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The Elegant Universe The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking
. Stephen Hawking, author of the bestselling A Brief History of Time, has a new betselling book about the Universe and the mysteries of spacetime. This book is much easier to understand than his previous one, with many charts and illustrations. This is a great addition to anyone's home library, anyone who wants to know where the state of the art stands in the science and theory of the cosmos on a scale of all eternity. Buy this book

The Whole Shebang The Whole Shebang: A State-Of-The-Universe(s) Report by Timothy Ferris
. Plenty of books try to explain the origin of the universe, but despite the ascendance of the Big Bang theory, numerous details of that theory remain in flux as new observations are made and new hypotheses formed (and then confirmed or rejected). Timothy Ferris's The Whole Shebang is an up-to-date account of the various mechanisms believed to have contributed to the universe as we now know it, from the Big Bang itself to inflation to superstrings. Buy this book

The Little Book of the Big Bang: A Cosmic Primer by Martin J. Rees
. This is an intelligent little book that gets to the point quickly, by Cambridge professor Rees. Buy this book

The Life of the Cosmos by Lee Smolin
. Penn State physics prof Smolin theorizes that Darwinian natural selection operates at the astrophysical scale, that the Universe evolves in the same way life evolves. Buy this book

Stephen Hawking's Universe Stephen Hawking's Universe: The Cosmos Explained by David Filkin, Stephen Hawking
. Now, in everyday language, Stephen Hawking's Universe reveals step-by-step how we can all share his understanding of the cosmos, and our own place within it. Stephen Hawking's Universe is a voyage of discovery with an astonishing set of conclusions that will enable us to understand how matter can be produced from nothing at all and will provide us with an explanation for the basis of our existence and that of everything around us. Buy this book

Blind Watchers of the Sky: The People and Ideas That Shaped Our View of the Universe by Rocky Kolb
. Theoretical astrophysicist Kolb presents a popular history of astronomy and scientific cosmology from Tycho Brahe to the second half of the 20th century. In a style touched with humor, Kolb offers a good balance between science and biographical sketches. Buy this book

Measuring the Universe Measuring the Universe: Our Historic Quest to Chart the Horizons of Space and Time by Kitty Ferguson
. This is an eloquent and fascinating narrative on the men and women-from Aristarchus to Cassini, Sir Isaac Newton to Henrieta Leavitt and Stephen Hawking-who have unlocked the mysteries of "how far" and in so doing have changed our ideas about the size and nature of the universe and our place in it. In Ferguson's hands, the unimaginable becomes accessible and the remarkable quest something we can all share. Buy this book

The Cartoon History of the Universe/Volumes 1-7 by Larry Gonick
. An entertaining and informative illustrated guide that makes world history accessible, appealing, and funny, this book covers the time period from the Big Bang to Alexander the Great. Buy this book

The Inflationary Universe: The Quest for a New Theory of Cosmic Origins by Alan H. Guth, Alan P. Lightman
. What happened before the Big Bang? Guth and Lightman call it Inflation: immensely rapid expansion in the first fraction of a millisecond, fueled by quantum vacuum energy. In this book the authors make the case for an inflationary phase of our Universe. Buy this book

The First Three Minutes The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe by Steven Weinberg
. The physics of the Big Bang without the math, written by Texas Nobel Laureate Weinberg. Another small book that tells a compelling story, it was written in 1977, making it a classic in its genre. This edition has been updated for the nineties. Buy this book

Before the Beginning: Our Universe and Others by Martin J. Rees
. This book by Martin Rees is mainly about the Big Bang, not what happened before it. He also examines the anthropic principle, which posits that the values of physical constants measured in Nature adjusted dynamically so that intelligent life could evolve in the Universe. Buy this book

Big Bang Big Bang: The story of the Universe by Heather Couper, Nigel Henbest (Contributor), Luciano Corbella (Illustrator)
. Cosmology for the Young Adult age group. Lots of colorful paintings ease the introduction to this powerful topic for younger readers without much math or physics experience. Buy this book

The Dancing Universe: From Creation Myths to the Big Bang by Marcelo Gleiser
. Dartmouth physics professor Gleiser seeks the connection between science and religion throughout ancient and modern history, showing many famous icons of scientific rationalism were spiritually driven people with very passionate views that found expression in their work. Buy this book

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