A Really Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson
Publisher: Corgi (Random House)
Release Date: 2nd September 2010
Other Titles by this Author: far too many to list!
Bill Bryson’s story-telling skill makes the ‘How?’ and, just as importantly, the ‘Who?’ of scientific discovery entertaining and accessible for all ages.
In this exciting new edition of his worldwide best-seller, A Short History of Nearly Everything, which has been specially abridged and adapted for younger readers, Bill Bryson explores the mysteries of time and space and how, against all odds, life came to be on the wondrous planet we call home.
Along the way, we meet several bizarre scientists, crackpot theories which held sway for far too long, and some accidental discoveries which changed the way science developed.
A Really Short History of Nearly Everything is a fantastic snapshot of our planet’s history, spanning from the beginning of time to the environmental dilemmas that we’re currently facing.
I think that Bill Bryson has written a book that will draw kids into the fascinating world of science effortlessly. Well, it attracted my inner geek, anyway! The complex ideas that are breached in A Really Short History of Nearly Everything are explained clearly and simply without taking away their impact or adopting a patronising tone. Amongst the passages, illustrations, diagrams and timelines are scattered around, highlighting particularly important or complicated ideas. Fascinating facts are also spattered across the chapters. These are a few that especially spiked by interest:
“Tune your television into any channel it doesn’t receive and about 1 per cent of the dancing static you see is accounted for by the ancient remains of the Bog Bang.” p. 11
“We each contain so many atoms and are completely recycled that a significant number of our atoms - up to a billion for each of us - probably once belonged to Shakespeare.” p. 56
“…about half of the chemical reactions that take place in a banana are the same as those that take place in us.” p. 136
I mean, seriously, who could fail to amazed be by things like that?
A Really Short History of Nearly Everything is a brilliantly engaging book that contains a lifetime of school science lessons (that are actually interesting) in under 200 pages. I loved it.
For my 2010 100+ Reading Challenge