A Short History of Nearly Everything

by Bill Bryson | Audiobooks |
ISBN: 0385660049 Global Overview for this book
Registered by HoserLauren of Burlington, Ontario Canada on 9/22/2008
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Monday, September 22, 2008
I got this a while ago (I believe as a birthday present).

From Chapters:
One of the world’s most beloved and bestselling writers takes his ultimate journey -- into the most intriguing and intractable questions that science seeks to answer.

In A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson trekked the Appalachian Trail -- well, most of it. In In A Sunburned Country, he confronted some of the most lethal wildlife Australia has to offer. Now, in his biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand -- and, if possible, answer -- the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world’s most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, travelling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their powerful minds. A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining.

Journal Entry 2 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Sunday, October 05, 2008
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.

Journal Entry 3 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Mailed today to krin from the non-fiction swap!!

Journal Entry 4 by krin511 from Olney, Maryland USA on Thursday, October 16, 2008
Arrived today - thanks!

Journal Entry 5 by krin511 from Olney, Maryland USA on Tuesday, September 01, 2009
I think this will be the book that I will go back to again and again. There were so many interesting facts to learn, and I enjoyed reading about how various scientists discovered new information that often surprised them. I liked reading about William Herschel's discovery of the planet Uranus in 1781 and how he wanted to name it after King George III (Georgium Sidus). I also liked learning about prehistoric guinea pigs the size of cows.

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