A Short History of Nearly Everything

A Short History of Nearly Everything

Book - 2003
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Bill Bryson is one of the world's most beloved and bestselling writers. In A Short History of Nearly Everything , he takes his ultimate journey-into the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer. It's a dazzling quest, the intellectual odyssey of a lifetime, as this insatiably curious writer attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. Or, as the author puts it, "...how we went from there being nothing at all to there being something, and then how a little of that something turned into us, and also what happened in between and since." This is, in short, a tall order.

To that end, Bill Bryson apprenticed himself to a host of the world's most profound scientific minds, living and dead. His challenge is to take subjects like geology, chemisty, paleontology, astronomy, and particle physics and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people, like himself, made bored (or scared) stiff of science by school. His interest is not simply to discover what we know but to find out how we know it. How do we know what is in the center of the earth, thousands of miles beneath the surface? How can we know the extent and the composition of the universe, or what a black hole is? How can we know where the continents were 600 million years ago? How did anyone ever figure these things out?

On his travels through space and time, Bill Bryson encounters a splendid gallery of the most fascinating, eccentric, competitive, and foolish personalities ever to ask a hard question. In their company, he undertakes a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only this superb writer can render it. Science has never been more involving, and the world we inhabit has never been fuller of wonder and delight.
Publisher: New York : Broadway Books, c2003
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780767908177
0767908171
9780767908184
076790818X
Branch Call Number: 500 B848s 2003
Characteristics: ix, 544 p. ; 25 cm

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Hattiethompson
Jul 02, 2018

This book is not about history, it's about science.

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kaylalgreen
Apr 03, 2017

This was the first book of Bill Bryson's that I have read and I will definitely be reading more of his stuff. I couldn't put this book down! I will re-read this one many times over again.

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Biff
Feb 06, 2017

It was a very entertaining listen. Bill Bryson is captivating. If only my high school science teaches could have been as engaging. Like a Walk in the Woods and the Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, this audio book should be well worth your time.

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flygt
Jan 06, 2017

An excellent read. Bryson covers the history and current state of science very concisely along with his trademark humour. Very informative and entertaining.

ArapahoeLesley Nov 23, 2016

Bryson is amazing!

ArapahoeRachel Nov 08, 2016

This was an absolute delight to read. I was most glad to learn about all the unusual connections between various scientific discoveries. Bryson writes with an easy sense of humor that just makes you want to keep turning the page.

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timniles98
Jul 03, 2016

I have read and listened to many of Bill Bryson's books and found this one to be as entertaining and informative as all the others. I actually liked the version of the book better when read by Bryson (it was abridged, though) than the reader. I hope the 'library edition' is read by Bryson. The earlier comment is accurate in one important way: it is an amusing way to become conversant with the nature and growth of our human knowledge through the last 500 years. Carry on!

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Nkenward
Feb 21, 2016

I've never been a fan of non-fiction books. They just aren't all that fun to read even if its a subject that interests me. This was the very first book that not only interested me, but kept me reading throughout. An extremely ambitious book, Bryson takes the entire history of science on Earth and boils it down to the most interesting accomplishments, discoveries and people. He summarizes even the most complicated science making it easy to understand with helpful explanations and examples. It's almost overwhelming how many new and exciting things you learn in just one chapter alone. I highly recommend this book to anyone that is interested in any area of science. You will not be disappointed!

Wow...Never thought History would be so interesting. It didn't feel like a non-fic at all. The 'story of us' is even stranger than fiction. How little we know about cosmos and the miracle called life! If I have read this a couple of years ago during my high school, may be the world would have got another passionate taxonomist. Author combines many interesting and quirky facts from different streams of science,dipped in humor to give you the perfect book to know about the history of anything.
A distinguishing trait of the book is that it poses more questions in front of you than answers. Enjoyed reading the book, though towards the end it was a little dragging. May be the fatigue of assimilating so many facts caught up with me!

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thepudman
Oct 30, 2015

Bill Bryson makes a great narrator and this short story of everything from atoms to asteroids to Australopithecus is very entertaining.

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biblioisseur
Jul 28, 2013

biblioisseur thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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