A Short History of Nearly Everything
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One of the world’s most beloved writers and bestselling author of One Summer takes his ultimate journey—into the most intriguing and intractable questions that science seeks to answer. In A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson trekked the Appalachian Trail—well, most of it. In A Sunburned Country, he confronted some of the most lethal wildlife Australia has to offer. Now, in his 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.
The extraordinary Bill Bryson takes us from the Big Bang to the dawn of science in this book about basically everything. Ever wondered how we got from nothing to something? Or thought about how we can weigh the earth? Or wanted to reach the edge of the universe? Uncover the mysteries of time, space and life on earth in this extraordinary book - a journey from the centre of the planet to the dawn of the dinosaurs, and everything in between. And discover our own incredible journey, from single cell to civilisation, including the brilliant (and sometimes very bizarre) scientists who helped us find out the how and why. Adapted from A Short History of Nearly Everything, the ground-breaking bestseller, this book is stunningly illustrated throughout, and accessible for all ages ************************************************************************ Reviews for A Short History of Nearly Everything: 'It's the sort of book I would have devoured as a teenager. It might well turn unsuspecting young readers into scientists.' Evening Standard 'I doubt that a better book for the layman about the findings of modern science has been written' Sunday Telegraph 'A thoroughly enjoyable, as well as educational, experience. Nobody who reads it will ever look at the world around them in the same way again' Daily Express 'The very book I have been looking for most of my life' Daily Mail
Now revised and updated to take in the major scientific developments of the past decade, A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson's classic quest to find out everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization - how we got from there, being nothing at all, to here, being us. Winner of the Aventis Prize for Science Books and the Descartes Science Communcation Prize, it became a huge bestseller, and remains one of the most popular science books of all time. Bill Bryson's challenge was to take subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry and particle physics, and see if there wasn't some way to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. On his travels through time and space, he encounters a splendid collection of astonishingly eccentric, competitive, obsessive and foolish scientists, and takes us on an eye-opening journey through time and space, revealing the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.
One of the world's most beloved and bestselling writers takes his ultimate journey -- into the most intriguing and intractable questions that science seeks to answer. In A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson trekked the Appalachian Trail -- well, most of it. In In A Sunburned Country, he confronted some of the most lethal wildlife Australia has to offer. Now, in his 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. From the Hardcover edition.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER A NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2019 BY Maclean's • The Washington Post • USA Today • Indigo Bill Bryson, bestselling author of A Short History of Nearly Everything, takes us on a head-to-toe tour of the marvel that is the human body. As compulsively readable as it is comprehensive, this is Bryson at his very best, a must-read owner's manual for everybody. Bill Bryson once again proves himself to be an incomparable companion as he guides us through the human body--how it functions, its remarkable ability to heal itself, and (unfortunately) the ways it can fail. Full of extraordinary facts (your body made a million red blood cells since you started reading this) and irresistible Bryson-esque anecdotes, The Body will lead you to a deeper understanding of the miracle that is life in general and you, in particular. As Bill Bryson writes, "we pass our existence within this wobble of flesh and yet take it almost entirely for granted." The Body will cure that indifference with generous doses of wondrous, compulsively readable facts and information.
Bill Bryson has one of the liveliest, most inquisitive minds on the planet, and At Home is likely to become the most illuminating book on the way we lived then and live now--the why and the where and the how of it--ever written. Now, in this handsome new edition, his sparkling prose will be enhanced by some 200 carefully curated full-colour images from both the past and the present. Selected from a staggering array of sources to bring Bill's journey to vivid life, these pictures will make reading At Home an immersive experience. When you've finished this book, you will see your house--and your daily life--in a new and revelatory light.
Bryson brings his unique brand of humour to travel writing as he shoulders his backpack, keeps a tight hold on his wallet and heads for Europe. Travelling with Stephen Katz--also his wonderful sidekick in A Walk in the Woods--he wanders from Hammerfest in the far north, to Istanbul on the cusp of Asia. As he makes his way round this incredibly varied continent, he retraces his travels as a student twenty years before with caustic hilarity.
A classic from the New York Times bestselling author of A Short History of Nearly Everything and The Body. Back in America after twenty years in Britain, Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. The AT offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes—and to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings. For a start there's the gloriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, a buddy from Iowa along for the walk. Despite Katz's overwhelming desire to find cozy restaurants, he and Bryson eventually settle into their stride, and while on the trail they meet a bizarre assortment of hilarious characters. But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike. Bryson's acute eye is a wise witness to this beautiful but fragile trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America's last great wilderness. An adventure, a comedy, and a celebration, A Walk in the Woods has become a modern classic of travel literature.
Utilizing a question and answer format, the philosopher and spiritual teacher discusses multiculturalism, political correctness, spiritual enlightenment, gender wars, modern liberation movements, and the course of evolution. Reprint.
