I got this as a gift right when it came out in late 2005 and of course still have so much to read -- and re-read. Wow, wow, wow, could you possibly ge...moreI got this as a gift right when it came out in late 2005 and of course still have so much to read -- and re-read. Wow, wow, wow, could you possibly get more talent and virtuosity in one collection? Truman Capote, Dorothy Parker, Mailer, Updike, Anne Sexton, James Baldwin, Woody Allen, Hendrick Hertzberg, Junot Diaz, and on and on and on...(less)
the classic that launched the modern animal rights movement. some of it is very disturbing, but it's so well researched and so credible, especially no...morethe classic that launched the modern animal rights movement. some of it is very disturbing, but it's so well researched and so credible, especially now that the author has become so respected far outside just animal rights supporters, that it is (unfortunately still) one of the very best ways to become an informed consumer and citizen. if you want to avoid this book because of the disturbing and sad practices revealed, but you still eat veal, for example, perhaps your habits and ethics are dissonant. if so, this book, while not easy to read, will probably make it quite easy to break such habits. i had already become a vegetarian when i read this, but i'm sure it has something to do with the fact that i stayed a vegetarian, and how it became so effortless. (less)
I don't know that I'm qualified to rate this book, in the sense that since I have hardly any foundation in theoretical physics, especially at the time...moreI don't know that I'm qualified to rate this book, in the sense that since I have hardly any foundation in theoretical physics, especially at the time i read it, I had a difficult time understanding much of it, so I really couldn't get a good grasp on what I thought of the book, except that it was frustrating, but that I'm sure is because I lacked the premise of knowledge necessary to read this without struggling so much. I'm more well versed in physics now, so someday I'll try to get through it again.
My brother is a Ph.D. in physics and mechanical engineering, and a tenured professor in those subjects, and my father was a metallurgical engineer for 45 years, has several patents and a few advanced math formulas/factors named for him, and still writes papers in mathematics, and listening to them talk about the book while I was reading it both helped me understand certain more complicated concepts and also added to my confusion because trying to absorb still more information that was so above my previous learning proved to be overwhelming. However, it made me feel better that my brother said that anyone who never took at least some college-level physics, and I didn't take any, and claims they really understood it, is either lying or is simplifying the more complex concepts of the book, especially after reading it only once. So if you had/have some trouble too, take heart.
While Hawking is very good at explaining some things to lay people, as the book continues, an understanding of the concepts, even as Hawking communicates them, require either a certain working knowledge of physics or an incredible amount of patience. For the time being, Bill Nye is more my speed. But it's something to aspire to...(less)