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Bill Bryson's - 'A short history of nearly everything'.

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Bill Bryson describes himself as a reluctant traveller, but even when he stays safely at home he can’t contain his curiosity about the world around him. A Short History of Nearly Everything is his quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization – how we got from there, being nothing at all, to here, being us. The ultimate eye-opening journey through time and space, revealing the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.

 

RRP: £8.99, <a href ="http://www.thebookplace.com/bookplace/spring2005.asp?CID=BGO733" TARGET="_blank">The Book Pl@ce</a> Price: £6.29

Just click on book jacket:

<a href="http://www.thebookplace.co.uk/bookplace/display.asp?ISB=0552997048&CID=BGO733"TARGET="_blank"><IMG SRC="http://213.253.134.29/jackets/m/055/0552997048.jpg"></A>

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About 50% through this and really enjoying it.

 

I actually "get" the theory of relativity and undrstand why the Universe must be expanding (if it was static gravity would cause everything to implode!) and soon will know the age of the planet.

 

Sometimes it gets a bit scientific, but its worth it just to know what a bunch of exceptionally weird eccentrics "respected" scientists really were!

 

I actually wonder if they would have the opportunity to be as brilliant today or would most of them have been labelled "abnormal" and given special needs teaching?

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THis book gets better and better!

 

Reached the very chapter about tectonic plates and earthquakes at abouit the same time as the Tsunami struck!

 

Put everything into context in the most terrible way.

 

Stunning thing is that no-one believed in plate tectonics until arouind the late 1970's so its all recent stuff.

 

Definitely recommended

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I liked this book very much, I thought when I started it that it might be a bit over my head. However it's so well written I need not have worried.

It's certainly a different subject for Bill to tackle but I think he does it really well, great book. :)

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Surprised nobody is discussing this yet.

 

I got this book for Christmas...have to say it is THE best general science reader.

 

Bill's skill is interweaving fact and human interest together. It is a bit of a cliche, but there is something for everyone here.

 

My mind is still whirring with the facts about Quantum mechanics. It certainly puts the daily grind of everyday life into perspective. ;)

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Extremely well written and lucid. As the guy on the back from TLS comments, it SHOULD be the standard science reader in schools.

 

I also had DK's wonderful 'Earth' book for Christmas, and the two complement each other well - especially the stuff on the solar system, plate tectonics and erosion.

 

Well done to Bill - a great project - the guy haas done well and thoroughly deserves it.

 

Love to know what scientists themselves think.

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I've read lots of popular science books and I'm also a science student so I already knew many parts of the book albeit in varying degrees of detail, however the refreshing part for me was the insight into the scientists themselves, something lacking in most other books. I also loved Brysons enthusiasm and I applaud him for writing a science book that has so greatly captured the public.

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Although I generally liked this book I must admit I was not satisified by the last chapters. I found it too anthropocentric. I know we are the humans but after talking for pages and pages of all the rest in the universe, and there is a lot of it!!, Bryson goes back to our survival as if we were the most important thing in the universe. We aren't and we will certanly go like all before us. It may be with a bang or a whimp but I do not think there has to be such a song and dance about it. It would have been much more interesting to put humans in the same perspective of all other things considered and to give them the realtive space they deserve, a few lines!!

I much preferred the chapters on micro-organisms and the parallel life they live as our welcome guests. It does put your importance in perspective knowing that your life depends totally on billions of aliens!! We come, we go, they stay.

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I found the first few chapters a bit of a slog, but physics was never my thing. Bryson's style wins out and brings an unusual slant to his subject. I agree with the poster who thought that the anecdotes about individual scientists were good. The human aspect cuts through the intellectual stuff.

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This book has been on my TBR pile for soo long! Tthe trouble is, there is so much of it, and I have so many time-limited books to get through that there never seems to be a time-slot big enough in which to read it. It may have to be added to the 'When I Retire' list

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