100 books like Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand

By Marcus Chown,

Here are 100 books that Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand fans have personally recommended if you like Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong about the World--And Why Things Are Better Than You Think

Gerard Pasterkamp Author Of Painted Science: The history of scientific discoveries, explorers and technological developments captured in painting

From my list on trying to explain basics in human behavior and decision making in a scientific manner.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a scientist in the field of medicine, and I like to read books that provide a surprising insight into our thinking and decision-making with a scientific basis. It is special how we think we are acting rationally while much of our action is influenced by the environment and news that comes our way. Some of the books in my list provide special insights that are refreshing and hold a mirror up to us.

Gerard's book list on trying to explain basics in human behavior and decision making in a scientific manner

Gerard Pasterkamp Why did Gerard love this book?

It's amazing how our thinking is influenced by a biased statement. This book shows that there is still hope when you look at the real facts.

The author asks a number of questions that require basic knowledge of everyday data that we read a lot about in the press. Questions such as: "How many people in the world are illiterate?" or "How many women are not educated?" are answered incorrectly by politicians, bankers, and scientists, those who determine our policy.

It is confronting to realize that more questions could have been answered correctly by simply guessing.

By Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Ola Rosling

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Factfulness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A hopeful book about the potential for human progress when we work off facts rather than our inherent biases.' BARACK OBAMA

'One of the most important books I've ever read - an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world.' BILL GATES

*#1 Sunday Times bestseller * New York Times bestseller * Observer 'best brainy book of the decade' * Irish Times bestseller * Guardian bestseller * audiobook bestseller *

Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts.

When asked simple questions about global trends - why the world's population is increasing; how…


Book cover of A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth: 4.6 Billion Years in 12 Pithy Chapters

Larry L. Rasmussen Author Of The Planet You Inherit: Letters to My Grandchildren When Uncertainty's a Sure Thing

From my list on wisdom amid planetary uncertainty.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been engaged as a teacher of religion and ecology since the first Earth Day 50 years ago. That has entailed writing some prize-winning books, Earth Community, Earth Ethics (1996) and Earth-honoring Faith: Religious Ethics in a New Key (2013). Now I want to pass along distilled learnings to my grandchildren as they face a planet in tumult. The form—love letters—and the audience—future generations as represented by my grandkids—moves me to focus on effective communication of a highly personal sort to young people on matters vital to their lives. It’s a nice bookend near the end of my own life.

Larry's book list on wisdom amid planetary uncertainty

Larry L. Rasmussen Why did Larry love this book?

My own work, even in retirement, entails teaching and writing on changes in planetary systems that impact us dramatically (e.g., climate change). To engage students it is most helpful to have a highly engaging account of Earth’s own dramatic history over its 4.6. billion years. This book provides that in non-technical, jargon-free language that anyone of high school and college age, as well as older, easily understands.

By Henry Gee,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Royal Society's Science Book of the Year

"[A]n exuberant romp through evolution, like a modern-day Willy Wonka of genetic space. Gee’s grand tour enthusiastically details the narrative underlying life’s erratic and often whimsical exploration of biological form and function.” —Adrian Woolfson,The Washington Post

In the tradition of Richard Dawkins, Bill Bryson, and Simon Winchester—An entertaining and uniquely informed narration of Life's life story.

In the beginning, Earth was an inhospitably alien place—in constant chemical flux, covered with churning seas, crafting its landscape through incessant volcanic eruptions. Amid all this tumult and disaster, life began. The earliest living things were…


Book cover of Existential Physics: A Scientist's Guide to Life's Biggest Questions

Brian Clegg Author Of What Do You Think You Are? The Science of What Makes You You

From my list on making the deep mysteries of science approachable.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a science writer with over 40 books published. Science is central to all our modern lives—but for many people it feels remote, and difficult to understand. I love the opportunity to communicate science—to turn it from a collection of facts into stories that people can relate to. I always read popular science before I got into writing, but, if anything, I read it even more now. My own background is physics and math—and I enjoy reading and writing about that—but sometimes, it’s particularly interesting to pull together different aspects of science that affect all of us, crossing disciplines and uncovering the wonders that science bring us.

Brian's book list on making the deep mysteries of science approachable

Brian Clegg Why did Brian love this book?

