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Thanks for the suggestions. The last physics-type book that I read was The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene. But that was more on relativity and string theory, not so much astonomy/astrophysics or Big Bang theory.

You can't read anything it seems lately that doesn't include the latest on string theory, but I think Hawking's works are much easier to read. In his Foreword to The Universe in a Nutshell, he talks about the success of his earlier book, A Brief History of Time, and how he struggled with the logical sequel to that book. It seemed to him that A Slightly Longer History of Time just wouldn't be appropriate, so he really worked hard at writing something the "normal" person could understand. The guy is truly brilliant and gifted, despite his physical challenges.

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