book reviews / education / teaching

A Short History of Nearly Everything

Photo credit: Petr Kratochvil

I just finished a great book, thanks to my recurring headache. Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything. I wish I could encapsulate life as neatly as he’s done in this 478-page book. 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.


One thought on “A Short History of Nearly Everything

  1. Pingback: Writer’s Tip #103: 20 Tips from Bill Bryson « Jacqui Murray's WordDreams…

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