Looking for a book to read after Copenhagen, I became acutely aware of how much of Copenhagen I didn't really understand because of a lack of background on the fundamentals, and history of quantum physics. And then picked up this book that had been lying unread on my bookshelf for a few months at least.
It is a nicely written, non-mathematical introduction to the strange world of the quantum. John Gribbin starts from the very basic laws classical physics, and slowly builds up the tale of the quantum. He makes it an intriguing story by giving some historical background on each new idea introduced. We meet several distinguished physicists such as de Broglie, Planck, Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, Dirac, Schrodinger (and "may be" his cat!), Feynman and Wheeler. Gribbin introduces them as bright young scientists riding a tidal wave of change in the fundamental ideas. He briefly mentions their struggles with the philosophical, and practical implications of their discoveries (the philosophical ideas of "choice", "determinism" etc. and the practical implications such as nuclear and hydrogen bombs).
The pace of the book is comfortable for someone not familiar with the topics. It is a notoriously difficult subject to explain, especially since there are really no parallels to the quantum in our everyday experiences. Gribbin's book is really good, considering the limitations of explaining such a topic without going into the mathematics, and without the aid of simple visual representations.
I am now itching to read what seems to be a followup book - Schrodinger's Kittens and the Search for Reality.