I meant to get Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, but the library only had the Briefer version, so I've not read the first to compare. This one was fabulous, though. I love science, and especially physics, but I've never been very good at it. As a sci-fi writer, I view that as a huge personal flaw. I've tried. I've tried with classes, with documentaries, with books, wikipedia, Idiot's Guides...but physics has always pretty much been way over my head. I'll grasp a glimmer every now and then, but never a really great view of our Universe. This book single-handedly clarified for me what years of self-study couldn't, and so, of course, I very highly recommend it!
I still can't claim to grasp it all, and especially some of the more abstract (or newer and still developing) theories, but this book definitely helped me. They start with some review of basic laws and theories that we all learned in our childhood science classes. Still, a very obvious enthusiasm for and humor regarding the subject matter imparted quite a bit of new info for me. From scientist vs. scientist gossip, theory suppression, scientific puns (science puns!), and Marilyn Monroe pics to illustrate gravitational attraction, the book put a new spin on old knowledge and an accessible, easily understandable spin on new knowledge.
Hawking's excitement about science sweeps you up with it, and while I was at first intimidated by his renowned genius, he brilliantly cuts to the meat of the matter in simple and succinct ways. Reading this book was like sitting around squeeing & giggling with a friend about their favorite fandom, and you come away feeling a part of it and wanting to immediately jump in more. I homeschool my kiddos, who are not yet high school level, and I plan to encourage them to read it as well – with faith that they'll grasp most, if not all, of it themselves.
Outstanding book and a surprisingly fun read. I hear that it's basically a very edited version of the Brief History, but once this has percolated a bit, I think I'll go back and read the source book. Either way, I can tell this is one that I'll benefit from and still enjoy subsequent readings.