Admit it. You have A Brief History of Time on your bookshelf. You bought it because everyone else bought it. "Have you read that Stephen Hawking book yet?" your office manager would say by the water cooler. "Of course!" you'd reply. "Fascinating!"
But you didn't really read it, did you?
Oh, sure, it was on your coffee table or by your bedside. But every time you cracked it open, your eyes would slowly glaze over. Then you'd look up and suddenly it would be three hours later and you were naked on the front lawn and you had no idea how you got there. Drunken blackout? No. Really bad shrimp salad? Nope. Alien abduction? Um. Maybe, but probably not.
No, you got three pages into A Brief History of Time and your brain exploded from overwork and you freaked out. Yeah, you freaked out because you knew you would never--never--understand that damned book. That goddamned book that even your office manager was reading--if she was really reading it. And you felt stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Well, good news!!! Stephen Hawking is back with a book even you can understand! It's A Briefer History of Time--briefer 'cause all the words are small for tiny little brains! Phrases like "hot big-bang model" (no, you idiot ... it is NOT about Tyra Banks) and "imaginary time." Whatever that means.
So, pick it up and when your office manager says, "Have you bought that new Stephen Hawking book?" you can say, "Yes--it's on my coffee table right now ... in imaginary time. Hey, is America's Next Top Model on?"