Friday, November 23, 2007

Book Review: Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

I just finished reading Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! - the memoirs of Nobel-prize winning physicist Richard P. Feynman. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone! Let's put it this way: reading it is like sitting down to have dinner with an incredibly interesting guy, who had a whole series of adventures, and happens to be a marvelous storyteller. It's presented as a series of (mostly) chronologically ordered vignettes, each of which is more amusing than the last.

Where else can you read stories about:
  • learning to crack safes by practicing on those storing the documents of the Los Alamos experiments during the war
  • pranks at MIT
  • being part of a Brazilian samba band while on sabbatical
  • drumming the music for a prize-winning ballet
  • getting an art commission from a "massage parlor" (wink-wink-nudge-nudge)
  • membership on a textbook selection committee for California, only to discover that all the books are awful - and that half the committee didn't read them anyway
  • and a whole bunch more
Seriously, read it. You'll thank me later. I hope.

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