I second that recommendation!
In another context I wrote a short
summary of one of my favourite
chapters, regarding the size of
the universe. I feel it illustrates
fairly well how Hawking makes the
complex scientific theories
readable - and enjoyable -
to the general public;
The universe might very well be of finite
size and mass, but, as Stephen Hawking
explained in A Brief History of Time
(an excellent book, I might add),
that doesn't mean it has boundaries,
i.e. a beginning and an end.
Hawking took away one dimension, and compared
our universe with a balloon, and an ant
living on it. While the ant can never reach
the edge of the universe (there are none),
it would be possible for the ant to go all
the way around, ending up where it started.
However! If the balloon was growing at a
certain speed, the ant would never be able
to complete the trip around.
Therefore, if the expansion rate of the universe
is sufficiently large, it would require
faster than light travel to reach all the
way around, which complicates things alot.
(The Theory of Relativity prohibits it, but
some "loopholes" have been discovered,
e.g. the Alcubierre Warp Drive.)
So, for us, the inhabitants of this universe, it
appears to be infinite.
As a side note: The balloon analogy is
very useful for explaining wormholes and
warp drives too; Imagine squeezing the
balloon between two fingers until the
opposite sides meet. Then the distance between
the two points is zero. The trick is to
find a way to bend the universe
to fit our needs.