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 by Christopher Potter
  • 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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Amber Shadows
    The Amber Shadows
    by Lucy Ribchester
    The Amber Shadows sweeps readers into the realm of World War II-era Britain where Honor "Honey" ...
  • Book Jacket: Midwinter Break
    Midwinter Break
    by Bernard MacLaverty
    Northern Ireland's Bernard MacLaverty is the author of five novels and multiple short story ...
  • Book Jacket: The Ninth Hour
    The Ninth Hour
    by Alice McDermott
    In a pivotal scene in The Ninth Hour, young Sally encounters an increasingly loathsome series of ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

An eye-opening and riveting look at how how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Twelve-Mile Straight
    by Eleanor Henderson

    An audacious epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford

    Inspired by a true story, about a boy whose life is transformed at Seattle's epic 1909 World's Fair.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win If the Creek Don't Rise

If the Creek Don't Rise

A debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y Can't M A S P O O A S E

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.