I love the way that theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder makes use of her knowledge of the subject to tell us more about our relationship with life, the universe, and everything. This is no dry science text—we discover why past, present, and future seem different, what we know (and can’t know) about how everything began and how it will end, whether or not the concept of free will makes scientific sense and more. What is particularly fascinating is the revelation that some apparently scientific theories have no basis in science—and that science can’t disprove some beliefs that scientists often criticize.

By Sabine Hossenfelder,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Existential Physics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"An informed and entertaining guide to what science can and cannot tell us." -The Wall Street Journal

"Stimulating . . . encourage[s] readers to push past well-trod assumptions [...] and have fun doing so." -Science Magazine

From renowned physicist and creator of the YouTube series "Science without the Gobbledygook," a book that takes a no-nonsense approach to life's biggest questions, and wrestles with what physics really says about the human condition

Not only can we not currently explain the origin of the universe, it is questionable we will ever be able to explain it. The…


Book cover of The World According to Physics

Brian Clegg Author Of What Do You Think You Are? The Science of What Makes You You

From my list on making the deep mysteries of science approachable.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a science writer with over 40 books published. Science is central to all our modern lives—but for many people it feels remote, and difficult to understand. I love the opportunity to communicate science—to turn it from a collection of facts into stories that people can relate to. I always read popular science before I got into writing, but, if anything, I read it even more now. My own background is physics and math—and I enjoy reading and writing about that—but sometimes, it’s particularly interesting to pull together different aspects of science that affect all of us, crossing disciplines and uncovering the wonders that science bring us.

Brian's book list on making the deep mysteries of science approachable

Brian Clegg Why did Brian love this book?

In this compact hardback, physicist Jim Al-Khalili outlines in a straightforward way what he describes as the “three pillars of physics”. These don’t overlap much with the physics many of us will have done at school: they are relativity, quantum theory, and thermodynamics. Yet Al-Khalili shows how these three topics help us understand how everything works. In an approachable way, without a single equation, we get a feel for the power of physics. Al-Khalili’s personality and enthusiasm shine through.

By Jim Al-Khalili,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The World According to Physics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Quantum physicist, New York Times bestselling author, and BBC host Jim Al-Khalili offers a fascinating and illuminating look at what physics reveals about the world

Shining a light on the most profound insights revealed by modern physics, Jim Al-Khalili invites us all to understand what this crucially important science tells us about the universe and the nature of reality itself.

Al-Khalili begins by introducing the fundamental concepts of space, time, energy, and matter, and then describes the three pillars of modern physics-quantum theory, relativity, and thermodynamics-showing how all three must come together if we are ever to have a full…


Book cover of The Unexpected Universe

Brian Thomas Swimme Author Of Cosmogenesis: An Unveiling of the Expanding Universe

From my list on science books on the universe with a spiritual inclination.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I learned science's story of the universe–that it began as a primordial plasma that transformed itself into stars, galaxies and a living planet that then transmogrified into plants and animals and consciousness–when I learned the details of how the universe began as small as an acorn and then magically transformed that acorn of elementary particles into two trillion galaxies, I was beset with one, piercing, lifelong question: WHY ISN'T EVERYONE WAKING UP EACH MORNING STUNNED OUT OF THEIR MINDS? My entire professional life has been an effort to draw others into this amazement, into life as an ongoing celebration.

Brian's book list on science books on the universe with a spiritual inclination

Brian Thomas Swimme Why did Brian love this book?

The great divide between the humanities and the sciences can be traced to the power of mathematics to measure and describe the universe in a way qualitatively different from traditional humanistic explorations of reality.

The power that mathematics provided us led to what has been called a "drunken adolescence" with respect to the other, heart-centered ways of understanding. The great exception to this dualism can be found in the works of Loren Eiseley, who was as much a poet as a scientist.

When I discovered Eiseley, I found in his books a new genre of writing, one that I named "auto-cosmological." He brings science and spirit together in a unique way, one that can inspire writers and artists to join his revolution in thought.

