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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.
An excellent read. Bryson covers the history and current state of science very concisely along with his trademark humour. Very informative and entertaining.
Bryson is amazing!
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.
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!
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.
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....
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.
One of my favorite books. It is such a fun read. It is one one of the very few non-reference books I own.
This book is neither short, nor does it cover everything, but it is an enjoyable read about developments in different fields of science, and the mad/genius people who did/do populate the scientific arena.
A good read with interesting prospective that anyone can read. Great for an overall history.
I basically skimmed through this book and this "A Short History of Nearly Everything" is pretty much a short history of nearly everything in the western world. It does not really explore other milestones, achievements or important facts of the rest of the world from Africa to Asia or early America. After seeing this I did not bother to read into it because my opinion was that the book is biased if it covers only a small portion of the world and claims that to be a short history of nearly Everything. It Is NOT.
At last, a science book most of us can read and understand. Very witty. He makes you feel the wonder of the world we live in.
A Short History of Nearly Everything is a fabulous book. A must read for anyone who is interested in the science of how the world works. Read this book, it's mind expanding.
I love science books that are also well written. It satisfies both sides of me. This book is especially good because it also satisfies my extremely short attention span. Bored of atoms? Then let's talk about some dinosaurs. Note though, since each section is really short, you are not going to ace your bio/chem/physics exam just by reading this intro to it but it's good fun.
April 2009 Non-Fiction book club selection
Bill Bryson does it again - well-written, funny, informative - superb page-turner.
This is a remarkable book. Bryson has done extensive research and discovered many intriguing and little known scientists and stories. Somehow the book is hilarious, educational and a little scary. You may never take our place in the world for granted again. If you love his travel writing you will probably love this book. If you enjoy popular science writing you will love this book.