book reviews / education / teaching

Book Review: A Short History of Nearly Everything

A Short History of Nearly EverythingA Short History of Nearly Everything

by Bill Bryson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So often scientific books lose us lay people with their PhD language. Not Bill Bryson. Using his infamous skill as a story-teller, he approaches the history of science with the same non-threatening approach John McPhee applied to the geology of America. Technicalities are dispensed with broad, non-pedagogic strokes while the surrounding humanity draws the reader into the intellectual excitement that is science. Readers can’t fail but want to read more.

While I had studied most of Bryson’s scientific topics at some foggy point in my academic career, by the time I finished this book, he had me living them. If all students read this book, we’d have more female (and male) scientists to solve the world’s problems.

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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing TeachersCisco guest blog,Technology in Education featured blogger, IMS tech expert, and a bi-monthly contributor to Today’s Author. In her free time, she is the editor of a K-8 technology curriculumK-8 keyboard curriculumK-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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8 thoughts on “Book Review: A Short History of Nearly Everything

  1. This book sounds great, Jacqui. I’ve never read any Bill Bryson, but I love ‘easy to read’ science books (Stephen Hawking’s – ‘A Brief History of Time’ was excellent) :D

  2. I’ve read a few of Bryson’s books: A walk in the woods, In a Sunburned Country, and I’m currently reading his history of the English language. I’ve enjoyed his stuff. I might have to pick this one up one day too.

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