Focus, we are often told, on getting few points across quickly as the audience has little time for us. Yet, Bill Bryson dares to not only not focus, but attempts to cover everything from the Big Bang to the evolution of man in a single book. Add in quantum mechanics and genetics and you have one very ambitious book in your hands.
And boy does Bill Bryson deliver.
A Short History of Nearly Everything should be called A Short History of the World Through the Eyes of a Person New to Science. But that title is too long. And not catchy. The book is a great undertaking to make the sciences more accessible to the common reader. Both the avid follower of developments in science and those who took up the commerce stream to spite their science teachers should give this book a go. It takes you on a wonderful journey of science told from the perspective of history, but dealt with in the typical style of a travel guide. Bill Bryson successfully demystifies a lot of complex phenomena from supernovas to the inner workings of cells in an entertaining yet instructive manner.
Expect both trivia and gossip. This book is difficult to classify, it could be a science book, a non-fiction work on the history of science or even a travelogue.
Start this book and you will put it down with an appreciation of the progress of our species and also our insignificance in the larger scheme of the natural world.
Explore books by Bill Bryson on Junglee.