Saturday, February 22, 2014

Book Club: A Brief History of Time

Like many people, I often find myself asking profound questions... How did the universe begin, and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending, or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? What will happen when it all ends?

I'm obsessed with shows like The X-Files and Fringe (Joshua Jackson -- swoon!) and some of my very favorite books are those that involve alternate dimensions or time travel (Outlander series, His Dark Materials trilogy). So of course when I saw A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking at a garage sale for fifty cents, I jumped on it. And after spending much longer than a brief period of time on my bookshelf staring intimidatingly at me, I decided that it was time to dust off this landmark volume and give it a whirl.

A Brief History of Time is described as being told in language we can all understand, which is why it appealed to me in the first place. I have seen and read a lot of fiction involving these topics, but I was very interested in reading the facts by one of "the great minds of our time." We're talking black holes, gravity, antimatter, alternate dimensions, the nature of time, the Big Bang and even God, with amazing and unexpected possibilities.

I had high expectations for this book, and I'd say that they were moderately met. This probably makes me sound like kind of a moron, considering this book is of the "for dummies" variety, but for some reason I thought it would be easier to read and less... text book-y. But I suppose that one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists in history can only stoop down to my level so much. But I was still able to wade through the technical jargon and finished with a much better (although general) grasp of this difficult subject matter. Some of the concepts were so vast that I actually felt vertigo while reading, but I couldn't help but marvel and Hawking's ability to break down these subjects.
Although I still don't understand the ultimate secrets at the heart of creation (but then again neither does Hawking), I still know a whole lot more than I did before reading this book, and I'm glad that I finally get to check it off my bucket list.
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  1. hope you have a great weeknd.

  2. Oh man, I was trying to watch some series on Netflix that must have been based off this book, because it was narrated by Stephen Hawking and he was trying to explain the universe. Maybe it was because I was watching it late at night or maybe it is because I struggle with concepts that are not concrete, but it was a big difficult for me to feel like I really understand what he was trying to explain. I mean seriously, the moon is 238,900 miles away from the sun; I just can't comprehend how far away that is. Maybe this book would help. Kudos to you for tacking it!

  3. This is on my list but I find it a little intimidating. Maybe I'll read it over summer when I have some free time!

  4. I think I would probably really enjoy reading this, but then get distracted by being mindblown!


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