I'm beginning a new feature here today called Friday Flashback. Basically, I have hundreds of reviews on GoodReads and I want to post them over here as well. Every Friday I will post one of those old reviews. Thanks to Angieville and her Retro Friday Reviews for the inspiration and encouragement! Be sure to check out her fantastic blog!
Bill Bryson is back and this time's he's tackling the question of "Where do we come from?" in a very accessible kind of way. He gives an everyman's scientific explanation of the creation of the universe, the world, the atmosphere, evolution, human evolution, you name it. Pretty much all the sciences are covered, from astronomy to physics to geology to biology and plenty more that I can't think of at the moment.
I'm not really a non-fiction person. I'm just not. But Bill Bryson usually keeps me entertained with his witty writing style. He didn't really manage to be witty while writing about science, but he was interesting. Probably some of my favorite parts were back stories about how odd some of the most famous scientists were (Did you know that Sir Isaac Newton, probably one of the most brilliant scientists that has ever or will ever live, decided to shove a big needle into the back of his eye one time, just to see what would happen?). I also got my biology degree once upon a time, so he did get around to covering stuff that does obviously interest me.
There was absolutely no mention of creationism in this book, so I wouldn't recommend it to people who would be offended by that. He did get a little environmentally preachy right at the very end, but that didn't bother me. If you're interested in how things work--or, sometimes, just how scientists think things might work--this book is for you.
Bill Bryson's website
Read an excerpt