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History of Nearly Everything Bill Bryson $16.50 *
From primordial nothingness to this very moment, A Short History of Nearly Everything reports what happened and how humans figured it out. To accomplish this daunting literary task, Bill Bryson uses hundreds of sources, from popular science books to interviews with luminaries in various fields. His aim is to help people like him, who rejected stale school textbooks and dry explanations, to appreciate how we have used science to understand the smallest particles and the unimaginably vast expanses of space. With his distinctive prose style and wit, Bryson succeeds admirably.
Flight: 100 Years of Aviation R. G. Grant, John R. Dailey $35.00 *
Produced in association with the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, this volume of capsule histories and archival images traces the history of flight with all the sepia-toned authority of a public broadcasting documentary. Offering thumbnail profiles of aviation heroes and inventors and a plethora of diagrams and photos, the oversized tome straddles the line between something to put on a coffee table and something to give to a panting, preteen armchair pilot.