By Loren Eiseley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Unexpected Universe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Drawing from his long experience as a naturalist, the author responds to the unexpected and symbolic aspects of a wide spectrum of phenomena throughout the universe.Scrupulous scholarship and magical prose are brought to bear on such diverse topics as seeds, the hieroglyphs on shells, lost tombs, the goddess Circe, city dumps, and Neanderthal man. AUTHOR: Loren Eiseley's many works include The Night Country, The Invisible Pyramid, The Immense Journey and The Firmament of Time, all available in Bison Books editions. He worked at the University of Pennsylvania until his death.


Book cover of Cosm

John Gribbin Author Of Don't Look Back

From my list on science fiction by scientists.

Why am I passionate about this?

John Gribbin has a Ph.D. in Astrophysics and is best known as an author of science books. But he has a not-so-secret passion for science fiction. He is the award-winning author of more than a hundred popular books about science, ranging from quantum mysteries to cosmology, and from evolution to earthquakes. He has also produced a double-handful of science fiction books. He specialises in writing factual books about the kind of science that sounds like fiction (including time travel), and fictional books based on scientific fact (including climate change). His recent book Six Impossible Things was short-listed for the prestigious Royal Society prize, but he is equally proud of Not Fade Away, his biography of Buddy Holly.

John's book list on science fiction by scientists

John Gribbin Why did John love this book?

At the other extreme from Contact, Greg Benford’s COSM involves very small wormholes. Or at least, a wormhole that starts out small. In his variation on the theme, an experiment on Earth accidentally opens a wormhole which in effect creates a new universe, which the experimenters can study and eventually communicate with through the wormhole. Again, real science, but technology a little (this time only a little!) beyond our present capabilities. And it raises the intriguing question of whether our Universe might have been made in this way by a race of superior beings (gods?) in another universe.

By Gregory Benford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cosm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

COSM brings the extraordinary passion, drama and politics of scientific research to life in a stunning near-future thriller.

On an otherwise ordinary day not long from now, inside a massive installation of ultra-high-energy scientific equipment, something goes wrong with a brilliant young physicist's most ambitious experiment. But this is not a calamity. It will soon be seen as one of the most significant breakthroughs in history. For the explosion has left something behind: a sphere the size of a basketball, made of nothing known to science. As the forces of academia, government, theology and the mass media fight for control…


Book cover of The Penguin Science Fiction Omnibus

Mike Russell Author Of Strange Medicine

From my list on strange, weird, surreal short story collections.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hello. My name is Mike Russell. I write books (novels, short story collections, and novellas) and make visual art (mostly paintings, occasionally sculptures). I love art and books that are surreal and magical because that is the way life seems to me, and I love art and books that are mind-expanding because we need to expand our minds to perceive just how surreal and magical life is. My books have been described as strange fiction, weird fiction, surrealism, magic realism, fantasy fiction… but I just like to call them Strange Books.

Mike's book list on strange, weird, surreal short story collections

Mike Russell Why did Mike love this book?

This is the book I used to read with a torch under the bedcovers as a kid. It introduced me to many great science fiction writers. My copy had an excellent cover depicting an ice cream with an eyeball staring out of it. I loved entering the book’s different worlds. It inspired me to lie awake at night, speculating about the universe, only to awake the next morning wondering if this was the day when the school teacher would say, ‘OK enough of these spellings and sums, let’s talk about why life exists.’ I still don’t understand why it never happened.

Book cover of Life Force, the Scientific Basis: Volume 2 of the Synchronized Universe

Don Weiner Author Of Beyond the Wonderful: Transforming the World with the Light of Your Being

From my list on science and spirituality in an evolving universe.

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe that spiritual awakening is a service to the universe, and not just for our own enlightenment. Spirituality generally has been viewed as a return to some other realm of consciousness, rather than a means to awakening what we think of as divinity in life. There can never be a “finish line” to spirituality, as there is no end to the possibilities which collective co-evolution can bring about. The only way that intractable problems of humanity will ever be resolved is if a large number of people awaken to higher states of consciousness, while firmly grounded in life.

Don's book list on science and spirituality in an evolving universe

Don Weiner Why did Don love this book?

This book contains numerous research studies on subtle energy, energy medicine, and new technologies to measure phenomena that have generally been thought of as outside of the realm of Western science. What I learned from the research in this book is that it is possible to conclusively prove that the world we live in is much more interconnected than we realize. Theoretical frameworks, methodologies, and explanations are available that challenge our usual notions of time, space, and non-locality. Reading this book will show any open-minded readers that a dualistic frame of reference will never enable us to understand the universe that each of us is an integral part of.

