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.