Review of Richard Feynman’s autobiography, where ‘anyone who can read it without laughing out loud is bad crazy’, according to the Los Angeles Times Book Review.
This book quite clearly is a masterpiece, and I can only recommend everyone to read it.
I received this book together with Lean Startup to Christmas some time ago. I read it over the course of last year (it was in my bedside table, separate from my other books).
This book is an autobiography of Richard Feynman, a widely-known professor of physics and clear thinker. There are five parts:
- Far from Rockaway to MIT
- The Princeton Years
- Feynman, the Bomb, and the Military
- From Cornell to Caltech, With a Touch of Brazil
- The World of One Physicist
Each part contains multiple stories with varying length, the shortest being only three pages in length. Still, each part is in itself contained.
Content-wise, they mostly show some aspects or quirks of how Feynman thought about and perceived the world. This includes his escapades during university just as well as with his numerous hobbies, among which are painting and playing bongos.
I’m very glad to have read it. It was very entertaining, and I learned some things as well. Recommended for everyone even slightly interested in physics or solid reasoning.
The main thing I learned that whatever you do, there is no value in taking it absolutely serious. Also, don’t be afraid to try out new things.
While the book is not as content-heavy as other books I’m reading, I was still surprised by how much I was able to get out of it - not just the momentary enjoyment while reading it. Within these stories are many of Feynman’s Life Lessons, easy to understand and often quite funny.
There are probably a few bad things that could be said about this book, but honestly, I did not find any.
The stories were well contained, clearly structured and easy to follow. While the leisurely manner of writing was weird at first, I came to like it fast.
Anyone interested in structured thinking, such as used in rationality, physics, math, computer science or a number of other disciplines is bound to enjoy it. If you are not in this category yourself, consider gifting it to your ‘technical’ friend - I’m sure they’ll be delighted.
No Quotes, as it is a ‘leisurely’ book, meaning I did not take notes while reading it.