Perhaps it is a matter of augmented experience and maturity. Perhaps it is the simplified, humanist approach... I'm not quite sure why, but reading Brian Greene's THE ELEGANT UNIVERSE has made the intricate physics of string theory seem so much more accessible than when I tried to read Hawking a few years ago. A Brief History of Time lost me somewhere past the preface.
I love Greene's approach, using analogy and metaphors that can be found in most people's kitchens. His telling of Einstein's work, trials and tribulations is excellent and insightful. As a teacher, I find that Greene splashes logic and order into a primordial soup that I have touched upon, but have thus far failed to delve into completely, out of fear of drowning.
My sub atomic strings vibrate with glee at these new teachings. (yeah, I know the strings don't really vibrate with glee, but they cause said feeling in me when acting in concert...)
At any rate, if you are a person of average intellect (like me), a math phobe (like me), but are nonetheless interested in physics, Einstein's work, the so called Unified theory of the Universe, etc. (yep, that's me too) then check out The Elegant Universe.