Bryson, Bill "A Short History of Nearly Everything" - 2003
The title is so true. This is a history of nearly everything, as short as Bill Bryson can be. I'm surprised he managed in just under 700 pages. There is so much information in this book, I wish my science teachers would have been half as informative and concise as he is, I learned more from this book than I did in years of trying to learn just a little about this subject.
Bill Bryson tries to answer the question that is probably as old as humankind, where do we come from and why are we here? He is more philosophical than funny in this book, though he can't hide his great sense of humour totally.
If Bill Bryson wasn't one of my favourite authors anyway, he'd definitely be up there with the top ones now. Everyone should read this book, I think it should be mandatory in all schools. I have never understood science as well as I did when reading this great work.
From the back cover:
"In Bryson's 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. "
Find links to all my other Bryson reviews here.