Note: I’m not a book reviewer and I’m not an English professor! 🙂 Three years ago I made a new year’s resolution to read a book a week and I’ve stayed pretty much on track. But, sometimes I fly through books without thinking much about them – which seems such an awful missed opportunity! So, I’m typing up my quick thoughts after finishing.
Wrapped this one up on Audible – what a great read! Written by Bill Bryson, this book walks through the history of scientific discovery with a relaxing and approachable touch.
What entertained me most was the “behind-the-scenes” descriptions of the discoveries. The background of the scientists, the drama between them and the random facts of their life were sometimes more memorable than the science itself.
I loved the opening description of science books. Bryson describes reading a book about the Earth’s core and wondering “how do they know?” He complains about exciting topics being reduced to boring paragraphs that put students to sleep. In comparison, his book makes DNA, evolution and ancient geology engrossing and memorable.
My most memorable part was the poor folks trying to measure the transit of Venus in order to calculate the size of the solar system. To spend years traveling across the world in the 1700’s for the perfect viewing point of a once-in-a-hundred-years event, only to have cloudy skies ruin all visibility… ugh.
Not high on the list for “re-readability”, but a good mix of education and entertainment.