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
Ghostwritten
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

George's Secret Key to the Universe

George's Secret Key to the Universe - Stephen Hawking;Lucy Hawking I take pride in the fact that my kid has read his first Hawking book at age 7.George's Secret Key to the Universe definitely succeeded in keeping Max interested and entertained. He was impressed at how we're made from the stuff of stars and he loved finding out how black holes work. He also now knows a little about the planets and the solar system and thinks that science in general is probably a fairly cool thing to learn more about.For my part, I also learned a few things--how particles can escape from a black hole and that black holes are (in theory) finite. I also learned quite a bit about the life-cycle of stars. The most important part to me was that the writing wasn't terrible. There's nothing that bugs me more than a kids book that feels like it was written by a high school drop out. Lucy Hawking is a charming writer.My only minor quibble, as a skeptic of anthropomorphic global warming, was the occasional focus on "saving the planet," ostensibly from the human race. It wasn't overbearing though and it was offset by the rather more interesting idea of finding a new planet for future generations. My preference would be to encourage kids to pursue science from motives other than fear or guilt.We'll be starting on Lucy Hawking's next book, [b:George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt|5495650|George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt|Lucy Hawking|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61w5auRmhIL._SL75_.jpg|5563318] tomorrow night.