Sean Carroll locates and praises a new book by Leonard Susskind and George Hrabovsky. (Funny, in the Czech spelling, Jiří Hrabovský is a rather famous guy in the Czech TV News and P.R. industry.)
This book's goal is to teach you everything you need to actually follow and do physics – including equations – but it is not a textbook. One may be surprised how a book with equations may refuse to be a textbook and what the word "textbook" really means ;-) but whatever it is, it is surely successful. For example, it's #150 at amazon.com (and it was #4, we hear) and #1 in "science for kids" right now. I am sure that Leonard...
Hofstadter bought the book – which borrowed the title from Lev Landau's famous entry exam – for Penny, too. However, the book is now hopelessly sold out at amazon.com so if you order it, you may have to wait for 1-2 months.
You may want to know something about the content of the non-textbook.
It discusses the nature of classical physics; geometry and vectors; motion; integrals; dynamics; partial derivatives; multi-particle systems; energy; principle of least action; symmetry and conservation laws; Hamiltonian mechanics and time-translational invariance; the phase space fluid and the Gibbs-Liouville theorem; Poisson brackets, angular momentum, and symmetries; electric and magnetic forces; and – in the appendix – central forces and planetary orbits.
The style is talkative and the diagrams and equations are colorful and eye-catching. An index is included, much like lots of problems that help the readers to become truly familiar with the ideas.
As you can see, the readers of the book won't quite get to string theory – an intellectual child by one of the authors of the book (and a few others) – but they will get much further than most of the folks who just self-confidently talk about things like string theory although they know almost nothing about physics.