A Little Summer Reading

Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the struggle for the soul of scienceYesterday on Twitter, I joked: "Trying to read a book about Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, but whenever I look for it, it moves."

The book I was talking about it called Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science

It's wonderful, and I highly recommend it. It's one of those rare books about physics and science that is entirely accessible to people who aren't total math nerds (like me.)

While I'm talking about books, I thought I was recently re-reading Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things
… but it turns out that I'd confused Fragile Things with Smoke and Mirrors
in my head. I'd only read the first two stories in Fragile Things back when I bought it last year, so once I got past them, it was like I had a whole new book to read.


It's sensational, and if you've ever wanted to find out why people like me adore Neil's writing, it's a great place to start.

29 thoughts on “A Little Summer Reading”

  1. Smoke and Mirrors was the first Neil Gaiman book that I ever read. It hooked me from the start. (It also renewed my desire to one day live in a place where I can have a koi pond.)

  2. Neverwhere is the first Neil Gaiman novel I read (after having read Sandman years ago) and it’s still one of my fav books of all time.

  3. Neverwhere was a FAB Gaiman novel! Do you think that Gaiman changed the way you look at things? I recently had Thad Roberts on The NeverHood. Talk about making you think…hey, should you not be resting up for W00t about now?

  4. I cannot express how stoked I am that you’ve brought such a book to my attention. I’ve long been deeply interested in the people involved in the unraveling of the atom and the moral implications thereof. If you ever get a chance to see a production of Copenhagen by Michael Frayn, I’d highly recommend attending.

  5. Hey Wil,
    Using your search function I typed in the word poker and saw that the last time you posted anything was May of last year.
    Any plans for anything poker related for 2010? I think you did a tournament in Santa Monica in 2009 but it may have been the year before.

  6. You’re the second person to recommend “Fragile Things” as a first Neil Gaiman read. (I’m ashamed to say I’ve never read anything of his…)
    I ordered it the other day, and look forward to reading it. :)

  7. I just finished reading Fragile Things – very good. If that doesn’t whet your appetite for more Gaiman, I’m not sure what will.

  8. I have an autographed copy of Smoke and Mirrors and it’s one of my treasures. I stood in line for three hours to meet Neil, was one of the last guests at a signing that went overlong by two hours and Neil stayed until everyone was seen, appreciated and signed. He was kind, charming and incredibly patient when I could barely blubber out whatever inane comment I made. He’s a class act, a nice guy and an amazing storyteller, which is rare to find in one person. Wil, I’ve never met you in person, but from what I hear and what I’ve read (Just a Geek, Dancing Barefoot), you’re in the same category. Thanks for the entertainment.

  9. I just finished George Saunders’s In Persuasion Nation – great read. Each of the stories in this collection resonates long after you put the book down. Most original author I’ve read in years.

  10. Fragile Things is fantastic, but have you *heard* any of his works?
    The audiobooks I have are all “read by the author”. As brilliant an author as he is,
    he’s equally amazing as a voice actor. I don’t know if I can just read his books anymore after hearing his delivery.
    Heck! You should know this! Didn’t you have the link to the audio of “A Study in Emerald” up a while back? I think it’s still a free download to members at Audible.com.
    Try it! You’ll like it!

  11. I saw a marvelous play entitled “Copenhagen” in Boston that talked about that very thing. Bohr and Heisenberg were chatting and arguing about physics in all forms including ways of controlling their creation, using Bohr’s wife as an intermediary, an excuse for the scientist’s to explain their theories and rationale. It was marvelous! I think the best part was a physicist from MIT coming to talk about the two men after the show.
    Wil, I think you could totally revive the play here in the States.

  12. I picked up the Fragile Things audiobook after you said how much you’d liked it on Twitter, it was amazing, as are all his books.
    I love Neil’s books, but his audiobooks are simply wonderful. He has a fantastic voice for storytelling.

  13. Smoke and Mirrors was my gateway to Gaiman! My Gaiman gateway drug? Have that much tattered and loved book on the shelf still. Fragile Things wil never get quite the same dog-eared-ness…as it’s on my Kindle.
    I’m always interested in what other people are reading, and will now have to check out Uncertainty.

  14. Oh, man. Jd, I’m so glad you pointed that out. As soon as I read the post and got to that line, I giggled like a 12-year-old boy (no offense to 12-year-old boys). I immediately checked the comments to see if anyone else had pointed it out.
    Wil “did” guys. Hee hee.
    P.S. I <3 you, Wil

  15. Seen in the Toronto Star re Comic-Con and Anglina Jolost : Who gives a damn about some flash in the pan chick like whats-her-name. The real geeks and movers that make the geek-world work are the stars of comic-con and that would be guys like Wil Wheaton who has been a walking concrete foundation of geekdom .. like forever! Geez .. the mass media are so stupid it is sickening. Go get a copy of Wil’s book “The Happiest Days of Our Lives” or “Just a Geek” and get with the program. Damn.

  16. Only yesterday, I did almost exactly the same thing with those same two Neil Gaiman books.
    Having decided to make him my summer holiday author last year, I’d bought half a dozen of his big fat paperbacks, and had a great summer read. I was about to pass the paperbacks on to Oxfam recently, when a colleague remarked that he’d liked The Graveyard Book, so I took the paperbacks into work yesterday.
    While giving him a short description of each, I suddenly realised that I’d started reading Smoke And Mirrors last year, but immediately switched to Fragile Things, and not gone back. So like you, I suddenly have a whole new Gaiman to read.
    W00t! And also, of course, while I’m on the subject: Squeee!

  17. Heisenberg once went for a drive around Munich, he was however going a bit fast and got stopped by a traffic cop. The cop asked, β€œDo you know how fast you were going?” Heisenberg replied, β€œNo, but I know where I am.” :)

  18. In a similar vein, you might want to check out “Why does E=mc2″ (yeah I know, posting from iPhone :p) by Brian Cox (@ProfBrianCox) and Jeff Forshaw. Accessible without being patronising.

  19. My gateway to Neil Gaiman was “Good Omens” co-authored by Terry Pratchet. It is to this day one of my favorite books, and I re-read it at least once a year. I’ve also read Stardust, American Gods, and Neverwhere. His books are an exercise for the brain. I think you would have been impressed by how much I geeked out when I read Neil Gaiman’s forward in “Just A Geek” to realize that you, Wil Wheaton, as one of my new favorite authors, also love one of my continuing favorite authors.

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