Do you have any idea how we know what we know about the universe? We all "know" the earth is round, and that we are closely related to apes, but where did all this knowledge come from? In A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson describes how all of our knowledge came to be.
Obviously, this covers a lot of topics, so the book is by no means short. At the same time, Bryson sometimes goes into a lot of detail about the lives of certain scientists...their quirks, what made them special etc. As a result, the book is more interesting, but also longer, than it has to be.
But you don't have to read the whole thing. The topics covered range from the micro-seconds following the Big Bang, to modern-day discoveries of the "missing link". Each chapter tells a new tale about a topic in which you may or may not be interested.