Book recommendations for becoming an "amateur physicist?" Hi all. Despite my lousy grades in physics in high school, it was always my secret love. Even when I was little I dreamed of being like those guys on TV explaining how the cosmos began. My first year of college I even came here to ask a few questions about becoming an engineer over at the "Should I be an engineer?" thread. If I were to do college over again I'd probably not be so lazy and switch to a physics major (so for any high schoolers reading this, don't be lazy in college). But alas, I was lazy after all, and a philosophy major I am. I like academics and want to be a professor, philosophy and theoretical physics are arguably similar in many ways, and don't get me wrong, I'm perfectly happy in my current field. Still though, I'm in my third year in college and I still wish I could be a physics major, and perhaps I could be suicidal and switch now and spend seemingly the rest of my life as an undergrad. That's okay though, I'll stick with my philosophy major in hopes to pursue a PhD and teach. Anyway, all this rambling is leading me here: the old saying goes "don't pay $100,000 for an education you can get at a library." Well there's both true and falsehood in that statement, but I do agree I could probably learn quite a bit outside of a classroom. I don't have a very strong math background (we were only required to go through algebra 2 in my high school when I was there, so that's all the further I went), but I am by no means bad at math (or really physics for that matter, was just lazy about homework). So, what books could PF recommend to me to start me on the path of becoming a so-called "amateur physicist?" I've always been hugely interested in theoretical physics, especially about things like black holes, dark matter and the like. So to gain a truly deep and working understanding of these higher-level topics, what path do you recommend I take? Sorry for the sort of vague question preceded by the lengthy ramblings. But thanks in advance!