By Claude Swanson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Life Force, the Scientific Basis as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Breakthrough Physics of Energy Medicine, Healing, Chi and Quantum Consciousness - Comprehensive handbook of Subtle Energy


Book cover of The Coming of the Quantum Cats: A Novel of Alternate Universes

John Gribbin Author Of Don't Look Back

From my list on science fiction by scientists.

Why am I passionate about this?

John Gribbin has a Ph.D. in Astrophysics and is best known as an author of science books. But he has a not-so-secret passion for science fiction. He is the award-winning author of more than a hundred popular books about science, ranging from quantum mysteries to cosmology, and from evolution to earthquakes. He has also produced a double-handful of science fiction books. He specialises in writing factual books about the kind of science that sounds like fiction (including time travel), and fictional books based on scientific fact (including climate change). His recent book Six Impossible Things was short-listed for the prestigious Royal Society prize, but he is equally proud of Not Fade Away, his biography of Buddy Holly.

John's book list on science fiction by scientists

John Gribbin Why did John love this book?

This might seem a bit off-message because Pohl dropped out of college before finishing his science degree. But he did work as a weather forecaster in the US Navy. And I can’t resist including this book, because it deals with the area of science closest to my heart – many worlds, or parallel universes. The existence of these other worlds next door to our own is the best scientific explanation of the mysteries of quantum physics, such as the famous puzzle of Schrödinger’s Cat, and Pohl wraps it all up in entertaining fashion with a story of what happens when those worlds interact. The fact that Pohl includes a version of myself (actually, several versions of me) in the story has no bearing on my choosing it. I repaid the compliment by including him as a character in my story “Untanglement”, included in my anthology Don’t Look Back' ;-).

By Frederik Pohl,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Coming of the Quantum Cats as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A brilliant novel of alternate universes by an award-winning science fiction master
 
A breakthrough in quantum physics has shattered the boundaries between alternate worlds. History is in chaos as billions of possible futures collide. As a conquering army mounts an invasion of neighboring realities, a handful of men and women from a dozen different timelines risk their lives to safeguard an infinity of worlds.

Blending thrilling suspense with brilliant scientific speculation, Frederik Pohl’s The Coming of the Quantum Cats is a triumph of the imagination by a Hugo and Nebula–winning master of science fiction.
 
“A powerful novel of parallel worlds…


Book cover of Discovering: Inventing Solving Problems at the Frontiers of Scientific Knowledge

Samuel Arbesman Author Of The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date

From my list on how science actually works.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Scientist in Residence at Lux Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in startups at the frontiers of science and technology. I have a PhD in computational biology and focused my academic research on the nature of complex systems, but I soon became fascinated by the ways in which science grows and changes over time (itself a type of complex system!): what it is that scientists do, where scientific knowledge comes from, and even how the facts in our textbooks become out-of-date. As a result of this fascination, I ended up writing two books about scientific and technological change.

Samuel's book list on how science actually works

Samuel Arbesman Why did Samuel love this book?

I remember reading this book probably about twenty years ago, and it has a great deal of insight into how to understand the scientific process, both in how it is carried out as well as how scientists can get better at discovery. Written primarily in the form of a dialogue between a set of archetypical characters and informed by a huge amount of work into the history and sociology of science, it takes the reader through how to understand creativity in science.

By Robert Root-Bernstein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Discovering as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Root-Bernstein (natural science and physiology, Michigan State) attempts to understand how scientists invent through an imaginary reconstruction of the arguments, reflections, and games of six fictional characters. The index is of names only. TheRoot-Bernstein (natural science and physiology, Michigan State) attempts to understand how scientists invent through an imaginary reconstruction of the arguments, reflections, and games of six fictional characters. The index is of names only. The bibliography is extensive but would be more useful to general readers if it were classified or annotated. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or. bibliography is extensive but would be more useful to…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in sugar, the Universe, and extinction events?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about sugar, the Universe, and extinction events.

Sugar Explore 20 books about sugar
The Universe Explore 62 books about the Universe
Extinction Events Explore 7 books about extinction events