A Universe From Nothing by Lawrence Krauss
This is one of the best science books I’ve read for ages. I spotted it in a remainder shop in Hay-on-Wye over the summer, which is a bit of a shame, as it didn’t deserve that fate.
The author is a well known and lauded cosmologist, whose work has explored the more difficult aspects of the Big Bang: How did it happen? How could it have happened? Is our universe the only one? Later on he does ask why our universe might have been created, but he points out that such a question may be meaningless. Above all, his goal is to show how the universe could have appeared from nothing, and how that means a creator is unnecessary.
Written with skill, clarity and economy, this is a superb outline of the state of play in cosmology circa 2012. It simplifies theories without sacrificing their essence or importance – a rare skill in science writing – and while it doesn’t give all the answers, it does elegantly and clearly give reasons why such answers may be impossible for us to know. Highly recommended.