Plot: A Short History of Nearly Everything is exactly as its’ title suggests. This text takes us from the beginning of time to our current position – all in laymen terms.
Topics include: The solar system, geology, all things Earth, atoms, plants, dinosaurs, extinction of dinosaurs, Darwinism, quantum physics, global warming, and everything in between.
I almost DNF’d: I listened to the audiobook and quickly thought it would become a book that I would DNF. The Introduction was very difficult to process. It tried to make the book mysterious and appealing by describing what it took to make the reader, and continues on about atoms before it starts into why Bill Bryson decided to write this book.
Thankfully, I didn’t: Believe me, I am thrilled that I made it past that first chapter. Bryson writes nonfiction in the form of stories. It’s impressive. I have a hard time with nonfiction books because they tend to be dry and I tend to be unable (unwilling?) to retain the information, but Bryson is able to transitions from one topic to another in a seamless manner.
The iffy: I had a good time reading this book. It constantly made me stop and think about the information provided, as well as research the topics to understand a little more about what I was learning. (Don’t get me wrong, the book gives enough information, but I have a need to verify and ponder.) Well… one of the things I researched, the idea that “all glass on Earth is flowing downward under the relentless drag of gravity”. Turns out, this isn’t true. When one thing isn’t true, it makes me wonder what else was written that was not true.
Oh, btw: The book talks about the Swine Flu. Specifically, how it reoccurs often without known reason. I thought this was awesome (erm.. timely) given that this ended up reoccurring soon after the book was published. I love seeing something I read prove relevant.
So… What are you waiting for? Buy it, rent it, read it, enjoy it, reread it! I know I will (preferably with more fact checking, for fun).