I’ve written recently about how much I’ve been enjoying Soonish (UK) (US) by Kelly and Zach Weinersmith, a highly amusing exploration of the latest technologies from satellite launch vehicles to 3D printed houses to gene therapy to self-organising robot swarms.
But what else is out there to celebrate the curious?
I recommend Steven Johnson’s Wonderland: How Play Made The Modern World (UK) (US) – a history of technology and economics with a difference. Johnson covers music, fashion, sports and much else with a lovely light touch.
Caspar Henderson’s new book is A New Map Of Wonders (UK) (US) – it’s an exploration of art, science, and the way we perceive the world around us. The book itself is a kind of cabinet of wonders, packed with surprises and delightful digressions.
Puzzle fans will have their minds blown – if you’ve not already encountered it – by Raymond Smullyan’s What Is The Name of This Book? (UK) (US) Begins with some silly puzzles, moves to variants of the one-always-tells-the-truth, one-always-lies puzzle, and before you know it you’re in the middle of Godel’s incompleteness theorem.
Richard Feynman was often billed as a “curious character”, although I prefer his lectures to his autobiographical work. Try the astonishing QED (UK) (US). I remember trying to explain this one in the pub to my friends, aged 18.