My Brief History by Stephen Hawking (University of Cambridge)
Stephen Hawking dazzled readers worldwide with a string of bestsellers exploring the mysteries of the universe. In My Brief History, the most brilliant cosmologist of our age turned his gaze inwards, looking - for the first and only time in print - at his own life and intellectual evolution. 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.