'My favourite book' Tinchy Stryder BA Business Life Book of the Month The ultimate hustle is to move freely between the street and corporate worlds, to find your flow and never stay locked in the same position. This is a manifesto for how to operate in the twenty-first century, where everything has been turned on its head. Building on the runaway success of Robert Greene's The 48 Laws of Power (almost five million copies sold), the 'modern Machiavelli' teams up with rapper 50 Cent to show how the power game of success can be played to your advantage. Drawing on the lore of gangsters, hustlers, and hip-hop artists, as well as 50 Cent's business and artistic dealings, the authors present the 'Laws of 50', revealing how to become a master strategist and supreme realist. Success comes from seeking an advantage in each and every encounter, and The 50th Law offers indispensable advice on how to win in business - and in life.
With Trilobite, Richard Fortey, paleontologist and author of the acclaimed Life, offers a marvelously written, smart and compelling, accessible and witty scientific narrative of the most ubiquitous of fossil creatures. Trilobites were shelled animals that lived in the oceans over five hundred million years ago. As bewilderingly diverse then as the beetle is today, they survived in the arctic or the tropics, were spiky or smooth, were large as lobsters or small as fleas. And because they flourished for three hundred million years, they can be used to glimpse a less evolved world of ancient continents and vanished oceans. Erudite and entertaining, this book is a uniquely exuberant homage to a fabulously singular species.
Bryson describes graphically and in layperson's terms the size of the universe and that of atoms and subatomic particles. He then explores the history of geology and biology and traces life from its first appearance to today's modern humans, placing emphasis on the development of the modern Homo sapiens. Furthermore, he discusses the possibility of the Earth being struck by a meteorite and reflects on human capabilities of spotting a meteor before it impacts the Earth, and the extensive damage that such an event would cause. He also describes some of the most recent destructive disasters of volcanic origin in the history of our planet, including Krakatoa and Yellowstone National Park.A large part of the book is devoted to relating humorous stories about the scientists behind the research and discoveries and their sometimes eccentric behaviours. Bryson also speaks about modern scientific views on human effects on the Earth's climate and livelihood of other species, and the magnitude of natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and the mass extinctions caused by some of these events.The book contains several factual errors and inaccuracies. Some of these have arisen because new discoveries have been made since the book's publication, and some classifications have changed. For example, Pluto has been reclassified as a dwarf planet, and the universe is not going to stop expanding, it is speeding up.
This New York Times bestseller "elegantly weaves evidence and insights . . . into a single, accessible historical narrative" (Bill Gates) and presents a captivating history of the universe -- from the Big Bang to dinosaurs to mass globalization and beyond. Most historians study the smallest slivers of time, emphasizing specific dates, individuals, and documents. But what would it look like to study the whole of history, from the big bang through the present day -- and even into the remote future? How would looking at the full span of time change the way we perceive the universe, the earth, and our very existence? These were the questions David Christian set out to answer when he created the field of "Big History," the most exciting new approach to understanding where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. In Origin Story, Christian takes readers on a wild ride through the entire 13.8 billion years we've come to know as "history." By focusing on defining events (thresholds), major trends, and profound questions about our origins, Christian exposes the hidden threads that tie everything together -- from the creation of the planet to the advent of agriculture, nuclear war, and beyond. With stunning insights into the origin of the universe, the beginning of life, the emergence of humans, and what the future might bring, Origin Story boldly reframes our place in the cosmos.
From one of the world's most beloved writers and New York Times bestselling author of One Summer, a vivid, nostalgic, and utterly hilarious memoir of growing up in the 1950s Bill Bryson was born in the middle of the American century—1951—in the middle of the United States—Des Moines, Iowa—in the middle of the largest generation in American history—the baby boomers. As one of the best and funniest writers alive, he is perfectly positioned to mine his memories of a totally all-American childhood for 24-carat memoir gold. Like millions of his generational peers, Bill Bryson grew up with a rich fantasy life as a superhero. In his case, he ran around his house and neighborhood with an old football jersey with a thunderbolt on it and a towel about his neck that served as his cape, leaping tall buildings in a single bound and vanquishing awful evildoers (and morons)—in his head—as "The Thunderbolt Kid." Using this persona as a springboard, Bill Bryson re-creates the life of his family and his native city in the 1950s in all its transcendent normality—a life at once completely familiar to us all and as far away and unreachable as another galaxy. It was, he reminds us, a happy time, when automobiles and televisions and appliances (not to mention nuclear weapons) grew larger and more numerous with each passing year, and DDT, cigarettes, and the fallout from atmospheric testing were considered harmless or even good for you. He brings us into the life of his loving but eccentric family, including affectionate portraits of his father, a gifted sportswriter for the local paper and dedicated practitioner of isometric exercises, and OF his mother, whose job as the home furnishing editor for the same paper left her little time for practicing the domestic arts at home. The many readers of Bill Bryson’s earlier classic, A Walk in the Woods, will greet the reappearance in these pages of the immortal Stephen Katz, seen hijacking literally boxcar loads of beer. He is joined in the Bryson gallery of immortal characters by the demonically clever Willoughby brothers, who apply their scientific skills and can-do attitude to gleefully destructive ends. Warm and laugh-out-loud funny, and full of his inimitable, pitch-perfect observations, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is as wondrous a book as Bill Bryson has ever written. It will enchant anyone who has ever been young.
