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My Brief History

by Stephen Hawking

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4372448,812 (3.38)15
'His clarity, wit and determination are evident, his understand and good humour moving' New Scientist My Brief History recounts Stephen Hawking's improbable journey, from his post-war London boyhood to his years of international acclaim and celebrity. Lavishly illustrated with rarely seen photographs, this concise, witty and candid account introduces readers to a Hawking rarely glimpsed in previous books: the inquisitive schoolboy whose classmates nicknamed him 'Einstein'; the jokester who once placed a bet with a colleague over the existence of a black hole; and the young husband and father struggling to gain a foothold in the world of academia. Writing with characteristic humility and humour, Hawking opens up about the challenges that confronted him following his diagnosis of motor neurone disease aged twenty-one. Tracing his development as a thinker, he explains how the prospect of an early death urged him onwards through numerous intellectual breakthroughs, and talks about the genesis of his masterpiece A Brief History of Time - one of the iconic books of the twentieth century. Clear-eyed, intimate and wise, My Brief History opens a window for the rest of us into Hawking's personal cosmos. 'Read it for the personal nuggets . . . but above all, it's worth reading for its message of hope' Mail on Sunday… (more)
  1. 10
    Stephen Hawking: An Unfettered Mind (Macsci) by Kitty Ferguson (geophile)
  2. 10
    An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist by Richard Dawkins (themulhern)
    themulhern: Virtually contemporaries, somewhat similar backgrounds, and careers, followed by international celebrity, and the writing of memoirs.
  3. 10
    Classic Feynman: All the Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard P. Feynman (Limelite)
    Limelite: Delve into these two delightful semi-autobiographical books about Stephen Hawking's most admired physicist of the 20th C.
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English (22)  Urdu (1)  German (1)  All languages (24)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Bit long on incomprehensible theoretical physics and short on personal revelations. ( )
  MuggleBorn930 | Jul 11, 2021 |
A very brief history indeed but considering Hawking could only communicate with 3-4 words per minute, I'm glad he was able to write about his wonderful life and all the amazing things he achieved ❤️ ( )
  MandaTheStrange | Oct 7, 2020 |
I listened to this audiobook, and it was really enjoyable. It is, as many other reviewers have noted, quite short, but it was a perfect small slice of Hawking's past. The audio production began each chapter with his synthesizer then melded his voice into the narrator's which worked really well. The only bit where I drifted was near the end when the discussion of space time loops left me FAR behind. Also, don't pick this up expecting a detailed, extensive history like [b: Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl|8805331|Storyteller The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl |Donald Sturrock|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1437312816s/8805331.jpg|8801583] that gives you new details about Hawking's life and work. But for all that, I'd definitely recommend the audiobook if you'd like a quick and interesting listen, with a bit of self-deprecating humor.

Fulfils the "author whose gender is different from your own" task for the Read Harder Challenge. ( )
  bookbrig | Aug 5, 2020 |
A quick easy autobiography from a fascinating figure in the science community. One can definitely say he led an interesting and (in his own words) satisfying life. He expanded our knowledge on black holes, gravity, and other cosmological issues. He brought awareness to the disease of ALS just merely by having it and being a social figure (similar to Lou Gehrig). He was definitely a remarkable man. And this tiny small autobiography does a pretty good job of summing up his life. It is a stat by stat rather than a deep-felt autobiography (chronological, date to date, here I did this, here I did that); (rather than I did this or this happened to me and that made me feel X). Still a good and interesting read for any curious about him as a person, and his cosmological works. ( )
  BenKline | Jul 1, 2020 |
The science is touched on so rapidly, that if you don't know much about it already there is nothing you can learn from this book. But the little details of life and the photographs are fun.

Stephen Hawking is virtually a contemporary of Richard Dawkins. They probably were at Oxford at the same time, although at different colleges. Hawking also speaks of being younger than many of the other students, since they had done military service, and he had not.

There were some little bits that were a surprise to me. For example, what really stopped him speaking at all was his tracheotomy. He nearly died over and over again in the 70s, but subsequently, he was at death's door much less frequently.

Like Dawkins, Hawking was kind of well-connected. His mother was friends w/ Robert Graves's wife, so he spent some time in Majorca and was tutored along with Robert Graves's son.

I listened to the audio before reading the book. The audio is fine. Each chapter starts with the Hawking synthesized voice, but then segues into the easier to listen to voice of a normal reader. ( )
  themulhern | May 26, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
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'His clarity, wit and determination are evident, his understand and good humour moving' New Scientist My Brief History recounts Stephen Hawking's improbable journey, from his post-war London boyhood to his years of international acclaim and celebrity. Lavishly illustrated with rarely seen photographs, this concise, witty and candid account introduces readers to a Hawking rarely glimpsed in previous books: the inquisitive schoolboy whose classmates nicknamed him 'Einstein'; the jokester who once placed a bet with a colleague over the existence of a black hole; and the young husband and father struggling to gain a foothold in the world of academia. Writing with characteristic humility and humour, Hawking opens up about the challenges that confronted him following his diagnosis of motor neurone disease aged twenty-one. Tracing his development as a thinker, he explains how the prospect of an early death urged him onwards through numerous intellectual breakthroughs, and talks about the genesis of his masterpiece A Brief History of Time - one of the iconic books of the twentieth century. Clear-eyed, intimate and wise, My Brief History opens a window for the rest of us into Hawking's personal cosmos. 'Read it for the personal nuggets . . . but above all, it's worth reading for its message of hope' Mail on Sunday

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