A Short History of Nearly Everything

by Bill Bryson | Audiobooks |
ISBN: 0552997048 Global Overview for this book
Registered by priceliss of Takaka, Nelson-Tasman New Zealand on 7/9/2007
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6 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by priceliss from Takaka, Nelson-Tasman New Zealand on Monday, July 09, 2007
I haven't read this yet as it is languishing at the bottom of my book pile so I thought I would put it up as a BookRing for those who may be interested.

So here are the General BookRing rules:

1. When you receive the book, make a journal entry so we all get the thrill of knowing where it's at.

2. Read the book, within 30 days, and make a journal entry to tell us what you have thought about the book. You can be as brief or as lengthy as you wish with your thoughts about the book.

Please remember, that there are many anxious readers patiently waiting to read the book after you. Please bear this in mind! If you tend to be a slow reader, like myself, and need the month to finish the book, please make a periodic journal entry indicating how far you are into the story, or thoughts about what you have read so far. This way we know that the book has not been forgotten in your ‘to-be-read’ pile.

3. When you have finished reading it, send a private message (PM) to the next person in line for their address. If they do not respond within three days, PM them again. If they do not respond within a week of your first message, PM the person after them and contact me.

4. Send the book to the next person in line, make release notes/a journal entry to say when the book is leaving your hands and who'll be catching it next, and pop it into the post!

5. To the last person on the list return the book to me.
AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, ENJOY!

The list so far, it may change if we get more readers:
1. discoverylover [Wellington, NZ]
2. FutureCat [Christchurch, NZ]
3. gwilk [Christchurch, NZ]
4. Marcie130 [Darfield, Cant., NZ]
5. BACK TO ME AND I'LL POST IT ON priceliss ---> CURRENTLY HERE
6.
rhani21 [Altona North, AUS] Skipped
7. Fulcrum [Brisbane, AUS] Skipped
8. livrecache [Melbourne, AUS] To be sent as a RABCK


Journal Entry 2 by wingdiscoveryloverwing from Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Sunday, July 22, 2007
Arrived today! I was was so excited, because normally when we get packages at our flat its for someone else (two of my flatmates are trademe fiends)! I am really looking forword to reading it, as I read the first page and it looks interesting!

Journal Entry 3 by wingdiscoveryloverwing from Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Am still reading this, but it is taking me a while to get into it. If I still haven't finished in 2 more weeks, I will send on (unless I am desperately reading to get to the end by then!). Sorry about the delay.

Journal Entry 4 by wingdiscoveryloverwing from Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I'm giving up on this one. I have been reading it, but it just hasn't grabbed me yet. So for the record, I got up to page 377. Will PM FutureCat now.

Journal Entry 5 by wingfuturecatwing from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Arrived today. Hopefully I'll enjoy it more than discoverylover did.

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Journal Entry 6 by wingfuturecatwing from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Tuesday, November 06, 2007
An enjoyable and accessible introduction to a vast swathe of sciences. Bryson has obviously done his homework researching this book - for the subject areas I have any knowledge about, his list of references is impeccable, and he's managed to get most of the science right (rare for a non-scientist writing popular science). And being a non-scientist, he's obviously had to struggle to understand some of the more esoteric concepts, which comes across in the clarity with which he explains them, guiding you through the maze of each topic, avoiding the worst thickets of terminology, and pausing for clarification at just the points that make you go "huh?".

I especially liked the fact that he not only explains the current (well, current-ish - there's a few things that are out of date already) state of knowledge, but explains *how* scientists know what they know. He doesn't just present as bare facts things like the oxygen levels in the atmosphere being x% higher y billion years ago (I haven't got the book beside me to reference the exact figures), but acknowledges that at that point you're thinking "how on earth could they know that?", and explains the reasoning that led to that deduction.

My only real complaint (other than that there was just so much information packed into the book that it took me ages to read - I kept having to pause to digest what I'd just read) is that the last few chapters felt a bit rushed, and less deeply researched than the rest of the book. I had the definite impression of a deadline (or maximum word-count) looming and him racing to cram in the rest of the story. Or perhaps he just finds biology and anthropology less interesting than particle physics.

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Journal Entry 7 by gwilk from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Friday, November 09, 2007
Passed on from futurecat. Very exciting, as I love Bryson and I wasn't that impressed with the book I had started reading.

Journal Entry 8 by gwilk from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Monday, December 03, 2007
I really enjoyed the book. I like general science writing because while I am especially interested in physics and astronomy I like being shown around other areas of science and history. This book suited that interest to a tee.

I cannot really believe how crazy some scientists were. Lots of the things in this book made me chuckle.

Thanks for sharing it.

Journal Entry 9 by gwilk from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Passed on to Marcie130 today.

Journal Entry 10 by marcienz from Kimbell, Canterbury New Zealand on Friday, December 14, 2007
Collected from Gwilk, thanks. Looks like a great holiday read.

4 March 2008 - Finished the book. Took a long time but I learned lots, some of which I may even remember.

Thanks for sharing. Will post to Priceliss this week.

Journal Entry 11 by priceliss from Takaka, Nelson-Tasman New Zealand on Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Arrived today, am contacting the next on the BookRing list.

Journal Entry 12 by priceliss from Takaka, Nelson-Tasman New Zealand on Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Sent to livrecache as a RABCK.

Journal Entry 13 by livrecache from Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Friday, April 18, 2008
Thanks so much, priceliss. I really appreciate you passing this book on as a RABCK. It's been on my wishlist for a while as I really enjoy Bryson's style of writing. I'll be interested to see (as a non-scientist but as an editor who has to get her head around at least the upper secondary level of the humanities and some of the sciences) how I fare with him delving into 'nearly everything'.

Once I'm done with (which will be a little while as I'm inundated with rings at the moment), I shall offer it as a ring/ray so that this book can continue its travels.

Thanks once again.

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