Recommend a good book on cosmology

… for the armchair pseudointellectual.

I really liked Greene’s “The fabric of the Cosmos” a decade ago, and had meant to get his “Elegant Universe” but never got around to it. I’m thinking of picking it up now, but thought there might be a more up-to-date book or better one, and hoped folks here might have a suggestion.

I do have A Brief History of Time, actually the fancy set of two volumes. I plan to reread those soon in any case. Other than these, my bookshelf is empty of cosmology, sad to say.

I opened this thread to recommend Elegant Universe.

Oh, well.

I don’t like Hawking’s writing (he’s not funny but thinks he is), and can’t remember why, but didn’t like the Michio Kiku I read.

Thus exhausts my knowledge of the genre.

Thanks. Any other recommendations!

Need answer fast, because, you know, cosmology.

Old book but fun reading:

Most popular cosmology books lately seem to branch out more towards superstrings, high energy theory/Higgs discovery, dark matter/dark energy hypothesizing, or arrow of time topics. At the level of Greene’s books (both good reads for a layperson), I’d also recommend

Sean Carroll: From Eternity To Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time (but also very good background on modern cosmology ideas)
Alan Guth (one of the originators of inflationary cosmology): The Inflationary Universe

A slightly older book but also a good non-expert read is:
Simon Singh: Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe

A Brief History of Time stunk. Confusing and arcane.

As a great overview, I recommend Coming of Age in the Milky Way by Timothy Ferris:

Walks through Human’s growing awareness of where we fit, so you get history and a sense of how our awareness developed, so when you get to the more current stuff, it makes more sense.


Shirley, you must be joking. (Actually I did read that, back in the 80’s. I enjoyed it at the time, but listening to Chopra these days gives me the hives. “Scienciness” ugh!)

10-4 on Chopra. This dude is Capra, though.

It’s still just a bunch of woo, no matter how you spell it. :wink:

If you are looking for a book comparable in scientific rigor to Capra’s one is a classic:

If you want something a bit more rigorous you could try Gravitation by Misner, Thorne, and Wheeler. It’s a little dated so for a discussion of dark matter/energy you may need to consult a Buddhist.