MLA Gold Award Site

Excerpt from You Are Here by Christopher Potter, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

You Are Here

A Portable History of the Universe

by Christopher Potter

You Are Here
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2009, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2010, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Seemingly all children start out as budding scientists unafraid to follow a trail of questioning to exhaustion, even if the exhaustion is usually that of their parents. Curiosity drives children to ask why? And why? And why? hoping to arrive at some final destination, like the universe at the end of our cosmic address, a final answer beyond which there are no more whys.

'Why is there something rather than nothing?' asked the German philosopher Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716), the question that any description of the universe must ultimately be able to address. Science attempts to answer 'why' questions with 'how' answers, invoking the dynamic of stuff in the world. But 'how' answers also converge on that same ultimate question: instead of asking 'why is there something rather than nothing?', scientists ask 'how did something come out of nothing?' In order to account for the everything-ness of the universe we must also account for the nothing-ness from which it seems to have appeared. But what could such material as the world is made of look like when it is nothing, and what possible actions could have transformed nothing into something, and something into the everything we call the universe?

For hundreds of years, and for as long as the word has meant anything, science has shown itself to be an evolving process of investigation into whatever it is that is Out There, a place of things that are in motion, and what we mean by the universe. So who better, we might think, than scientists to answer the question: Where - between the void and everything - are we?

  • 1
  • 2

The foregoing is excerpted from You Are Here by Christopher Potter. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Loney
    The Loney
    by Andrew Hurley
    Landscape can be a writer's best friend. Whether it's the mountains of England's lake...
  • Book Jacket: The Mirror Thief
    The Mirror Thief
    by Martin Seay
    It is easy to see why Martin Seay's debut novel, The Mirror Thief, has been compared to David ...
  • Book Jacket: The Association of Small Bombs
    The Association of Small Bombs
    by Karan Mahajan
    The Association of Small Bombs is a fictional story that revolves around an actual 1996 car bombing ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Alaskan Laundry
    by Brendan Jones

    A fresh debut novel about a young woman who moves to Alaska and finds herself through the hard work of fishing.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Win this book!
Win The Children

From NYT bestselling author Ann Leary

The captivating story of an unconventional New England family.

Enter

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Girl Waits with Gun
by Amy Stewart

An enthralling novel based on the forgotten true adventures of one of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Word Play

Solve this clue:

I I A Greek T M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.