Here's a library of little books for those who don't have time to read much, but who would like to know a little about many things. All are small but pithy books for students who have reports to write and exams to study for.
Allen, Woody, Getting Even. Woody Allen takes on art, literature, philosophy, death, and the difficulty of getting a plumber on weekends.
Ammons, A. R., The Selected Poems, Expanded Edition. Just savor a randomly chosen poem in this collection. Bet you can't read just one.
Calvino, Italo, Cosmicomics. Calvino writes playfully about science's most complex concepts, as his ageless narrator, Qfwfq, reminisces about the history of the universe. You may think you have seen it all, but Qfwfq remembers the Big Bang and just about everything since.
Borges, Jorge Luis, Labyrinths. Some of the most imaginative short stories of our times. As mind-bending as science fiction, but without the bad writing.
Bronowski, Jacob, Science and Human Values. Science and creativity, science and values, science and art, science and literature: finding unity in the variety of human pursuits.
Carroll, Lewis, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass. (as collected in The Annotated Alice, by Martin Gardner). You know Alice already, from the Disney's animated dilutions of Carroll's concentrated cleverness. Now it's time to meet the bright young lady in the flesh. But you may miss some of the in jokes of Carroll's time. Without intruding, Martin Gardner helps you out.
NEW! Crease, Robert P., The Prism and the Pendulum -- The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments in Science. History, details, and consequences of some of science's most beautiful and momentous experiments, including Erathosthenes's measurement of the diameter of the earth, Fouceault's pendulum, Millikan's oil-drop experiment, and Young's two-slit experiment. Enough experimental detail to satisfy your curiosity about what these keen minds actually conceived.
Dillard, Annie, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Dillard focuses her sense of wonder on nature and nature's only moral creature.
Eiseley, Loren, The Immense Journey. Give your mind a makeover, so it can begin to encompass the scale of evolution.
Epstein, Lewis, Relativity Visualized. Be the first kid on your block to understand that relativity is more than the empty phrase, "It's all relative." Clearest nonmathematical explanations anywhere of the paradoxes of time and space.
Feynman, Richard, The Character of Physical Law. Feynman's little philosophy of science. Philosophers don't care for it. It's too clear.
Russell, Bertrand, The Problems of Philosophy. A tiny but remarkably complete introduction to philosophy's lasting problems.
NEW! Searle, John, Mind: A Brief Introduction. Finally! A book about brain and mind that is not completely over your head. Concise, clear, and rational discussion of modern philosophy of mind, informed by the latest scientific findings.
Thomas, Lewis, Lives of a Cell. Medical man reflects on the meaning of biology.
White, E. B., The Elements of Style. Throw all those thick style manuals away, This is the shortest, funniest, clearest book about how to write, and the only style manual that's worth reading from cover to cover.