My Challenges (timed)


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My Challenges (perpetual)

100 SHOTS OF SHORT
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CHECKIN’ OFF THE CHEKHOV
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THE COMPLETE BOOKER
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MARTEL-HARPER CHALLENGE
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MODERN LIBRARY'S 100 BEST NOVELS

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NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS
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THE PULITZER PROJECT
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TAMMY'S BEYOND BOOKS CHALLENGE

New York Times Book Review: 6/40
New Yorker: 0/36
New York Review of Books: 0/20
Vogue: 1/16
Email: 841/1373

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

Title: A Short History of Nearly Everything

Author: Bill Bryson

Publication Date: 2003

No. of Pages: 560

Synopsis (from B&N): "[I]n [Bryson's] biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand -- and, if possible, answer -- the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world’s most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, travelling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their powerful minds. A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining."

Fiction or Nonfiction: Nonfiction

Comments and Critique: What can I say about a Bryson book? The man can do no wrong. Okay, that's a little over the top, but not by far. His books are always great. Here, he really made a potentially difficult subject accessible. Science is not my thing, but I'll be reading this one again.

Would You Recommend This Book to Others: Yes! And if you can, try and get the special illustrated version. It's beautiful.

Challenges: Book Awards Challenge

Weekly Geeks questions:

Stephanie said, "I'm just now reading Bill Bryson. Did you like The Short History of Nearly Everything? Is it what you expected it to be? Did you Learn anything??"

First, let me say that I'd the back of a cereal box if Bryson wrote it -- he is one of my all-time favorite writers (my husband has dubbed me a Brysonette; apparently I've become a book groupie). I've read a number of his books and have not been disappointed yet, this one included. That said, if you're looking for humor like that in his other books, you won't find it here (much). The subject matter just doesn't allow it. This kind of disappointed me, but I got over it. I'm not scientific-minded, never have been, but I understood pretty much everything he described. So no, it wasn't what I expected, but yes, I learned a lot. I think that this is the type of book that a person would learn something with each reading.

2 comments:

Book Zombie said...

I've been so interested in reading this but was a bit intimidated by it - I worried that I would never be able to understand the science.
But after reading your review I am definitely going to give it a shot!
Thanks :)

Tammy said...

Thanks for the comment! I was slightly intimidated too, but Bryson writes for the average person, not the science whiz. Go for it, I think you'll like it!