Books by Richard Morris

MASJID MORNING by Richard Morris
Released: Nov. 10, 2016

"A thought-provoking and ultimately moving story that looks at love, human nature, and conservative religion."
In the latest novel from Morris (Canoedling in Cleveland, 2014, etc.), a pair of star-crossed lovers—one Muslim, one Christian—face familial and societal pressures in rural Maryland.Read full book review >
WELL CONSIDERED by Richard Morris
Released: Feb. 1, 2010

"A multilayered thriller that tackles issues of race and history in America, but comes up short of a fully nuanced examination."
A present-day racist incident launches a search for answers about a 1907 lynching in the new novel by Morris (Cologne No. 10 for Men, 2007). Read full book review >
BYE-BYE, BABY! by Richard Morris
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

New-baby books for skeptical siblings abound, but here the older brother is still young enough to be prone to a tantrum or two himself. From day one, Felix is not fond of his new baby sister. She's loud and she hogs all the attention, leaving Felix thoroughly unimpressed until the day the family goes to the zoo. In mentally cataloging the ways in which various animals could rid him of his little sis (a hippo could eat her, an elephant sit on her, etc.), Felix has such a great time that when it's time to leave he erupts into a full-blown tantrum. Nothing his parents do can stop it, and in the end it's Felix's little sister who manages to figure out just the right thing to do. Clever endpapers show the before-and-after effects of the baby's existence, and Day's emotional watercolors drill home Felix's disgruntlement. Certainly cute enough, and a good complement to Robie H. Harris's Mail Harry to the Moon, illustrated by Michael Emberley (2008). (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
COLOGNE NO. 10 FOR MEN by Richard Morris
Released: Feb. 1, 2007

"A funny and serviceable satire about the gross rationalizations that propel war and peace."
A soldier in Vietnam invents a uniquely absurd solution to the horrors of war. Read full book review >
Released: June 5, 2002

"Morris's afterword makes it clear that science doesn't have all the answers—perhaps never will—but it's diverting and instructive at least to see the process."
Really big questions: Morris, a physicist who writes frequently on science, borrows a leaf from the philosopher's book to discourse engagingly on God, time, truth, mind, and such like. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 15, 1999

THE UNIVERSE, THE ELEVENTH DIMENSION, AND EVERYTHINGWhat We Know and How We Know ItMorris, Richard Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1997

The idea of the infinite has baffled thinkers since ancient times; now a top science writer tries to shed light on the concept. Morris (Cosmic Questions, 1993, etc.) begins by noting the paradoxes that arise when infinite numbers are put through standard arithmetic processes: Half of infinity remains infinite, and infinity minus 30 trillion is still infinite. Precisely because of its tendency to produce paradox, infinity has always had a shady reputation. George Cantor, the first mathematician to seriously study it, went mad. It was the suggestion of infinite worlds, rather than the heliocentric model of the solar system, that got Giordano Bruno burnt at the stake. And Newton went to great pains to find a way to explain his newly invented calculus without resorting to the infinitesimals (infinitely tiny numbers) on which its operations depend; he never quite managed the trick. Morris spends a good deal of time showing how astronomers and cosmologists have dealt with the growth of the observable universe and with the implication that the actual universe might really be infinite. Much of our modern picture of the cosmos arises from the fact that certain equations in Einstein's general relativity theory produce infinite answers—``singularities''—when the right values are plugged in. From these troublesome infinities eventually arose the concepts of the Big Bang and black holes, both of which are now considered all but confirmed by observational evidence. Morris is a clear and lively writer, with a penchant for down-to-earth examples—a useful asset in dealing with a subject so notoriously difficult. A good survey not only of infinity, but of the scientific revolutions that have grown out of our attempts to grapple with the concept. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

From physicist and science writer Morris (The Edges of Science, 1990, etc.): a nontechnical introduction to recent developments in cosmology. Morris designs his primer around ten Big Questions: When did time begin? Why do we exist?, etc. The answers touch on just about every arcane cosmological idea afloat—for example, the existence of ``shadow matter'' that can ``neither be seen nor felt'' but may fill the cosmos, or of ``virtual particles'' that emerge from nothingness for a smidgeon of existence. Morris enthusiastically affirms the Big Bang, calling recent COBE satellite results ``like seeing God's fingerprints.'' On other disputes he's less firm, content to sift the evidence on such issues as whether the universe will expand forever or collapse upon itself. Dark matter, primordial black holes, superstring theory, time's reversibility, and weak and strong anthropic principles also come under discussion, leading on occasion to dismaying predictions (``the universe will eventually become something cold and dark, with practically no sources of energy left''). Morris enjoys toying with weird ideas like time travel, but his viewpoint remains orthodox. Scientists are intrepid explorers who ``have a habit of questioning everything''—no hint here of science as a culturally based activity; as for relations between science and religion, the dicey question that Morris tackles last, his conclusion dashes hopes of dÇtente: ``The latest discoveries have not brought science and religion closer together, and they are not likely to do so.'' Okay science popularizing—but nearly indistinguishable from dozens of other books on the subject. Read full book review >