Staff Picks

The Truth is Out There: The incredibly weird world of astrophysics

Milky Way galaxy
I'm a life long science fiction reader, and I'm interested in science, too. But I often find fiction to be easier to read than nonfiction - as if there's going to be a pop quiz at the end of the book.

So I'm happy to say I've found some fascinating and very easy-to-read science books on my favorite subject: the incredibly weird world of astrophysics.

A Brief History of Time

A Brief History of Time

by Stephen Hawking

Told in language we all can understand, A Brief History of Time explains such universal mysteries as the big bang, black holes, wormholes and the nature of time (and led indirectly to Eddie Redmayne winning the Oscar for best actor in 2015).

The Elegant Universe

The Elegant Universe : superstrings, hidden dimensions, and the quest for the ultimate theory

by Brian Greene

When you want to know how the universe is made up of eleven dimensions, and how all matter is generated by tiny vibrating rubberband-ish string thingees, you want Greene (not me, obviously) to explain it all to you. Because he doesn't use the word thingees as a technical term.

Weird Universe

Weird Universe: Exploring the Most Bizarre Ideas in Cosmology

by David A.J. Seargent

Like the title says, this book looks at all the weird stuff in astrophysics, from widely accepted theories like Einstein's special and general relativity, to some of the not-so-accepted ideas, such as the possibility that gravity does not actually exist. Okay, but in that case what's keeping me glued to my chair?

The Cosmic Cocktail

The Cosmic Cocktail: Three Parts Dark Matte

by Katherine Freese

It turns out that all the stuff we can observe in the known universe - stars and planets and all that - make up just 5 percent of the cosmos. The remaining 95 percent is filled with some stuff called dark matter and some force called dark energy that we cannot see. You do not need to be a Jedi knight to enjoy this book.

Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs

Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs 

by Lisa Randall

So, there might be a giant disc of dark matter hiding in the Milky Way that flung a huge comet from out of deep space and sent it crashing into the Earth killing all the dinosaurs sixty million years ago. And it could happen again, so consider this a "must read." And maybe get yourself on the list for the Mars colony. Just sayin'.

Many Worlds in One

Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes

by Alex Vilenkin
Our universe could be just one of countless universes. In this trans-dimentional multiverse, there is a seperate universe for every possible thing that could ever have happened since the beginning of time. Like, in this universe I'm a humble librarian and in another universe I'm Jon Hamm. Because that's entirely possible.

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