The most recommended Albert Einstein books

Who picked these books? Meet our 53 experts.

53 authors created a book list connected to Albert Einstein, and here are their favorite Albert Einstein books.
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Book cover of Einstein and the Quantum: The Quest of the Valiant Swabian

Mark Burgess Author Of Smart Spacetime: How information challenges our ideas about space, time, and process

From Mark's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Scientist Researcher Composer Author Multi-disciplinarian

Mark's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Mark Burgess Why did Mark love this book?

There are so many biographical versions of the quantum theory, but none that focus on Einstein’s achievements in such detail.

The narrative is rich in detail and compelling as a real page turner, filled with informative physics and background details from Einstein’s life story. I was sad to leave the book behind. By the end I wanted to know so much more.

By A. Douglas Stone,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Einstein and the Quantum as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Einstein and the Quantum reveals for the first time the full significance of Albert Einstein's contributions to quantum theory. Einstein famously rejected quantum mechanics, observing that God does not play dice. But, in fact, he thought more about the nature of atoms, molecules, and the emission and absorption of light--the core of what we now know as quantum theory--than he did about relativity. A compelling blend of physics, biography, and the history of science, Einstein and the Quantum shares the untold story of how Einstein--not Max Planck or Niels Bohr--was the driving force behind early quantum theory. It paints a…

Book cover of Mastery

Matt Jardine Author Of How to be a Buddhist Millionaire: 9 practical steps to being happy in a materialist world

From my list on making an abundant living doing work you love.

Who am I?

I have been fascinated by human potential for as long as I can remember. As a youth, my passion manifested in physical skills, pursuing a career in professional tennis, then in martial arts, for example. In my twenties, my interest included the mental and ‘spiritual’ side of life, too. Later, a young family needing to be fed forced me to consider yet another area of life to ‘master’: work and business. With so much of our lives spent in the workplace (a third), it seemed the perfect environment to test all that I had learnt about pushing the boundaries of human potential; mind, body, emotions, and spirit.

Matt's book list on making an abundant living doing work you love

Matt Jardine Why did Matt love this book?

Although I write within the genre of ‘Self-help’ and ‘Personal Growth’, as a reader, I am put off by titles that are too wishy-washy, saccharine, or worse, untested. 

Remember the saying, ‘Don’t walk in the footsteps of the masters, seek what they sought’? This is an important reminder for us to find and test our own truths rather than blindly follow others.  

For this reason, I recommend any work by Robert Greene, but particularly Mastery

Greene is a master at cutting through the hyperbole and getting to the core of what drives human behaviour and improved productivity without the weird bells and whistles.

His well thought-out ideas are based on evidence, road tested, backed-up by interesting case studies and applicable to our lives. 

By Robert Greene,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the bestselling author of The 48 Laws of Power and The Laws of Human Nature, a vital work revealing that the secret to mastery is already within you.

Each one of us has within us the potential to be a Master. Learn the secrets of the field you have chosen, submit to a rigorous apprenticeship, absorb the hidden knowledge possessed by those with years of experience, surge past competitors to surpass them in brilliance, and explode established patterns from within. Study the behaviors of Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Leonardo da Vinci and the nine contemporary Masters interviewed for this…

Book cover of Catch-22

Robert Gibson Author Of The Faulty Crew

From my list on understanding life.

Who am I?

From childhood until now I have always been curious and fascinated by fallacies and the little, illogical moments which are so ubiquitously common in our world. Coming from a family of teachers and professionally a teacher myself, I can only imagine these factors added to this. Having lived in numerous countries and encountering the same conundrums, I am only more driven to explore what is generally, and acceptingly, misunderstood. A fan of reading, I have found that the best people and medium to do so is in literature, which is just what I hope my own works do; explore what is unclear, neglected, and accepted. 

Robert's book list on understanding life

Robert Gibson Why did Robert love this book?

The origin of the phrase “Catch-22” this intriguing spiral into the absurdity of reality, particularly in war, is an exceptional tale.

Although it can be somewhat protracted, it is never boring. Following and recounting the inexplicable and illogical inequalities that life often has to over through the eyes of one ‘Yossarian’, it explores the gauntlet of the commonly uncommon in any form; love, fear, empathy, sympathy, dereliction, sardonicism and, finally, hope.

