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Atkins, P.W. Molecules. Scientific American Library, New York, 1987. A collection of profiles of 160 molecules, including user-friendly discussions of how all those molecules do what they do.
Burnie, David. Eyewitness Science: Light. Dorling Kindersley, Inc., New York, 1992. A strongly graphical presentation of the physics of light in historical context. Explains concepts and their development over time in nontechnical terms.
The Exploratorium Science Snackbook. The Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon Street, San Francisco, California, 94123 (Tel: 800-359-9899 or 415-561-0393), 1991. Lists a dazzling variety of science demonstrations, with full descriptions of how to make them and brief explanations of what is going on in each.
Gamow, George. Mr. Tompkins in Paperback. (Containing "Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland" and "Mr. Tompkins Explores the Atom.") Cambridge University Press, New York, 1965. An excellent, enjoyable presentation of quantum physics in the form of extended metaphors, as seen through the eyes of the curious everyman, Mr. Tompkins.
Gonick, Larry and Arthur Huffman. The Cartoon Guide to Physics. HarperCollins, New York, 1991. A humorous (and accurate) comic-book approach to basic physics concepts, this book brings abstractions down to earth. Helpful for beginning students.
Hewitt, Paul G. Conceptual Physics, 7th ed. Scott, Foresman and Company; Glenview, Illinois; 1993. This college physics text (also available in a high-school version) uses mathematics chiefly as a supplement to accessible, intuitive explanations, keeping the everyday world at center stage.
Morrison, Philip, Phylis Morrison, and the Office of Charles and Ray Eames. Powers of Ten: A Book About the Relative Size of Things in the Universe and the Effect of Adding Another Zero. Scientific American Library, New York, 1982.
Macaulay, David. The Way Things Work. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1988. A pictorial book for a lay audience brimming with details about the machinery of our world.
Walker, Jearl. The Flying Circus of Physics with Answers. John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1977. A book full of provocative questions, addressing virtually everything you ever wondered about that relates to physics in everyday life. A valuable section of brief answers has been added to this edition.