13 Stephen Hawking Books

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has written a number of best-selling books over the years on various scientific and philosophical topics. Some of his most famous titles include A Brief History of Time, The Grand Design, and Black Holes and Baby Universes And Other Essays.

In addition to being a brilliant scientist, Hawking is also an excellent writer, able to make complex topics easily understood by the average reader. These books offer intriguing insights into the world of physics as well as some provocative questions about the nature of the universe.

If you're looking for a challenging read that will make you think about things in a new way, then be sure to check out one or more of Hawking's books.

Books by Stephen Hawking

1. A Brief History of Time

A Brief History of Time

Published: 1988

Pages: 212

There are few books that have had as much of an impact on the scientific world as A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. This book has been widely praised for its clear and concise explanation of complex concepts in cosmology, quantum mechanics, and theoretical physics.

With topics ranging from the Big Bang (which created the universe) to black holes to the Earth, this book will help you understand some of the most important discoveries in a way that is easy to understand.

The beauty of this masterpiece is that his ideas have stood the test of time and continue to guide scientists even decades later, using today's science and techniques. Beyond that, it has helped to popularize these topics among the public and has inspired many people to pursue careers in science.

2. Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays

Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays

Published: 1993

Pages: 182

There's no doubt that Stephen Hawking was one of the most brilliant minds in the world. With this book, Hawking proves once again why he was so respected and still regarded as an authority on some of the most complex scientific concepts.

This book provides a comprehensive overview of Hawking's work in black holes, gravity, and the universe's origins in thirteen essays. Instead of shying away from the subject, he delves into whether there is a God and what that would mean for humanity and all of existence.

There is also an interview with him that gives even more insight into his discoveries and ideas. This edition also includes never-before-published essays on quantum mechanics and God. If you're looking to gain a deeper understanding of these complex topics and appreciate someone who is humble and has a sense of humor at the same time, then this book is for you.

3. The Universe in a Nutshell

The Universe in a Nutshell

Published: 2001

Pages: 216

The universe in a nutshell. What a profound statement, and how would this even be attempted! This is what renowned physicist Stephen Hawking tries to tackle in his same name book. He attempts to answer some of the most pressing questions about the universe, from its beginning to its eventual end.

However, even if that does happen, he discusses the idea of "M-Theory," where multiple universes overlaid on each other continually interact in ways we don't understand.

Hawking provides a clear and straightforward overview of current thinking on the universe and its ultimate fate in this concise volume. And even though this may sound daunting to non-scientists, as always, Hawking writes in a style that is easily accessible for anyone. We highly recommend this quick read because he delves into the fascinating idea of 11-dimensional supergravity and Superstrings.

4. The Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fact of the Universe (ADD to Wikipedia)

The Theory of Everything

Published: 2002

Pages: 176

This is not your ordinary book by Stephen Hawking as it is a compilation of lectures that he gave at Cambridge University in London. During these lectures, he discussed different theories on how the universe was created on time, space, and the universe.

It’s interesting to see how he presents his theory of everything through his "spoken" words instead of just the written ones. Since these lectures were given in front of people, there is an easiness and an authentic feeling of humanity and personality. He explains some of the most challenging ideas in science with ease and beauty.

5. On the Shoulders of Giants

On the Shoulders of Giants

Published: 2002

Pages: 1280

Unlike most of the other books on this list, this one is not explicitly focused on Hawking's views of the universe, black holes, and the meaning of reality specifically. This book explains how he was standing on the shoulders of giants who have influenced science throughout history. This compilation includes seven essays, including the likes of On the Revolution of Heavenly Spheres by Nicholas Copernicus and Rudolphine Tables by Johannes Kepler.

There are also essays by Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Galileo, and Alfonso De Salvio. Not only do you learn about the ideas and beliefs regarding the science of these amazing men, but you get insights and a biography of them written by Hawking also. You can feel every word and emotion that must have gone through Hawking's mind as he read these pieces and how they helped form his views and life.

6. God Created the Integers: The Mathematical Breakthroughs That Changed History

God Created the Integers

Published: 2005

Pages: 1160

In this book, Hawking investigates the significant developments starting 2,500 years ago and then moving forward until the publishing date. In his opinion, twenty-five major events allowed the human race to develop into the scientific-minded creatures we are today. These were achieved primarily by fifteen men, and it examines not only their mathematical ideas but also their personalities and the way they thought about the world at that time.

Some of the scientists written about include Alan Turing, Bernard Riemann, and others. Each chapter is broken down to focus on one scientist and includes Hawking's thoughts, the mathematical equations that they used to prove their theories, and more.

Simply stated: This masterpiece is a monster of information at over 1,000 pages. However, if you attempt to read it, you will learn more about the history of the greatest minds throughout time and why their information continues to influence science today.