What truly remained with me was the tone of the book, only changing when truly necessary. For anyone trying to make sense of the chaos of life, dealing with a hopeless situation, or simply feeling down, I would always recommend this book, if not for the insight it provides but also for its ability to elicit humor in the darkest moments.

By Joseph Heller,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Catch-22 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Explosive, subversive, wild and funny, 50 years on the novel's strength is undiminished. Reading Joseph Heller's classic satire is nothing less than a rite of passage.

Set in the closing months of World War II, this is the story of a bombardier named Yossarian who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. His real problem is not the enemy - it is his own army which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. If Yossarian makes any attempts to excuse himself from the…

Book cover of Emmy Noether: The Most Important Mathematician You've Never Heard of

Mara Rockliff Author Of Try It! How Frieda Caplan Changed the Way We Eat

From my list on biographies of Jewish women.

Who am I?

I am a children’s author best known for digging up fascinating, often funny stories about famous people—and forgotten people who deserve to be famous again. After a trip to Israel with the PJ Library program, which sends free books each month to hundreds of thousands of Jewish children and their families, I was spurred to find out more about the many brilliant, bold, creative, persistent, and too often unsung Jewish women who have made a difference in our world.

Mara's book list on biographies of Jewish women

Mara Rockliff Why did Mara love this book?

This might be the most important picture book biography I’d never heard of. Why do all of us know Albert Einstein but not Emmy Noether, who sewed up a hole in his theory of relativity and went on to a discovery that transformed physics? Three guesses why. Like every account of the many brilliant women of STEM who were barred from classrooms, denied degrees, refused fair pay, and robbed of credit for accomplishments, Emmy’s story is often enraging. Add a narrow escape from the Nazis followed by a tragically early death, and you might not expect a fun read. But Becker and Rust manage to inject plenty of kid-friendly humor, and the scientific explanations were so clear and colorful that even I could (almost) understand. 

By Helaine Becker, Kari Rust (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Emmy Noether as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

In this engaging and inspiring biography, a groundbreaking but relatively unknown woman finally gets her due as one of the most influential mathematicians of the twentieth century.

Emmy Noether is not pretty, quiet, good at housework or eager to marry --- all the things a German girl is expected to be in her time. What she is, though, is a genius at math. When she grows up, she finds a way to first study math at a university (by sitting in, not actually enrolling) and then to teach it (by doing so for free). She also manages to do her…

Book cover of Willie's Time: Baseball's Golden Age

David Vaught Author Of Spitter: Baseball's Notorious Gaylord Perry

From my list on deep-dive baseball biographies.

Who am I?

Writing this book brought back memories from my childhood—of watching Perry pitch in the late 1960s and, more deeply, of relations with my parents. My father (a math prof at UC Berkeley) and mother cared little for sports, but by the time I turned seven, an identity uniquely my own emerged from my infatuation with the San Francisco Giants. By age ten, I regularly sneaked off to Candlestick Park, which required two long bus rides and a hike through one of the city’s worst neighborhoods. I knew exactly when I had to leave to retrace my journey to get home in time for dinner. Baseball was, and remains, in my blood.

David's book list on deep-dive baseball biographies

David Vaught Why did David love this book?

I read this when it first appeared in 1979, long before I started taking history seriously. Much more than a generic “life and times” offering, Willie’s Time, by Charles Einstein, a former columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, still stands tall as a sweeping biography of Willie Mays. It foreshadowed the approach pioneered by Jules Tygiel of “taking one’s eye off the ball”—paying as much attention to the broad and wide-ranging historical context of the game as to the game on the field itself. Einstein also embraces essayist Roger Angell’s deeply held belief that the power of baseball lies in its daily details. Both are necessary to understand Willie Mays and his place in history. Written with verve and vibrato, this book outshines James Hirsch’s dense and less captivating 2010 biography of Mays.

By Charles Einstein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Willie's Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Willie's Time: Baseball's Golden Age restores to print Charles Einstein's vivid biography of one of baseball's foremost legends. With a new preface from the author, this volume replays the most dramatic moments of the Say Hey Kid's career - from the 1951 Miracle Giants to the Amazing Mets of 1973 - and takes us inside the lives of Ruth, DiMaggio, Aaron, Durocher, and others along the way. Einstein offers a compelling and complete look at Mays: as a youth in racist Birmingham, a triumphant symbol of African American success, a sports hero lionized by fans,…

Book cover of Einstein Intersection

A.A. Attanasio Author Of The Last Legends of Earth

From my list on science fiction about world building.

