In my years of studying I have often had to digest books that challenge my world view and make me uncomfortable and/or miserable. Included in this list are Ideas: From Fire to Freud (when you see the size of it you won’t need me to discourage you) by Peter Watson and Why Evolution is true from Jerry Coyne.
When Big Bang by Simon Singh was prescribed, I braced myself for another such experience. To my delight, this easily comprehensible book took me on a magnificent journey of exploration, to outer space and back, and I would tell everyone who has any interest in astronomy to get their hands on it ASAP!
Singh details the history of cosmology and the men and women who played an influential role in the development of this field of science. While he does so, he takes your hand and guides you into how scientists developed our current theory of how the universe began. No matter what you believe, it is well worth understanding how this contentious theory came to be widely accepted, and actually how recent this acceptance is!
The men and women who made history in cosmology (including the obvious ones like Galileo, Einstein and Hayley) become living characters in this wonderful story. Go and read it, you won’t regret it, and pair it with something delicious, like the Beaumont Chenin Blanc, full of flavour and wonderfully enlightening!