A Short History of Nearly Everything

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A Short History of Nearly Everything

Format:  Paperback,

544 pages

Publisher: Random House Inc

Publish Date: Sep 2004

ISBN-13: 9780767908184

ISBN-10: 076790818X

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.
One of the world's most beloved writers and bestselling author of "One Summer" 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 "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.

Specifications

Publisher: Random House Inc
Publish Date: Sep 2004
ISBN-13: 9780767908184
ISBN-10: 076790818X
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 544
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.25
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.25 x 9.25 x 1.5
Walmart No.: 076790818

About the author

Biography of Bryson, Bill

Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on December 8, 1951. In 1973, Bryson went backpacking in England, where he eventually decided to settle. He wrote for the English newspapers The Times and The Independent, as well as supplementing his income by writing travel articles. Bryson moved back to the States in 1995. His first travel book, The Lost Continent, chronicles a trip in his mother's Chevy around small town America.

Since then, he has written several more about the U. K. and the U. S., including bestsellers, A Walk in the Woods, I'm A Stranger Here Myself, and In a Sunburned Country. His other books include Bill Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words, Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe, Made in America, The Mother Tongue, Bill Bryson's African Diary, A Short History of Nearly Everything and At Home: A Short History of Private Life, Walk About, and Seeing Further: The Story of Science, Discovery, the Genius of the Royal Society, and At Home: A Short History of Private Life.

Chapter outline

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Lost in the Cosmosp. 7
How to Build a Universep. 9
Welcome to the Solar Systemp. 19
The Reverend Evans's Universep. 29
The Size of the Earthp. 41
The Measure of Thingsp. 43
The Stone-Breakersp. 63
Science Red in Tooth and Clawp. 79
Elemental Mattersp. 97
ANew Age Dawnsp. 113
Einstein's Universep. 115
The Mighty Atomp. 133
Getting the Lead Outp. 149
Muster Mark's Quarksp. 161
The Earth Movesp. 173
Dangerous Planetp. 187
Bang!p. 189
The Fire Belowp. 207
Dangerous Beautyp. 224
Life Itselfp. 237
Lonely Planetp. 239
Into the Tropospherep. 255
The Bounding Mainp. 270
The Rise of Lifep. 287
Small Worldp. 302
Life Goes Onp. 321
Good-bye to All Thatp. 335
The Richness of Beingp. 350
Cellsp. 371
Darwin's Singular Notionp. 381
The Stuff of Lifep. 397
The Road to usp. 417
Ice Timep. 419
The Mysterious Bipedp. 434
The Restless Apep. 453
Good-byep. 469
Notesp. 479
Bibliographyp. 517
Indexp. 529

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2003-05-15)

While this book doesn't cover "nearly everything", it does a fantastic job of tackling certain topics: biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, and astronomy. Writing with wit and charm, Bryson, who has hiked the Appalachian Trail (A Walk in the Woods) and traveled around Australia (In a Sunburned Country), now takes us on a scientific odyssey from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. Reflecting his gift for making science comprehensible yet fun, he tells the story of the discoveries and the people that have shaped our understanding of the universe.

Along the way, we meet some fascinating and eccentric scientists. Although Bryson clearly intends this book for general readers, subject specialists will also enjoy his wry takes. The 30 chapters are divided among seven scientific topics, and this reviewer found himself reading chapters out of order, selecting topics of particular interest. There are useful footnotes, as well as chapter notes and a bibliography. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries. (Index not seen.)

[Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/03.] - James Olson, Northeastern Illinois Univ. Lib, Chicago

(c). Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Awards and Recognitions

  • New York Times Notable Books of the Year, 2003 (United States)
  • Galaxy British Book Awards, 2005 (United Kingdom)
  • Royal Society Prizes for Science Books (formerly Aventis Prizes for Science Books), 2004 (United Kingdom)
  • BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, 2004 (United Kingdom)

Book description

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.

Customer Product Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5★ by 1reviewer.
Rated 5 out of 5★ by Bryson Review This is the 3rd book I've read of Bill Bryson's. He is funny and a delight to read and you won't be disappointed in this book if you've read him before and were entertained. He just has a knack of telling a story that hold's your interest and makes you laugh or smile. 05/02/2008
See All Reviews
 

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