I'm mainly looking for how "real" life properties are explained. I'm looking for a book on the properties of matter. Something that covers the why liquids flow, the detailed properties of water, how different colors come about, etc, properties of solids, etc. Why are soft things soft? Stuff like that. I'd seen color descriptions based on bonding in organic chem books. For a treatment of liquids, am I looking for soft condensed matter? I was thinking I'd start with: Principles of Condensed Matter Physics by Paul M. Chaikin, T.C. Lubensky I'd appreciate any book (or subject) recommendations. Condensed matter is the closest I've found.