JOHNNY BALL: My Six Best Books | Books | Entertainment

JOHNNY BALL: My Six Best Books | Books | Entertainment


THE INVENTION OF NATURE

by Andrea Wulf 

John Murray, £10.99 

This won the Royal Society science book of the year award and it’s the story of Alexander von Humboldt. 

Darwin did his voyage with The Beagle because Humboldt had done it. 

It was Humboldt who discovered plants grow at different levels on mountains.

It’s the true story of how nature was opened up. 

THE ELEMENTS

by Theodore Gray 

Black Dog, £14.99 

A visual exploration of every known atom in the universe so you see what everything on Earth is made of. 

I left school with two O-levels and I’ve been learning ever since, though I did pick up my father’s love of science. 

THE CLICKING OF CUTHBERT

by PG Wodehouse 

Cornerstone, £8.99 

I can go back to Wodehouse and laugh again.

He had a wonderful way of expressing things in a ludicrous way. 

This is about a bachelor who plays golf and eventually falls for somebody.

I read it in the RAF where people would throw books on my bed whenever I said I hadn’t read something. 

THIS IS ANFIELD: AN OFFICIAL MODERN HISTORY OF LIVERPOOL FC

by Andrew Thompson and Steve Hale 

Out of print 

In 1962 I went to Anfield and wore an Everton hat, free from the newspaper. 

When Liverpool scored, the fans thrust it down over my head for fun but the cardboard cut my ears. 

The next thing, they were mopping the blood with red scarves. 

I was a fan from then on. I have lots of books about the club. 

MY BEST MATHEMATICAL AND LOGIC PUZZLES

by Martin Gardner 

Dover, £4.99 

His books were the inspiration for my TV series Think Of A Number. 

You can pick up his early books for a song online. 

I do newspaper puzzles every day as it keeps my mind alive. 

THE ASCENT OF MAN by Jacob Bronowski 

BBC Books, £9.99 

This was inspired by Darwin’s The Descent Of Man but Bronowski said it should be The Ascent Of Man because man has done incredible things – in poetry and art, as well as science and technology. 

The future for young people is brighter than anyone imagines. 

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