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A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson (author of A Walk in the Woods) turns his insatiable curiosity and sense of humor to answering the questions of science in A Short History of Nearly Everything. Covering everything from the Big Bang to geology, chemistry, thermodynamics, and much more, Bryson doesn't just list the details of each topic, but is more interested in how we know what we do and who discovered it. He tells the story of not just famous scientists and discoverers, but obscure men and women who, fanatically at times, seek to prove strange theories or discover arcane bits of knowledge. This book has met with praise from most reviewers for its readability, humor, and interesting way of presenting what could be boring material. The Minneapolis Star Tribune says, "A Short History of Nearly Everything is everything a book should be -- informative, engaging, well styled, rewarding both for the information it provides and the art that shapes it."