Did anyone watch Katy Perry’s live YouTube stream a few weeks back? I’m not a huge fan of her music – although I think her vocal range is insane – but I liked the idea of a pop-diva broadcasting herself for an entire weekend as divas are notorious for being private and prissy. “This could be juicy” I thought, and so I binged a few hours of my life watching hers.
The plan was that Katy would Big Brother-style live from her house 24 hours a day to promote her new album, Witness. During her time on screen, she’d hold interviews with famous YouTubers and celeb’s like Gordon Ramsay, YouTube make-up guru Kandee Johnson and – my favourite – New York astrophysicist, Neil Degrasse Tyson.
In the Tyson talk, Katy claimed several times that she is a “nerd” and a “dork”, but then immediately contradicted herself by asking some pretty basic questions like this now infamous line: “Is Math related to Science?”. The world cringed and the memes flowed.
I laughed along but quickly gave myself a mental slap around the chops. Afterall, I’m no science genius myself. I decided I could benefit from expanding my science knowledge too, and made a wishlist of educational books on topics that I’ve always been curious about.
All of these books are available from online and high street book store, The Works. They have a ma-hoo-ssive selection 40,000 products including books, stationery and even homeware. If you’re quick you might even catch their 80% sale.
6 Mind-Expanding Books from My The Works Wishlist
Carl Sagan’s Cosmic Connection by Carl Sagan
This now-classic book published in the 1970s, was written by the man who mentored Neil Degrasse Tyson himself, Carl Sagan. Sagan was a renowned cosmologist who was hugely popular in the USA thanks to him bringing astronomy to the masses in his 1070s TV show COSMOS. The 2014 sequel to which starred – guess who? Tyson!
The Cloud Collectors Handbook by Gavin Pretor-Pinney
Clouds gazing is one of my favourite pass times. It takes absolutely no effort and is so calming it can be almost meditative. My favourite thing about my new flat is the tall bedroom window that allows for perfect view of the sky from my bed. Liverpool gets some of the most stunning sunsets I’ve ever seen, so it would be neat to know more about the clouds I’m looking at. I know they say you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but I love the book’s simple but pleasant illustration.
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli
Rovelli has the ability to take a big complicated subject and shrink it down in to digestible chunks for non-educated people like myself to understand. I’m still reading another of his books, ‘Reality is Not What it Seems’, and when I’m finished I’ll be picking this baby up.
An Astronomers Tale by Gary Fildes
I’ve been excited about reading this book for a while now. The authors back-story is inspiring. A former brick layer who realised his dream of becoming an astronomer. He then set about opening an observatory in the Northumberland countryside under some of the darkest skies in the UK, which now sees thousands of visitors and year via nightly events such as “Jupiter Night” and “Aurora Night”.
A Little Book of Coincidence: In the Solar System by John Southcliffe Martineau
This small but beautiful book is packed with illustrations and explanations about how geometric patterns can be found throughout the universe.
The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
This is one of those books that’s been sitting in my wishlist for years. I want to read it but genealogy isn’t my favourite topic. I don’t find it as mysterious and exciting as space. In 2016 a revised anniversary edition was published. I have to pick this up soon just to scratch it off my list
Have you read any of these titles? Please leave your mind expanding book recommendations below ^_^