A Short History of Nearly Everything

by Bill Bryson | Audiobooks |
ISBN: 076790818x Global Overview for this book
Registered by BookGroupMan of Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on 12/10/2007
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Journal Entry 1 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Monday, December 10, 2007
My fist purchase in my latest (current!) business trip to America...the reason - there needs to be a reason(?) - I am going to Des Moines today, the birthplace of Bryson, before he became English ;)

(25/03) (25/03) After failing to do justice by Bryson's previous attempt at erudite non-travel writing (Mother Tongue) I was determined to finish this; and, at nearly 500 pages, plus copious references, notes and an index(!), this was quite a challenge.

According to BB's intro, this book was the result of a 3-year personal odyssey to write about, '...the wonder and accomplishments of science at a level that isn't too technical or demanding, but isn't entirely superficial either.' Mr Bryson, take it from me, this is definitely *not* superficial, and I missed diagrams, pictures, time-lines and anything really to break up the constant catalogue of scientists, discoveries, dates, and criss-crossing fields of human endeavour. I am left with an overall impression of awe at the complexities of the universe and the various natural sciences, and the eccentricities of the men (mostly) and women who have devoted and continue to devote their lives to increasing the sum of accumulated knowledge.

The worry, when Bryson puts on his serious hat, is that we continually find out how little we know, meanwhile doing untold damage to our planet [probably], and remaining at the mercy of ecological, planetary (physical), chemical, sub-atomic, and evolutionary processes that we don't understand and cannot hope to influence!

To sum up with a second-hand quote, it is, 'One planet, one experiment'.

Released 11 yrs ago (4/12/2008 UTC) at Caffe Nero IP1 book-crossing zone in Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom



Taking along to today's meet-up

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