by Brian Greene (2004). Exceedingly well written romp through modern fundamental physics, from quantum mechanics, special and general relativity to inflationary cosmology (the masterful written chapters 10 and 11), superstrings and beyond. Himself a superstring theorist (as if there were an exprimental superstring physicist) at Columbia, Greene has a gift for the well-turned metaphor. His topic is, of course, awe inspiring. Just consider that quantum fluctuations in the pre-inflationary universe (a trillionth of a trillionths second after the beginning of the universe) gave rise to the large scale distribution of galaxies and clusters of galaxies we observe today. Thus, fluctuations at the smallest of scales determines what happens at the largest of all scales (and then some people consider the brain a deterministic system)! Highly recommended to the educated reader; it is not an easy read.