This book is easy to read, yet so informative Bryson makes complex subject matter easy to understand and I personally found myself saying, So THAT s what they meant by that NOW I understand with every page that I turned I also found myself laughing throughout the book, thanks to the author s subtle but clever sense of humour.
Bill Bryson has become my new favourite non fiction author of all time.
I started reading this book after I fought through Sean Carroll s The Big Picture Don t get me wrong Carroll s novel was excellent for satisfying a thirst to understand deeper scientific processes, but still required a high level of focus and re reading Even then it was a text book than a novel Bryson s book is built for anyone who has an interest in the world we live in It s enlightening and full of humor, and you can easily get caught up in the stories it holds One finds out that the path to modern science is as much a comedy of errors as a leap of genius, and yet you walk away with a plethora of new knowledge Excellent read.
I loved the intro to the book and very hight ecoecations Unfortnately, after a few chapters I was disapointed The author goes on to describe the struggles and success of numerous scientists I personally got lost through all the names and events and didn t come out learning much I might resume reading this book some day, but I am not excited to read it any.
So I got the audio book first The person reading it an award winner under an alias, go figure has a very soothing British accent that I thought would help lull me to sleep as I have insomnia issues The problem is Bryson took some mundane subjects and made them terribly interesting From the time I was in kindergarten to grade 12 this is what I should have been learning I ll admit Bryson takes some poetic licence to maintain the narrative but maintain it he does as a relatively harmless bias There is such a wealth of information that I bought two copies in hard cover, one for me to review and another to share.
I finally got around to reading this book, and it was worth the wait Bill Bryson makes everything accessible and fascinating, delving into history to bring you stories you never would have imagined underpinning much of what we know All concepts have been laid out in an accessible, readable manner, making this book a terrific choice for high schoolers and up.
The book s title is very apt.
The breadth of history covered by this book is massive as well as weighty from the first fraction of a second of the Universe s existence to the recent discoveries of the 20th century Obviously there are certain gaps hence the nearly , but Bryson readily points out what he does not know It is an honest history of the scientific accomplishments since the earth s inception It is a must read for every human, as it hands you a feeling of bursting pride being a participant in humanity s great journey Although the most surprising feature is the balance between the roles played by chance in many of these discoveries, and the unyielding human determination to identify a grey area, and seek knowledge accordingly.
The book s strength lies in its ability to convey the wonder and complexity of science to the average layman mainly because Bryson, himself, has no scientific background and only recently familiarised himself with these wonders More than just a condensed text of salient, factual information Bryson brings this to life whilst describing the surrounding imperfect scientific process why the information was sought after, how scientists honed their approaches from producing wildly incorrect estimations to the precisely calculated figures we use today, and why information or possibilities lie outside our grasp , as well as amusing anecdotes.
The other strength of this book is that by approaching it from the POV of a non scientist, Bryson nourishes our wonderment and understanding to grow as information fluidly disguised in Bryson s energetic, quirky, familiar and humorous prose seep out each chapter, letting us journey alongside some of the most prominent and some of the less prominent but equally brilliant scientists in their obsessive pursuits In fact, I found information that I loosely remembered from my schooldays and now find that the little bit of context and intrigue that Bryson adorns them with has left them impressed in my mind forever I usually hate scientific reading, but picked this book up on a recommendation, and boy am I happy I did This book is well written, funny, and engaging, even if you re a dolt like me who just isn t that into science.
Bryson manages to effectively explain complicated concepts in a way that a casual reader can actually grasp Did I mention how funny this book is at times The part on William Bucklan has me in stitches on every re read Trust me, you re going to re read this book.
Quite simply this book is the single best book I have ever read I have two well worn paperback copies and the kindle version If you want your children to grow up with even a modicum of appreciation for our planet, then get this book and read it to them every night again, and again, and again In my view this book should replace the free bible on Desert Island Discs