Sunday, 24 October 2010

10+: A Really Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson

Release Date: 02/09/10


Bill's own fascination with science began with a battered old schoolbook he had when he was about ten or eleven years old in America. It had an illustration that captivated him - a cutaway diagram showing Earth's interior as it would look if you cut into it with a large knife and carefully removed about a quarter of its bulk. And he very clearly remembers thinking: 'How do they know that'? Bill's story-telling skill makes the 'How?' and, just as importantly, the 'Who?' of scientific discovery entertaining and accessible for all ages. In this exciting edition for younger readers, he covers the wonder and mysteries of time and space, the frequently bizarre and often obsessive scientists and the methods they used, the crackpot theories which held sway for far too long, the extraordinary accidental discoveries which suddenly advanced whole areas of science when the people were actually looking for something else (or in the wrong direction) and the mind-boggling fact that, somehow, the universe exists and, against all odds, life came to be on this wondrous planet we call home.


As a fan of a lot of Bill’s works I’m always interested to see what he turns up with next. Here, in this abridged version, he answers questions that young readers have been asking for years, presenting them in easy to understand language. Add to this, quirky facts, a comprehensive breakdown and it’s a great book for young readers and adults alike.

The only downside to this title is the ending of this offering, as it left me feeling quite low due to the bleak outlook. Still a good book for reference and one that will entertain which when backed up with a love of learning will make this a great addition to any young persons personal reference library.

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