Educational Books

I’m interested in learning several different things and I was wondering if fellow dopers had any suggestions.
I would like to learn some science, history, and religion. In order to do this I need suggestions for accurate sources that are easy to read.
For science I’m interested in the stars, outerspace, biology, and the future.
For history i’m interested in Ancient history, the start of civilization, and I suppose a basic overview of world history up until this point.
For religion I’m interested in a book that would cover as many different religions as possible, with beliefs, practices, info on founding members, and history of the religion.

I’m also thinking about getting a book that is called An Incomplete Education, has anyone heard about it?

Thanks all for helping me get my learn on.

Well…It seems I posted a very popular question…

Check out Steven Hawking’s A Brief History of Time and Houston Smith’s Religions of the World.

For cosmology, The First Three Minutes by Steven Weinberg is very good, better than Brief History, in my opinion.
For the history of civilisation, try Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. For a broad overview of world history an obvious starting point is The Penguin History of the World by J M Roberts. The same author has also written the excellent Penguin History of Europe

I have found the Penguin Histories to be precise and dry, for what it’s worth. A little more loosely presented but hence more readable IMHO is Azimov’s Chronology of the World, which covers “world” history from the primordial ooze to 1945. I am in the middle of reading it for the 2nd time.

I have also enjoyed what I have read of Durant’s Story of Civilization although I have not managed to slog through all 11 (?) volumes yet.

For cosmology I very much enjoyed “The Whole Shebang” by Timothy Ferris.

An excellent combo of geopolitical history and physics (strange but true) is “The Making of the Atomic Bomb” by Richard Rhodes. It is imposingly thick but impressively written, and covers the precursors and history of both the 2nd world war and thermonuclear fusion in incredible detail.

Geez, I could yak on about books for ages :rolleyes:. Guess I’ll stop here. Whatever you find, Enjoy it!

what about “future” books? Thanks all for the info, my library shall become more filled soon.

Hmmm, I learned a fair number of eclectic things just by going to the library, randomly pulling 3-4 books off the shelf from different areas, and reading them. Some of them were good - some were absolute crap - but still an interesting experiment.

You might end up with some fascinating stuff, or you might get “A Brief History of Quilting in 800 Pages.”