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The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code

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The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes more incredible stories of science, history, language, and music, as told by our own DNA.

In The Disappearing Spoon, bestselling author Sam Kean unlocked the mysteries of the periodic table. In The Violinist's Thumb, he explores the wonders of the magical building block of life: DNA.

There are genes to explain crazy cat ladies, why other people have no fingerprints, and why some people survive nuclear bombs. Genes illuminate everything from JFK's bronze skin (it wasn't a tan) to Einstein's genius. They prove that Neanderthals and humans bred thousands of years more recently than any of us would feel comfortable thinking. They can even allow some people, because of the exceptional flexibility of their thumbs and fingers, to become truly singular violinists.

Kean's vibrant storytelling once again makes science entertaining, explaining human history and whimsy while showing how DNA will influence our species' future.

Review:

"As he did in his debut bestseller, The Disappearing Spoon, Sam Kean educates readers about a facet of science with wonderfully witty prose and enthralling anecdotes....Kean's thoughtful, humorous book is a joy to read." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"A science journalist with a flair for words...[Kean's] language is fluid and accessible, even for the science-challenged." Library Journal

Review:

"Kean is one of America's smartest and most charming science writers, and his new book could be perfect for summer readers who prefer some substance with their fun." Michael Schaub, National Public Radio

Review:

"The DNA molecule, Kean asserts, is the 'grand narrative of human existence' — and he boldly sets out to tell the tale, not only explaining genetics and its scientific history but linking Mendel's pea shoots to the evolution of early humans....He's crafted a lively read packed with unforgettable details." Sarah Zhang, Discover

Review:

"Sam Kean is the best science teacher you never had...a slew of intriguing tales, which Kean spins in light, witty prose while also placing them in a broader scientific context." Keith Staskiewicz, Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Sam Kean has started to make a habit of taking scientific subjects that inhabit the outskirts of the popular imagination and reintroducing them with healthy doses of history and humanity....Anyone reading this fine book could be excused for jolting upright...with wide-eyed amazement." Jesse Singal, Boston Globe

Review:

"[Kean] writes with a humor and humanity that make him poised to become the next Brian Greene, maybe, or Oliver Sacks — explaining small corners of the universe one case study at a time." Monica Hesse, Washington Post

About the Author

Sam Kean is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Disappearing Spoon. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Mental Floss, Slate, and New Scientist, and has been featured on NPR's Radiolab and All Things Considered."

Product Details

ISBN:
9780316182331
Subtitle:
And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code
Author:
Kean, Sam
Publisher:
Back Bay Books
Subject:
Biology-Genetics
Publication Date:
20130731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English

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The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code Used Trade Paper
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Product details pages Back Bay Books - English 9780316182331 Reviews:
"Review" by , "As he did in his debut bestseller, The Disappearing Spoon, Sam Kean educates readers about a facet of science with wonderfully witty prose and enthralling anecdotes....Kean's thoughtful, humorous book is a joy to read."
"Review" by , "A science journalist with a flair for words...[Kean's] language is fluid and accessible, even for the science-challenged."
"Review" by , "Kean is one of America's smartest and most charming science writers, and his new book could be perfect for summer readers who prefer some substance with their fun."
"Review" by , "The DNA molecule, Kean asserts, is the 'grand narrative of human existence' — and he boldly sets out to tell the tale, not only explaining genetics and its scientific history but linking Mendel's pea shoots to the evolution of early humans....He's crafted a lively read packed with unforgettable details."
"Review" by , "Sam Kean is the best science teacher you never had...a slew of intriguing tales, which Kean spins in light, witty prose while also placing them in a broader scientific context."
"Review" by , "Sam Kean has started to make a habit of taking scientific subjects that inhabit the outskirts of the popular imagination and reintroducing them with healthy doses of history and humanity....Anyone reading this fine book could be excused for jolting upright...with wide-eyed amazement."
"Review" by , "[Kean] writes with a humor and humanity that make him poised to become the next Brian Greene, maybe, or Oliver Sacks — explaining small corners of the universe one case study at a time."
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