A long story short

Product Image: A Short History of Nearly Everything
My rating: 3 out of 5

This is a pretty hefty book by Bill Bryson, but I really enjoyed reading it. Several critics of the book complain that Bill just skims over the surface of things and never really goes into any useful scientific/technical details. However, given the scope of the subject, I think Bill has done a really good job.

The book is a story of the evolution of man and our home, the Earth. Bill covers a plethora of subjects — anthropology, geology, zoology, botany, microbiology, chemistry and physics to name a few. The best part about the book was the revisting of various odds and ends and trivia that I knew from before, but never put them together or thought about them. We were taught so many things in school, that I just gobbled up as mere facts or theorems and never really put them in perspective with other things I knew in the context of bigger problems.

As I read the book, I learned to appreciate things I knew, but didn’t realize. Things like how do we date fossils, or figure out the weight of the earth or how miraculous and incredibly complicated each cell of our body is. Bill takes us through an incredible journey, without boring even for a few pages.

Highly recommended.


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