The Pacific Northwest likes to read, and what better way to get book suggestions than to ask around? In this monthly feature, we ask prominent Northwest residents what books they’re reading, rereading and recommending — and why.
This month: Science educator Bill Nye — who began his career in Seattle as a Boeing engineer in the 1970s, cut his comedic teeth on “Almost Live!” in the ’80s, and earned national recognition as “Bill Nye the Science Guy” on KCTS-TV in the ’90s — tells us what’s on his bookshelf.
Q: What book are you reading now?
A: Right now I’m reading “These Truths” by Jill Lepore. It’s a history of the U.S., but it’s about how racism has shaped everything. And this well-intending experiment in creating the United States was done by people who meant well, but they had slaves, and things led to some trouble that is still with us today. But also, the idea of the United States is still pretty good. It fascinates me. I’m really into it.
Q: What book have you reread the most?
A: I have reread “The Elements of Style” more than any other book. The world would be so much better if we could all omit needless words, omit needless words, omit needless words!
Q: What book do you recommend other people read and why?
A: Well I’d recommend “These Truths,” for sure. And, of course, “Bill Nye’s Great Big World of Science.” (He laughs.) Of course I want everybody to read my books. I put my heart and soul into them, and I think if everybody understood evolution as it’s understood now, we would not have the problems we’re having with the coronavirus. If everyone understood the science of viruses, and how viruses are part of the evolutionary history of life on Earth, then people would treat the whole thing with a little more respect.
— compiled by Trevor Lenzmeier