomon

The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality

The Fabric of the Cosmos (Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality) - Brian Greene I started this book hoping to get a basic understanding of the Theory of Relativity. I got that, and much, much more. I can't remember ever having read an author as talented at distilling and simplifying the complex as Brian Greene. He is great at using metaphor, repetition and illustrations to explain exotic, intertwined subjects. I'm really pleased at how far he was able to take me without requiring me to use math or learn equations. I appreciate the fact that I'd have a deeper understanding of the theory if I learned the math, but my goal isn't to become a cosmologist, it's to get a basic understand of what cosmologists are doing. I was also pleased at how he is always careful to distinguish untested or disputed theories from generally accepted science.Some of the parts that stand out as especially interesting to me were the discussions of entropy and the laws of thermodynamics, the Theory and Special Theories of Relativity. Why dark matter matters and what it potentially is. What gravity actually is, what the Higgs ocean is (if it exists). How quantum mechanics and quantum uncertainty work and what the implications are. He explains what we know about black holes and why a knowledge of them is so important as well as what string theory, super-string theory and M-theory are and the shortcomings and alternatives to those theories.The final chapters are on the frontiers of science and talk about things like whether time and can be broken into discreet, indivisible units and why that would matter. He also discusses the possibilities of teleportation and time travel into the past or future. After reading that far, It feels great to actually understand some of the theory behind the discussion from the previous sections of the book. Greene's excitement for physics is contagious. He is unabashedly enthusiastic and is always careful to point out, in a non-patronizing way, when and why you should be excited about a particular point. Also, check out Joe's review here: