A Short History of Nearly Everything

Just finished Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything. I have to admit although a few of theories are a tiny bit dated he does a very good job of making a huge amount of information easily and casually accessible to the reader. I particularly enjoyed his excavations of the behind the scenes stories of various theories, figures and events. The very peculiar captain of the HMS Beagle and the real reason Darwin was chosen for the expedition is just one example of this.

If there is a fault, it’s that Bryson occasionally gets caught up in the telling of the tale and loses the thread on the actual event or theory he is discussing. Luckily, there are some good references to follow up on if the reader is so inclined. This is excusable in my humble opinion, though, since this book is not meant to be a definitive reference on the various theories it skims over. What is does provide is a fun and encouraging launching point for a huge array of topics. In that regard it shines.

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