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A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill…
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A Short History of Nearly Everything (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Bill Bryson

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15,957291111 (4.16)390
Member:paulforegan
Title:A Short History of Nearly Everything
Authors:Bill Bryson
Info:Broadway (2004), Paperback, 560 pages
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A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (2003)

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» See also 390 mentions

English (263)  Dutch (10)  Spanish (5)  German (4)  Swedish (3)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (1)  Catalan (1)  Piratical (1)  French (1)  All languages (291)
Showing 1-5 of 263 (next | show all)
Very fun and easy to read. The writing is very accessible and makes complicated matters of science enjoyable and relevant. Bryson keeps it interesting by explaining the natural world through stories of the eccentric discoverers, and explaining why their work mattered then and now, and how it sparked so many controversies that may even remain today.

The universe and Earth can be unbelievable! I have been better informed on a wider range of topics from this book than probably anything else I have ever read. Often eye-opening and occasionally shocking, I was especially impressed with the vastness of space, the resilience of bacteria, and the instability of climate. There are many common things that we really know so little about. ( )
  richjj | Jan 27, 2016 |
Loved this book! Very informative in an easy to understand language. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
Loved this book! Very informative in an easy to understand language. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
I saw this book and, as usual, I had to read it. I am not sorry and this has joined my list of favorite books. If this had been the science textbook when I was in high school, I'm fairly certain that I would have become some sort of scientist. This coming from the girl who was always "bad" at science. I wasn't bad, just uninterested.

This book is brilliant. Anyone interested in science should give it a go. ( )
  GeekGirlM | Dec 8, 2015 |
An excellent book of the history of the science and how far we are from understanding the world, the human path and the universe.
A must read for everyone! ( )
  NelsonFaria | Dec 5, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 263 (next | show all)
The more I read of ''A Short History of Nearly Everything,'' the more I was convinced that Bryson had achieved exactly what he'd set out to do, and, moreover, that he'd done it in stylish, efficient, colloquial and stunningly accurate prose.
 
"Una breve historia de casi todo" explica como ha evolucionado el mundo para acabar siendo lo que es hoy. Explica cualquier aspecto de nuestro universo, desde el más recóndito al más conocido.
added by Jaism94 | editBill Bryson
 
The book's underlying strength lies in the fact that Bryson knows what it's like to find science dull or inscrutable. Unlike scientists who turn their hand to popular writing, he can claim to have spent the vast majority of his life to date knowing very little about how the universe works.
 

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bryson, Billprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goddijn, ServaasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matthews, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Päkkilä, MarkkuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vlek, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The physicist Leo Szilard once announced to his friend Hans Bethe that he was thinking of keeping a diary: 'I don't intend to publish. I am merely going to record the facts for the information of God.' ''Don't you think God knows the facts?" Bethe asked. 'Yes,' said Szilard. 'He knows the facts, but He does not know this version of the facts.'
— Hans Christian von Baeyer, Taming the Atom
Dedication
To Meghan and Chris. Welcome.
First words
No matter how hard you try you will never be able to grasp just how tiny, how spatially unassuming, is a proton.
Quotations
They're all in the same plane. They're all going around in the same direction. . . .It's perfect, you know. It's gorgeous. It's almost uncanny. - Astronomer Geoffrey Marcy describing the solar system
Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night; / God said, Let Newton be! and all was light. - Alexander Pope
A physicist is the atoms' way of thinking about atoms. - Anonymous
The history of any one part of the Earth, like the life of a soldier, consists of long periods of boredom and short periods of terror. - British geologist Derek V. Ager
The more I examine the universe and study the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known we were coming. - Freeman Dyson
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 076790818X, Paperback)

From primordial nothingness to this very moment, A Short History of Nearly Everything reports what happened and how humans figured it out. To accomplish this daunting literary task, Bill Bryson uses hundreds of sources, from popular science books to interviews with luminaries in various fields. His aim is to help people like him, who rejected stale school textbooks and dry explanations, to appreciate how we have used science to understand the smallest particles and the unimaginably vast expanses of space. With his distinctive prose style and wit, Bryson succeeds admirably. Though A Short History clocks in at a daunting 500-plus pages and covers the same material as every science book before it, it reads something like a particularly detailed novel (albeit without a plot). Each longish chapter is devoted to a topic like the age of our planet or how cells work, and these chapters are grouped into larger sections such as "The Size of the Earth" and "Life Itself." Bryson chats with experts like Richard Fortey (author of Life and Trilobite) and these interviews are charming. But it's when Bryson dives into some of science's best and most embarrassing fights--Cope vs. Marsh, Conway Morris vs. Gould--that he finds literary gold. --Therese Littleton

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:29 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

In this book Bill Bryson explores the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer and attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. To that end, Bill Bryson apprenticed himself to a host of the world's most profound scientific minds, living and dead. His challenge is to take subjects like geology, chemistry, paleontology, astronomy, and particle physics and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people, like himself, made bored (or scared) stiff of science by school. His interest is not simply to discover what we know but to find out how we know it. How do we know what is in the center of the earth, thousands of miles beneath the surface? How can we know the extent and the composition of the universe, or what a black hole is? How can we know where the continents were 600 million years ago? How did anyone ever figure these things out? On his travels through space and time, Bill Bryson encounters a splendid gallery of the most fascinating, eccentric, competitive, and foolish personalities ever to ask a hard question. In their company, he undertakes a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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