Who am I?

I’m a novelist and student of the imagination living in Honolulu. I actually write most of my fiction inside a volcano: Koko Crater, a botanical garden near my home. Fantasies, visions, hallucinations, or whatever we call those irrational powers that illuminate our inner life fascinate me. I’m particularly intrigued by the creative intelligence that scripts our dreams. And I love how this dramatic energy finds its way to the page, into the one form that most precisely defines who we are: story.

A.A.'s book list on science fiction about world building

A.A. Attanasio Why did A.A. love this book?

When I first read this novel at age 15, I knew upon finishing that I wanted to be a science fiction writer. The strangeness of the tale enchanted me. And, by dint of that spell, my mind opened to the author’s philosophical insights about identity, cultural dreaming, and sexuality. Set on a far-future Earth where humanity is a mythical memory, the narrator assumes an identity based on Orpheus – and so, lost love and music play witching roles. Meaning is elusive, and that's part of the book's charm. Meaning in this story is also allusive, and the many legendary and literary references in the telling wander far from their origins and lead us to unexpected associations with our own time and lives.

By Samuel R. Delany,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A nonhuman race reimagines human mythology.

The Einstein Intersection won the Nebula Award for best science fiction novel of 1967. The surface story tells of the problems a member of an alien race, Lo Lobey, has assimilating the mythology of earth, where his kind have settled among the leftover artifacts of humanity. The deeper tale concerns, however, the way those who are "different" must deal with the dominant cultural ideology. The tale follows Lobey's mythic quest for his lost love, Friza. In luminous and hallucinated language, it explores what new myths might emerge from the detritus of the human world…

Book cover of Einstein's Dreams

Mario Livio Author Of Galileo: And the Science Deniers

From my list on science, mathematics, and philosophy.

Who am I?

Mario Livio is an astrophysicist and author of seven popular science books, including the bestsellers The Golden Ratio and Brilliant Blunders. He worked for 24 years (till 2015) with the Hubble Space Telescope, and published more than 500 scientific papers. He lectures regularly to the general public, and has appeared on television programs ranging from 60 Minutes to NOVA to The Daily Show.

Mario's book list on science, mathematics, and philosophy

Mario Livio Why did Mario love this book?

An enthralling, fictional description of a young scientist (Einstein) and his dreams/thoughts about space, time, relativity, and the nature of reality. The book fictionalizes Einstein’s dreams in 1905, his “Annus Mirabilis” (“Miracle Year”), in which he wrote four fundamental papers, including one on his theory of Special Relativity. While this is a work of fiction, the physics concepts are beautifully explained.

By Alan Lightman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Einstein's Dreams as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is ten minutes past six by the invisible clock on the wall. The young patents clerk sprawls in his chair, dreaming about time. He is Albert Einstein, and in his dreams he imagines new worlds, in which time can be circular, or flow backwards, or slow down at higher altitudes.

Book cover of The Paradox Hotel

Neve Maslakovic Author Of Regarding Ducks and Universes

From my list on mysteries that break the mold.

Who am I?

Growing up, I devoured books from two authors, the grande dame of mystery, Agatha Christie, and the science fiction great, Isaac Asimov. Luckily for me, both were prolific. That combination explains what I write, best described as the sleuth story meets speculative fiction. As a reader, when it comes to mysteries I’m always on the lookout for the out of this world. Which doesn't necessarily mean murder on a spaceship, though it can! What breaks the mold could be an unlikely detective, an inventive premise, an unusual setting, a narrative that surprises… Here are five such tales.

Neve's book list on mysteries that break the mold

Neve Maslakovic Why did Neve love this book?

Rob Hart’s The Paradox Hotel is bursting at the seams with interesting characters. The hotel of the title serves the needs of wealthy time tourists on their way to and from the nearby Einstein port. Working security is one January Cole. Her only friend an AI drone, January is grieving a lost love and fast succumbing to a time-travel illness that has her becoming unmoored from the present. Things go from bad to worse when she stumbles on a dead body that only she can see—turns out, it’s quite tricky to solve a murder that hasn’t happened yet. Surprisingly poignant, with moments that made me laugh out loud, and some inventive time travel shenanigans.

