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"Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!", by Richard Feynman

FeynmanMy son recommended I read this one and I'm glad he did.  Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! offers a fascinating look into the life of one of the brightest minds of the past 100 years.  Richard Feynman is probably best known for his involvement in the Manhattan Project and for winning the Nobel Prize in Physics but this book is more about who he was as a person.

Unlike some dull and dreary book on the science shelf, Surely You're Joking is an extremely enjoyable read, thanks in large part to Feynman's conversational writing style.  The author's curiosity also shines through and it's easy to see why he was such a brilliant scientist; he clearly was one of those kids who spent a lot of time taking things apart and learning how they worked.

This book is a timeless adventure through the highlights of Feynman's adult life.  It's filled with stories of his time at Cornell, CalTech and of course, his work on the bomb.  Although you won't learn much about science from this book, it will definitely give you a better appreciation for the man and what made him tick.


Jim Minatel

One of my favorite "science" books! I'm glad you enjoyed it too.

Jim LaRoche

Hi Joe,

You might follow that with Tuva or Bust! Richard Feynman's Last Journey, by Ralph Leighton.




Thanks for sharing. I always love reading about scientists, especially when they can write.



My first job in book publishing with was Perseus Publishing in Cambridge MA in 1999. It was at Perseus that I was basically introduced to the entire Feynman catalog. What an introduction. I try to read or reread one of his works at least once a year. Nice shout out.

Nettie Hartsock


This is one of my favorite books ever, actually all of his books are treasures. My grandfather was in New Mexico at the same time as Feynman (gramps was Air Force Maj. General) and he actually went to a barbecue and played bongos along with Feynman. I still have the bongos my gramps played in my office.

My sister is an engineer and one of the things she makes her students listen to is the recording of him explaining physics in the Douglas Robb Memorial Lecture series - .

Here's to bongos and science!

Nettie H.

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