A Short History of Nearly Everything (Illustrated Edition) by Bill Bryson

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill BrysonOpening Sentence:Welcome.
Synopsis:In the bestselling, prize-winning A Short History of Nearly Everything Bill Bryson achieved the seemingly impossible by making the world of science both understandable and entertaining to millions of people around the globe. Now in this glorious new illustrated edition, everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization is even more vividly brought to life with stunning full-colour photographs, drawings, portraits and cartoons.

Bill Bryson’s challenge was to take subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry and particle physics, and see if there wasn’t some way to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. To explain how we got from being nothing at all, to here, being us. It’s not so much about what we know, as about how we know what we know. How do we know what is in the centre of the Earth, or what a black hole, or where the continents were 600 million years ago? How did anyone figure these things out?

On his travels through time and space, Bill Bryson takes us with him on the ultimate eye-opening journey and, amidst the distinguished company of astonishingly eccentric, competitive, obsessive and foolish scientists, he reveals to us the hidden wonders of our world. Colourful, surprising and mind-bogglingly revealing, A Short History of Nearly Everything – Illustrated guarantees to bring to life science as you have never seen – or understood – it before.
Genre:Science
Rating:@@@@@
Pages:594
ISBN:o-385-60961-2
Year:2005
Format:Hardcover
Comments:I have always been interested in science, but usually find science books difficult to understand. This book is different. A Short History of Nearly Everything is science for the non-scientist, and it is absolutely fascinating. Peppered with Bryson’s characteristic humour and, for the most part, perfectly understandable, this book is a perfect way for the average person to learn about the world around them and the history of, well, us. From just before the big bang to life as we know it today – and everything in between – Bryson outlines the most current scientific theories, and all the steps it took to get there.

While I do recommend reading the entire book, those determined to browse will be happy to note that the book is divided into easy-to-navigate chapters with clear titles, such as Welcome to the Solar System, Einstein’s Universe and The Mighty Atom, making it easy to skip directly to topics of interest.

While there is a non-illustrated version of this book, I highly recommend getting the illustrated version if you are able. It is a little bulkier and heavier to carry around, but the beautiful photographs are absolutely worth it. As well as stunning photos and sketches of the universe and the Earth in its various stages, there are microscopic shots of various bacteria and viruses, and photographs of scientists, allowing us to put a face to the name. There is also an occasional amusing cartoon, to lighten the heavier topics.

A Short History of Nearly Everything (Illustrated Edition) is definitely a book I would love to have in my permanent collection.

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