Sunday, October 05, 2008

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

Bryson takes a look into the history of the earth, universe, the human race, and science in general. In over 450 pages, he manages to give you, well, a brief history of nearly everything involved with these subjects! It's a bunch of interesting facts stringed together with information about those who came up with the facts and what was involved to figure them out. Bryson covers everything from when Earth was created, what's at the centre of the earth, why do volcanoes/earthquakes happen, what are we all composed of, why did the dinosaurs go extinct, what is out there in our universe, how long people have been around, and much much more.

It truly is amazing how recent some of these discoveries are! I guess I take for granted how common knowledge these discoveries are and just assume that we've known about them for a long time. It's also interesting to get the context behind the many discoveries that have shaped our history and learn a little bit about the people who made these discoveries.

This book won't be for everyone. Some will find it too tedious and boring. But if you have a general interest in our history and how things have formed, then you'll enjoy this book. It's not the quickest read, but it is still quite interesting. I did find, however, the chapter on fossils a bit dull, but it moved on fairly quickly. It would be nice to get a compact view on our history in terms of human events to sit alongside this volume.

First Line: "No matter how hard you try you will never be able to grasp just how tiny, how spatially unassuming, is a proton."



No comments: