1. "Dueling Neurosurgeons" - Sam Kean
    History of our understanding of the human brain told through amazing stories of trauma, disease, and experimentation. It's way better than I just made it sound.
  2. "Ghost Map" - Steven Johnson
    Cholera outbreaks in mid-19th century London more your thing? Boy, do I have a book for you! Covers everything from modern sanitation to applied mathematics.
  3. "Relativity: The Special and General Theory" - Albert Einstein
    Despite the daunting title, this book is a joy to read. Written for the educated enthusiast (not fellow academics) the text is full of wonder and curiosity.
  4. "QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter" - Richard Feynman
    A perfect follow-up to Einstein, this book is Feynman's attempt to explain quantum electrodynamics without using any math. He's the closest thing we have to Doc Brown and this book is a delightful spin in the DeLorean.
  5. "A Brief History of Time" - Stephen Hawking
    A triumph of will and a milestone in popular scientific writing. There is an updated and expanded edition, but I recommend reading the original because you're about to graduate to...
  6. "A Universe From Nothing" - Lawrence Krauss
    In some ways an extension of Hawking's book, it's startling to see the progress made in cosmology in the intervening 24 years. Dabbles with the theological and philosophical implications. Krauss' lectures on YouTube are worth checking out as well.
  7. "Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field" - Nancy Forbes
    For anyone whose career in physics petered out shortly after being enthralled with E&M, this one's for you. Equal parts science and biography, details the emergence and acceptance of classical field theory, focusing on the two fascinating men who led the charge (pun intended).