This lovely, and hefty, book was written by Bill Bryson. Yes, I know that I was supposed to read the third book about the Danes invasion of England, but it still wasn't available at the library. This was. I finished it - thanks to swimteam practice and the fact that I can actually read at the pool while the girls are playing with their little friends. They only bother me to get something to eat, or tell me that they're going to the girls room, or heading to the playground. It's the most free time I've had in ages, honey.
Anyhoo, my husband The Troll had heard rave reviews on some talk radio show. I spotted it - and it was mine. (for two weeks and then two more...)
This author was bothered by unanswered questions. As I am. I have a little catalog of burning questions in a file somewhere in my brain and when I get an answer to one of them - well - it gets shunted to some other area of my brain where it is promptly forgotten. Grizzly Mama is getting old - the synapses just aint what they used to be.
Where to begin? This man goes into just about everything from quarks to The Big Bang theory. From measuring the mass of Earth to Plate Tectonics. From the vastness of the universe to the layers of our planet. From Darwin to Oceans and more. He does so with keen wit and good humor. You'll love this little education - I know I did and I thank Bill Bryson for thinking of writing this book. He was able to travel the globe interviewing many experts who, by the way, seem to have the same keen wit. God bless them all, that's what I say! Awfully good of them to make this knowledge available to us, especially since we've been saddled with this crappy government education.
I leave you with a few examples of Mr. Bryson's take on things and I highly recommend that you read the book.
"Even now as a species we are almost preposterously vulnerable in the wild. Nearly every large animal you can care to name is stronger, faster, and toothier than us."
"Life, it turns out, is infinitely more clever and adaptable than anyone had ever supposed. This is a very good thing, for as we are about the see, we live in a world that doesn't altogether seem to want us here."
"The good news, it appears, is that it takes an awful lot to extinguish a species. The bad news is that the good news can never be counted on. Worse still, it isn't actually necessary to look to space for petrifying danger."
The book is just chock full of goody-goodness and the realization hits that we are but vulnerable specks floating through so vast a universe that is hard to even comprehend, on a tumultuous and often unpredictable planet. The book also illustrates the fits and starts of the human race in our attempts to discover the amazing-ness of it all. The fights and politics of that scientific discovery can often be hilarious and sometimes tragic. How he kept it all straight, and then presented it with some semblance of order, I just don't know. But kudos to him - he did good.
Read the book. I am going to purchase it and stick it on the girls' curriculum.