Themed Book Lists

5 Books Featuring Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein is 135 today

March 14, 2014

In honor of Albert Einstein’s 135th birthday, March 14, 2014, here are five books featuring Einstein that have been chosen by our designers. They appear on the book lists of product designers Bruce Hannah and Jean-Marie Massaud, architect Enrique Norten, and graphic designer Erik Spiekermann.

Einstein: His Life and Universe Walter Isaacson

From the Publisher. The first full biography of Albert Einstein since all of his papers have become available. His fascinating story is a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom and explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos, the locksmith of the mysteries of the atom and the universe. His success came from questioning conventional wisdom and marveling at mysteries that struck others as mundane. This led him to embrace a morality and politics based on respect for free minds, free spirits, and free individuals.

Einstein’s Dreams Alan Lightman

From the Publisher. It is ten minutes past six by the invisible clock on the wall. Minute by minute new objects gain form. In the dim light of morning the young patent clerk sprawls in his chair, head down on his desk. For the past several months, he has dreamed many dreams about time. His dreams have taken hold of his research. But the dreaming is finished. Out of many possible natures of time, imagined in as many nights, one seems compelling. Not that the others are impossible. The others might exist in other worlds. The patent clerk is Albert Einstein. In his dreams he imagines new worlds, in which time can be circular, or flow backwards, or slow down at higher altitudes, or take the form of a nightingale.

The German Genius Peter Watson

From the Publisher. A virtuoso cultural history of German ideas and influence, from 1750 to the present day, by acclaimed historian Peter Watson (Making of the Modern Mind, Ideas). From Bach, Goethe, and Schopenhauer to Nietzsche, Freud, and Einstein, from the arts and humanities to science and philosophy, The German Genius is a lively and accessible review of over 250 years of German intellectual history. In the process, it explains the devastating effects of World War II, which transformed a vibrant and brilliantly artistic culture into a vehicle of warfare and destruction, and it shows how the German culture advanced in the war’s aftermath.

“Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!” Richard Feynman

From the Publisher. In this phenomenal national best seller, the Nobel Prize -winning physicist Richard P. Feynman recounts in his inimitable voice his adventures trading ideas on atomic physics with Einstein and Bohr and ideas on gambling with Nick the Greek, painting a naked female toreador, accompanying a ballet on his bongo drums and much else of an eyebrow-raising and hilarious nature.

A World Without Time Palle Yourgrau

From the Publisher. In 1942, the logician Kurt Gödel and Albert Einstein became close friends; they walked to and from their offices every day, exchanging ideas about science, philosophy, politics, and the lost world of German science. By 1949, Gödel had produced a remarkable proof: In any universe described by the Theory of Relativity, time cannot exist. Einstein endorsed this result reluctantly but he could find no way to refute it, since then, neither has anyone else. Yet cosmologists and philosophers alike have proceeded as if this discovery was never made. In A World Without Time, Palle Yourgrau sets out to restore Godel to his rightful place in history, telling the story of two magnificent minds put on the shelf by the scientific fashions of their day, and attempts to rescue the brilliant work they did together.

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