Category Archives: books

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!

You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.


I really like biographies of famous people mostly because you often don’t think about people in newspapers or tv as normal person. But they have a normal life, they drink, they smoke (as Mr. Feynman for example marihuana). By reading such books you can find them in different context and you will find out that they are normal as you or me.

And that’s what this book is about – it is a set of anecdotes told by Richard Feynman.The book is a transcription from conversations that Feynman had with his close friend and drumming partner Ralph Leighton. You will see a Nobel-winner who did not like this prize because it changed his life so much.

This is not a standard biography book where you read about person’s childhood then school, college, work etc. You won’t find there any dates any particular events from the start of the book to its end. This is something different. But it doesn’t make this book boring – contrary this is very funny and entertaining. You can open this book on any page and dive into the text – no matter where, you will find plenty of situations from Feynman’s life. You will read about his fascination with safe-cracking, ventures into art (drawing especially) and samba music, drums. There are also more serious ones – such as description of times when he worked on Manhattan Project.

There are plenty of famous quotations from these book. One of my favorite I put on the beginning of the post. And truly Richard Feynman lived with that in mind – that brought him a meeting with Bohr who wanted someone who will tell truly what he thinks about his ideas (not only agree!)… For more you need to go to the library! Smile