David Christian – Origin Story: A Big History of Everything (New York: Little, Brown Spark, 2018).
A breezy, big-picture history of the universe in the tradition of Bill Bryson. On the plus side, Christian’s approach is less sensationalistic than Bryson’s. On the downside, that means it is a little less entertaining as well. But that’s only in relative terms. In absolute terms, this book is highly enjoyable, and I liked it better than Bryson’s. The early chapters, from the Big Bang on up to the early solar system, are strong on cosmology. From there, the emphasis changes to geology, cellular biology, anthropology, and then a little bit of economics and sociology and a guess at where technology is headed. Maybe not a book for specialists, but they would gain perspective from engaging outside their specialty—which is good all-around life advice as well.