Galileo Galilei
Coming soon: Science books try to deliver big answers in the fall

In a cosmic reading mood? Let these three forthcoming books satisfy your search for fresh, unexpected insights into the nature of the universe. God, free will, quantum versus Newtonian theories — no subject is too big (or nanoscopic) for Cambridge theorist Stephen Hawking who, with Caltech's Leonard Mlodinow, gives readers another graceful, slender guide to the workings of the cosmos in "The Grand Design" (Bantam). "Until the advent of modern physics," the authors write, "it was generally thought that all knowledge of the world could be obtained through direct observation, that things are what they seem." That's a viewpoint that this elegant,...