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Popular physics/astronomy/maths/other science books

(17 Posts)
purplegreen99 Thu 20-Apr-17 21:39:16

I'm looking for some book suggestions please for both me and my 16 yr old dd for the summer. I read a lot of 'new nature writing' and especially enjoy books which combine nature-writing with autobiography. I wondered if there are similar books on physics, astronomy, maths or other areas of science that anyone can recommend? Or other well-written, entertaining stuff that is intelligible to non-scientists. DD (16) is interested in science but isn't the world's keenest reader, so I'm hoping she might enjoy a well-written popular science book. Any suggestions?

Newmanwannabe Fri 21-Apr-17 14:34:09

I have just read Dark matter by Blake crouch. It is fiction, not exactly sure if that's what you're afte. But OMG it was fantastic. There is some sex scenes in it so not sure if you'll think it's suitable for your Dd?

Sadik Fri 21-Apr-17 20:59:05

Fermat's Last Theorem by Simon Singh is a fascinating combination of maths & history.
I really liked What We Cannot Know by Marcus du Sautoy - kind of a personal quest on his part.
The Dark Net (all about the darker side of the internet) might appeal to your daughter, it's really engaging, I passed it on to my 15 y/o dd & she likes it too.

purplegreen99 Fri 21-Apr-17 21:27:38

Thanks Newman & Sadik, I will look at those & will read Dark Matter myself first to see if suitable.

bedelia Sat 22-Apr-17 00:54:15

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli is lovely smile I have no knowledge f this area whatsoever but loved the writing style. The hardback edition is particularly beautiful.

I wonder if you may both also enjoy The Housekeeper and the Professor..? It is fiction, short and (for me) hugely enjoyable. To summarise, it is about a housekeeper employed to attend to a maths professor who has a condition meaning he cannot keep his memory for longer than 80 minutes at a time. I learned lots of fascinating mathematical knowledge from it, in addition to it being a lovely story about the characters.

aginghippy Sat 22-Apr-17 10:15:08

My DD and I both enjoyed Fermat's Last Theorem. There was also a Fermat TV programme by Simon Singh. It was on iPlayer in the Horizon series and might still be available.

DD also liked Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You by Marcus Chown.

cariadlet Sat 22-Apr-17 14:36:02

I enjoyed "It's not Rocket Science" by Ben Miller.
www.amazon.co.uk/Its-Not-Rocket-Science-Miller-x/dp/1847445012?tag=mumsnetforum-21

Sadik Sun 23-Apr-17 21:44:38

Another one your dd might like - Bad Science by Ben Goldacre is well written and entertaining.

TheSecondOfHerName Sun 23-Apr-17 21:46:09

DS2 (15) reads a lot of this kind of thing. I'll ask him what he has read recently and get back to you.

TheSecondOfHerName Sun 23-Apr-17 21:47:48

A selection of what's currently next to his bed...

CJCreggsGoldfish Sun 23-Apr-17 21:54:46

I'm a big fan of John Gribbin. I particularly enjoyed 'Science: a history', but he's written many more (some with his wife), and any I've read have been enjoyable and accessible to the reader.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 23-Apr-17 21:55:02

The Cloudspotters Guide by Gavin Pretor-Pinner. It has the personal touch you talk about. DH and I and our teenagers have all enjoyed it.

I know it is an unfashionable opinion, but I did not enjoy Bad Science at all.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 23-Apr-17 21:56:33

Less personal, but The Goldilocks Enigma by Paul Davies was also interesting.

Sadik Sun 23-Apr-17 21:59:14

Prisoners of Geography is amazing - even my DM (in her 70s, very very well informed about geopolitics) thought it was really excellent.

I like this thread! Lots of new books to add to my list smile

Etymology23 Sun 23-Apr-17 21:59:23

Bad science, bad pharma, also v much enjoyed a brief history of time, also Richard Dawkins the pilgrims tale, and the blind watchmaker - though the last 3 may not be super easy reading.

Etymology23 Sun 23-Apr-17 22:00:37

Ooh and I read a really interesting history of nuclear weapons - command and control.

purplegreen99 Mon 24-Apr-17 11:38:36

Thank you so much everyone - sorry not to reply sooner but I've been broadband-less over the weekend. I've just spent ages looking at the reviews of all of these on amazon and have ordered The Cloudspotter's Guide, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and Things to Make and Do in the 4th Dimension. Most of the others are now saved for later in my shopping basket & I've also found a few more by clicking on the suggestions they threw up on amazon. I am really excited to discover there's a whole genre of books I didn't know about and know I'm going to enjoy.

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