A Short History of Nearly Everything

A Short History of Nearly Everything

Large Print - 2003
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One of the world's most beloved and bestselling writers takes his ultimate journey -- into the most intriguing and intractable questions that science seeks to answer. In A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson trekked the Appalachian Trail -- well, most of it. In In A Sunburned Country, he confronted some of the most lethal wildlife Australia has to offer. Now, in his biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand -- and, if possible, answer -- the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world's most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, travelling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their powerful minds. A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining. From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : : Random House Large Print, 2003
ISBN: 9780375432002
0375432000
Branch Call Number: LP 001.09 BRY 2003
Characteristics: x, 939 p

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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.

f
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.

AL_LESLEY Nov 23, 2016

Bryson is amazing!

AL_RACHEL 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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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!

r
rb3221
Oct 24, 2015

In Bryson's own words, this book was to "see if it isn't possible to understand and appreciate the wonder and accomplishments of science at a level that isn't too technical or demanding." He then takes us on an amazing journey through the worlds of geology, chemistry, astronomy and physics and concludes that of all that we have discovered we still don't truly understand a lot (in spite of the enormous scientific knowledge base that we presently have). At one point he outlines the four key factors as to why we have life on this planet and concludes that "we evolved to suit the conditions of the earth". Fascinating. And the book is full numerous interesting facts --- an explanation of the Big Bang; a glimpse into Einstein's world; the power of volcanoes; the microscopic world of atoms and much more.
Bryson also explores why we know so we know as little as we do (e.g. most living things are small and easily overlooked; we don't look in the right places; the world is a really big place).
After 478 pages, he ends on positive note: Even though humans are 'inherently bad news for other living things' we are a species that can make a "considered difference" because in large part we can 'not only enjoy our existence but are also able to appreciate it and make it better'. Bryson is insightful and often humorous at the same time.

hp_library Aug 27, 2014

Even if you are not into science or technology, you will 'love' this book. Bill Bryson's writing style is incredible and charming, as usual....

KRockstar10 Aug 14, 2013

If you want to crack up while reading about cells, get a little worried about volcanic activity, and learn about the many quirks that famous scientists of the past have had, this book is excellent. I giggled and texted quotes to people every time I sat down to read.

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biblioisseur
Jul 28, 2013

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