By Rob Hart,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Paradox Hotel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Time travel, murder, corruption, restless baby dinosaurs, and a snarky robot named Ruby collide in this excellent, noir-inflected, humor-infused, science-fiction thriller.”—The Boston Globe
An impossible crime. A detective on the edge of madness. The future of time travel at stake. From the author of The Warehouse . . .


January Cole’s job just got a whole lot harder.

Not that running security at the Paradox was ever really easy. Nothing’s simple at a hotel where the ultra-wealthy tourists arrive costumed for a dozen different time periods, all eagerly waiting…

Book cover of The Mathematician's Mind: The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field

Holger Gzella Author Of Aramaic: A History of the First World Language

From my list on becoming a scholar.

Who am I?

I hold the chair of Old Testament at the Faculty of Catholic Theology at Munich University in Germany. My main area of expertise is Semitic languages, though, which is also the field for which I previously held a chair at Leiden University in the Netherlands for fifteen years (eventually, however, Munich made me an offer one cannot refuse). Hence my main occupation concerns the interpretation of ancient texts in exotic languages such as Hebrew, Aramaic, Phoenician, and others, mostly at the baseline of individual words, grammatical forms, and syntactic constructions. Despite the seemingly dry, specialized character of my work, it is, in my view, a lifestyle rather than a job. 

Holger's book list on becoming a scholar

Holger Gzella Why did Holger love this book?

Scholarship, regardless of the particular field, is always a creative process. Craft and method, the fruits of a rigorous education and hard work, are essential prerequisites, but genuine breakthroughs often seem to result from some mysterious incubation: a wild dance of ideas that emerge from the subconscious, stirred up by the keen will to understand something. Only a few of them eventually make it, by way of sensual representations, to the surface of consciousness, where they are formed and articulated by logic and language. In this book, the great French mathematician Jacques Hadamard captivatingly describes his investigation into the psychological underpinnings of creativity. He stresses the role of images and emotions in thought processes. I have always liked his conclusion that every significant invention requires at least some poetic feel.

By Jacques Hadamard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mathematician's Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fifty years ago when Jacques Hadamard set out to explore how mathematicians invent new ideas, he considered the creative experiences of some of the greatest thinkers of his generation, such as George Polya, Claude Levi-Strauss, and Albert Einstein. It appeared that inspiration could strike anytime, particularly after an individual had worked hard on a problem for days and then turned attention to another activity. In exploring this phenomenon, Hadamard produced one of the most famous and cogent cases for the existence of unconscious mental processes in mathematical invention and other forms of creativity. Written before the explosion of research in…

Book cover of Now Everybody Really Hates Me

Mina Javaherbin Author Of My Grandma and Me

From my list on the magical power of our shared humanity.

Who am I?

Growing up in Iran, I never thought I would one day become an author in a language other than my mother tongue, and live clear across the world from my birthplace. An eclectic assortment of literature, representing core human themes of thinking, love, laughter, and science are subjects that help me bond with my fellow humans. Books have constantly reassured me of our similarities and encouraged me to make connections. The magical threads of our shared humanity are tools which help us thrive in our global village. They remind us we are more similar to one another than we may think.

Mina's book list on the magical power of our shared humanity

Mina Javaherbin Why did Mina love this book?

This hilarious picture book makes me laugh out loud every single time I read it, even when I had to read it consecutively to my children during their bedtime. I think humanity is nothing without laughter. Do animals make jokes and laugh? Sometimes we think writing and learning from the accumulation of knowledge is one of the most important human traits, but what about laughter? What about not taking ourselves seriously? What about the ability to poke fun at ourselves and our crazy actions and thoughts? Einstein was definitely a genius and we are all in awe of him, but I think people who can make us laugh are also brilliant. I’m grateful for laugh creators.

By Jane Read Martin, Roz Chast (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Now Everybody Really Hates Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Good-bye Cruel World!

Patty Jane Pepper is being unjustly punished. Her parents claim that she punched her brother Theodore. In fact, she only touched him--hard. And she didn't call him a dumbbell, either. She just called him a dumb head. Nonetheless, she's been sent to her room.

So Patty Jane decides to punish her parents back. She'll stay in her room--forever. She'll stay up really, really, really late (so that when she goes to bed it will be the next day), speak in a code that only she understands, and never, ever eat again. Unless, of course, there's something good…