Reading has always been a big hobby of mine, below I have included some of my recently read books. If you would like to take a look at them clickGet Started
Here are some of the books I have been reading recently, you can click on each book to get some more information and the books rating from popular book review websites.
Although I use reading as a hobby to escape from my studies and coursework, these are some books related to my physics degree that I've enjoyed reading.
One of my favorite genres is actually Science Fiction, Sci-Fi is actually what got me into reading as a kid. Here are three of my favorite sci-fi / fantasy books I have read recently.
By Mallory O'Meara
Creature from the Black Lagoon is one of my favorite movies of all time. So it was really important as a fan that I read the story behind the creation of the creature. 'The Lady From The Black Lagoon' goes into detail about the woman behind the creation of the legendary creature, Milicent Patrick, and how she was fired from her job on the set of the film and how her ideas were stolen by a male colleague.
As someone who enjoys classic monster movies, I always try to watch these movies as products of their times. I make sure to acknowledge that a lot of the things people feared back then are not comparable to the things that scare us today, the things people believed back then are not things we believe today. Ensuring that female monster designers get the credit they deserve and are remembered for their hard work is an excellent way to do this.
By Lawrence Krauss
Lawrence M. Krauss is a theoretical physicist and cosmologist, who while travelling down the Mekong river was preparing a lecture on the effects global warming will have for the people living near this Asian river. It was this experience that inspired him to write a novel about the cause and effect of climate change from a physics perspective.
This book Lawrence says, is supposed to inspire a hopeful outlook when it comes to stopping climate change. Despite this hopeful outlook Krauss does not skip over any of the essential physics when it comes to the processes governing the Earth's climate system, how we are affecting it and what the outcome could be if we don't do something to prevent further damage. Despite the chilling subject matter this book turned out to be quite an enjoyable read, and I feel more informed on the topic having done so.
By Kate Moore
In December of 1898, Radium was discovered by wife and husband duo Marie Curie and Pierre Curie. It wasn't long after this discovery that people found uses for this new glowing element, this included household objects such as beauty products and clock dials which glow in the dark.
The Radium Girls tells the story of the majority female factory workers who were exposed to large amounts of radiation during their time creating products which included Radium. The damage caused by the radiation led them to fight for workers' rights, even when they knew their time left was limited. This is a sad and unfortunate tale about the need for caution and safety when it comes to new scientific discoveries. If scientists back in 1898 had taken the time to study the long term effects of Radium on humans the radiation poisoning these women dealt with could have been avoided.
By Stephen Hawking
One of the most popular physics books of all time, A Brief History of Time was originally written by Stephen Hawking back in 1988 and was intended to introduce topics such as the big bang and black holes to readers with no prior knowledge of physics. The book went on to sell more than 25 million copies and helped launch Stephen Hawking's career as a pop culture icon in the field of physics.
I first read this book when I was 15 years of age, since then I have re-read the book multiple times. Each time I read the book I take something new from it which just describes how brilliant the writing is and how many concepts Hawking manages to get across to the reader in such simple language. I would definitely credit this book as one of my inspirations to study physics in university.
By Dave Levitan
The Cherry-pick, The Certain Uncertainty, The Straight-up Fabrication. These are the names of some of the chapters in Dave Levitan's best selling book Not A Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science. These chapter titles also double as the name of multiple methods of deception politicians employ to try and convince the general public that the science agrees with them.
In the book Dave Levitan describes these tactics in great detail, including real world examples where appropriate. The goal of the book is to expose these techniques politicians use to try and claim science is on their side and highlight the real science as it applies to the given circumstance. Science and politics have always had a checkered history and this book is a good example that not every politician who references scientific arguments knows what they are talking about.
By Richard P. Feynman
Most well known for his Feynman lectures on physics, Richard Feynman is an extremely popular physicist in the field. This reputation comes from a wide variety of factors including his ability to teach introductory physics extremely well, his contributions to multiple fields within physics and his creation of diagrams which describe the behavior and interaction between subatomic particles, known as Feynman Diagrams named after him.
This book goes into detail about some of Feynman's experiences and events that have happened to him in the past. The book covers light hearted topics such as Feynman's personal life, the languages he has studied and the groups he has participated in over the years, all the way up to his work as a physicist on The Manhattan Project. Each of the stories helps fill in the gaps of the man who was Richard P. Feynman.
By Isaac Asimov
One of the most influential science fiction novels of all time, Foundation by Isaac Asimov was first released as a series of short stories from 1942 to 1950 in Astounding Magazine, before later being turned into full novels. The story details a large-scale war against the Galactic Empire which has ruled for twelve thousand years. It introduces the concept of Psychohistory, a combination of history, sociology and mathematics which is used to predict future behavior of large groups of people which is seen as an invaluable asset.
I had a really good time reading Isaac Asimov's entire 'Foundation' series, I had never read such a large scale science fiction story that spans over multiple generations before, and the importance placed on academia and mathematics was refreshing and different to what I am used to reading in action orientated stories.
By Shaun David Hutchinson
We Are The Ants is a young adult fiction novel by Shaun David Hutchinson. Henry Denton is a teenage boy who is periodically abducted by aliens for years, one day the aliens give Henry an ultimatum- that the world will end in 144 days and all Henry has to do to stop it is press a button. This would be an easy choice for most people, however Henry has lived a very difficult life involving bullying, alzheimer's and suicide. Henry spends the book struggling internally about whether or not the world is worth saving or would be better off destroyed.
A majority of the book is spent with Henry experiencing new things and trying to logically decide whether or not these things are justifiable reasons for the Earth to keep spinning, which I really enjoyed. One of my favourite characters was Ms.Faraci, Henry's chemistry teacher who offers scientific insight throughout the story.
By Jonathan Maberry
In this young adult, science fiction novel we get a flashback to the origin story of Dana Scully one half of the iconic X-files duo. Jonathan Maberry attempts to tell the origin story of Scully, How did she become a skeptic? What made her want to become an FBI agent? Why is religion such a strong part of her character? In this gripping murder mystery we learn some expertly written backstory for the female skeptic who encouraged young girls everywhere to become skeptics in their own life1.
The X-files is probably my favorite TV show of all time, it meshes my love for old creature feature movies and science fiction perfectly with its creature of the week format and 90's style. I also love the character of Dana Scully, her need for evidence in order to accept extra-terrestrial or paranormal conclusions and her contradictory faith in religion. This book was an excellent addition to the X-files universe.