7. The Dreams That Stuff Is Made of: The Most Astounding Papers of Quantum Physics and How They Shook the Scientific World

The Dreams That Stuff Is Made of

Published: 2011

Pages: 1088

This is an excellent book if you want to understand more of the theories that were first written about in Hawking's A Brief History of Time. It delves into the ideas that allowed each scientist to build upon the previous and discover something original. It then influenced Hawking's thinking of how the universe works by reading the works of other scientists.

Some of these scientists include the most well-known, such as Niels Bohr, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and Werner Heisenberg. However, others are lesser-known but just as important. One of our favorites is the brilliant and hilarious Richard Feynman. This is another massive tome, so if you want to understand the science truly, be prepared to take your time, read slowly, and possibly re-read if needed.

8. My Brief History

My Brief History

Published: 2013

Pages: 126

We all know that Hawking’s work on theoretical physics and his many discoveries have made him a household name. In his autobiography, he discusses his life and how he came to be one of the most celebrated minds in science. This includes insights into his humor, wit, and humbleness, no matter the circumstances. This brief history provides an interesting perspective into one of the greatest minds of our time.

Although Stephen Hawking is known for his scientific advancements, this book provides a more personal side that is often overlooked.

It also offers insight into some of the struggles that he faced and overcame throughout his life. This includes being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease at age 21 and being told he only had a few years to live. As he writes in it, if not for the prospect of death at such a young age, he wouldn't have driven himself so hard to help change the world and the universe.

9. Black Holes: The BBC Reith Lectures

Black Holes: The BBC Reith Lectures

Published: 2016

Pages: 80

The BBC Reith Lectures are a set of two essays relating to one of Hawking's favorite subjects: Black Holes. Up until the very end, Hawking questioned the meaning of black holes for the universe and how we could try to understand them. These lectures are easy to understand while still tackling the enormous questions of black holes and an intriguing collection of ideas.

Some of these include what would happen if you were sucked into a black hole, and if you were, could you even get into it since time seems to stop when you are on the edges of it. There are others that are just as interesting and mindboggling, but that one alone will make you question reality. It is a fun read, and knowing that Hawking was aging and getting weaker, makes it even more magical and essential.

10. Brief Answers to the Big Questions

Brief Answers to the Big Questions

Published: 2018

Pages: 256

In his final book before his death, Hawking continued working on the theories that have puzzled him throughout his life. These include how the universe began, what is inside a black hole and how can time exist in it, and is it possible to travel at all?

And, of course, even though he believed in science, he still was willing to indulge in independent thinking and question whether there was a God or not. For him, everything was necessary, and nothing was off-limits.

Again, in this book, he writes about incredibly in-depth and almost impossible to understand theories in ways that anyone who is interested can figure out. His continued humility, up to the last minute of his life, and his desire to teach to any and all, shines through brilliantly. He used his last hours on this planet and in this universe to keep the world enthralled and interested in what might be outside of our tiny world.

Co-Authored Stephen Hawking Books

11. The Nature of Space and Time (with Roger Penrose)

The Nature of Space and Time

Published: 1996

Pages: 152

Is space an entity? A physical thing? This is what acclaimed physicists Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose debate in this intriguing book. The two scientists explore the very nature of space and time and offer differing theories on the fundamentals that make up the cosmos. They both have differing views on if there is a single unified theory that explains everything or if the universe is too tricky and expansive to understand.

This is a compilation of their agreements and disagreements during a group of six lectures at Cambridge University. It's a philosophical discussion that will make you think deeply about the universe around you. What does space mean to us? And more importantly, what does it all mean for the future of humanity and the universe?

12. A Briefer History of Time (with Leonard Mlodinow)

A Briefer History of Time

Published: 2005

Pages: 176

As expected, this is a condensed version of the original A Brief History of Time. In this version, Hawking and Mlodinow have made this a more accessible and easier-to-understand book for anyone. That being stated, it is still an excellent primer on questions relating to science, black holes, gravity, and the universe.

Being that this was published after A Brief History, they have been able to update Hawking’s ideas with new information and see if Hawking's theories stand the test of time or not. Amazingly, many of them continue to do so, and therefore they have expanded specific chapters, such as the theory of relativity, curved space, and even quantum theory.

Meanwhile, they continue to make their ideas and theories relatable and a joy to read and explore. It also includes almost forty full-color illustrations to help you wrap your mind around these incredible concepts.

13. The Grand Design (with Leonard Mlodinow)

The Grand Design

Published: 2010

Pages: 199

It used to be that only philosophers would ask questions such as "Why are we here?", "What is the destiny of humanity?" or "What are the laws of nature and reality?" However, as we now know, those have also become the questions of scientists and physicists.

In this book, Hawking and Mlodinow try to answer them and more using the scientific method and their understanding of the universe.

If you are looking for a book that will ultimately make you question everything you think you know, then this is the one for you. With Hawking and Mlodinow examining their view of history, they come to ask whether there is, in fact, an accurate history or if there are many that exist at the same time.

And, if so, what does this mean. As they look deeper into this idea, they explain how M-Theory may just answer the question and unlock the universe's secrets. And, if they are correct, it is definitely a very grand design.