The book on the paranormal, endorsed by consciousness experts as the best introduction to psychic phenomena, offering the latest scientific research as well as highly compelling anecdotes. "Superb survey of the paranormal ... Although serious in content, it is written in a light, often humorous, style which is a delight to read. As someone who has myself made a lifelong study of the paranormal, I cannot recommend it highly enough." – New York Times bestselling author Herbie Brennan This is the most entertaining and broad survey of the paranormal ever made, combining forgotten lore, evidence from parapsychological experiments and the testament of scientists, archaeologists, anthropologists, psychologists, physicists and philosophers, and also quite a few celebrities. Exploring the possibility that paranormal phenomena may be – and that some most likely are – objectively real, this travelogue through the twilight zone of human consciousness is both scientifically rigorous and extremely entertaining. Readers may be surprised to learn that reputable scientists, among them several Nobel laureates, have claimed that telepathy is a reality, that Cleopatra's lost palace and Richard III's burial place were recovered by means of clairvoyance, and that an espionage program using psychics was set up by the US military! The author proposes that all humans (perhaps all living beings) are linked together in a sort of "mental internet" that allows us to exchange "telepathic emails" and make clairvoyant downloads of information. Could it be that what we usually call "supernatural" is a natural but little understood communication via this mental internet? An engaging, entertaining and informative analysis of a controversial subject, in which these phenomena are approached as potential expressions of unexplained powers of the human mind.
In southern California, nearly a half century ago, a small band of researchers -- equipped with a new 200-inch telescope and a faith born of scientific optimism -- embarked on the greatest intellectual adventure in the history of humankind: the search for the origin and fate of the universe. Their quest would eventually engulf all of physics and astronomy, leading not only to the discovery of quasars, black holes, and shadow matter but also to fame, controversy, and Nobel Prizes. Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos tells the story of the men and women who have taken eternity on their shoulders and stormed nature in search of answers to the deepest questions we know to ask.
Troublesome Words is playful and riddlesome guide to the English language from the bestselling author of Notes from a Small Island and A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson What is the difference between mean and median, blatant and flagrant, flout and flaunt? Is it whodunnit or whodunit? Do you know? Are you sure? With Troublesome Words, journalist and bestselling travel-writer Bill Bryson gives us a clear, concise and entertaining guide to the problems of English usage and spelling that has been an indispensable companion to those who work with the written word for over twenty years. So if you want to discover whether you should care about split infinitives, are cursed with an uncontrollable outbreak of commas or were wondering if that newsreader was right to say 'an historic day', this superb book is the place to find out.
Inspired by a suffragist ancestor who starved herself to promote the integration of Cambridge University, Evie refuses to marry and Dorothy defies a ban on photographing the bodies of her dead Iraq War soldier sons, a choice that embarrasses Dorothy's dau
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A Science News favorite science book of 2019 As you read these words, copies of you are being created. Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist and one of this world’s most celebrated writers on science, rewrites the history of 20th century physics. Already hailed as a masterpiece, Something Deeply Hidden shows for the first time that facing up to the essential puzzle of quantum mechanics utterly transforms how we think about space and time. His reconciling of quantum mechanics with Einstein’s theory of relativity changes, well, everything. Most physicists haven’t even recognized the uncomfortable truth: physics has been in crisis since 1927. Quantum mechanics has always had obvious gaps—which have come to be simply ignored. Science popularizers keep telling us how weird it is, how impossible it is to understand. Academics discourage students from working on the "dead end" of quantum foundations. Putting his professional reputation on the line with this audacious yet entirely reasonable book, Carroll says that the crisis can now come to an end. We just have to accept that there is more than one of us in the universe. There are many, many Sean Carrolls. Many of every one of us. Copies of you are generated thousands of times per second. The Many Worlds Theory of quantum behavior says that every time there is a quantum event, a world splits off with everything in it the same, except in that other world the quantum event didn't happen. Step-by-step in Carroll's uniquely lucid way, he tackles the major objections to this otherworldly revelation until his case is inescapably established. Rarely does a book so fully reorganize how we think about our place in the universe. We are on the threshold of a new understanding—of where we are in the cosmos, and what we are made of.
When an old friend asked him to write a weekly dispatch from New Hampshire for the Mail on Sunday's Night and Day magazine, Bill Bryson firmly turned him down. So firm was he, in fact, that gathered here are nineteen months' worth of his popular columns about the strangest of phenomena -- the American way of life.Whether discussing the dazzling efficiency of the garbage disposal unit, the mind-boggling plethora of methods by which to shop, the exoticism of having your groceries bagged for you, or the jaw-slackening direness of American TV, Bill Bryson brings his inimitable brand of bemused wit to bear on the world's richest and craziest country. From the Trade Paperback edition.