By Vanessa Prat
People are always on the go. Especially…New Yorkers! We rarely stop and look up at the sky, and think…hmm how did that get there? Or, how exactly did we get here? And when we do start to ponder such questions, the answers we get are muddied and full of so much jargon that even a Rocket Scientist would feel mentally drained. Bill Bryson is here to help.
Bryson was sitting on a plane when he started to think—really think. Hmm…So we are full of atoms you say? Well how did that happen? He realized he did not know answers to questions that, at the end of the day, feel very important. He took it upon himself to answer all of them…or at least…a lot. This is how A Short History of Nearly Everything came about. And what a journey it is.
Science buffs are sure to enjoy this book. But you don’t have to love science to love this book. Bill Bryson’s humor and writing style make even the driest subjects lively and enjoyable. You find yourself immersed in a world full of stars, planets, molecules and so much more, without ever feeling lost or buried under useless information. He covers Einstein, a smidgen of his personal life, and all his exceptional accomplishments. Bryson also covers CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by this acronym) the world’s largest particle physics laboratory that created the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. Don’t worry. Bryson explains all in plain English, with a joke or two, and you will be educated and entertained.
A Short History is not short, but it will keep you turning the pages (or hitting “page forward” on your Kindle). Here is a sample of what Bryson has to say on the Big Bang:
“Tune your television to any channel it doesn’t receive, and about 11 percent of the dancing static you see is accounted for by this ancient remnant of the Big Bang. The next time you complain that there is nothing on, remember that you can always watch the birth of the universe.”
Try it! Turn frustration towards your cable TV service into a teaching moment, for yourself and your family. Bryson’s book is fun, an easy read, and a text that should be used as a learning tool in school. It is clear, entertaining, and informative. Who does not ponder the very question of creation? Or if atoms exist, why can’t we see them? Once in a blue, you do, and Bill Bryson will be there, funny jokes and clear answers included, to answer those questions for the price of a paperback or a download.