Larry Maxcy, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Larry Maxcy)
None of the Puddly Award nominees are very good, but maybe that is a reflection of the state of publishing today. This book has some utility, so it wins!
Another winner from one of the best science writers around, The Canon, like Bill Bryson's Short History of Nearly Everything, provides a pleasurable understanding of science.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"'Science is underappreciated and undervalued in a world that thrives on it. Pulitzer Prize-winning science reporter Angier sets out to bring the basics of hard science (biology, chemistry, physics, etc.) into listeners' everyday lives. Rather than returning to the doldrums of a high school science class, she shows listeners where and how science is happening in everything we do. Through her discussions with scientists and her use of analogies, she makes the complex accessible. Doukas delivers her performance in an energetic, soft and welcoming voice. She emphasizes and paces so as not to overload her listeners as well as to bring home Angier's points. Doukas's tone hints of excitement but also sympathy for those listeners who may appreciate science but who have a bit of angst for learning about it. With over 13 hours of listening, though, this audiobook is best processed in small chunks. Angier covers a lot in each chapter, but trying to grasp it all may take repeated listening. Simultaneous release with the Houghton Mifflin hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 8). (May)'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review),
"Not everything is as easy as pie (or pi) to grasp, and therein lies the excitement and challenge of science, masterfully conveyed here."
by Los Angeles Times,
"Natalie Angier...has produced another, much-needed book on the basics of science."
"Some readers may find Angier's wordplay excessively indulgent, but her core audience will delight in her ecstatic exuberance for all things scientific."
by Richard Dawkins,
"Every sentence sparkles with wit and charm...it all adds up to an intoxicating cocktail of fine science writing."
by Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind,
"Natalie Angier makes planets and particles sexy....She turns guys with lab coats and pocket protectors into Daniel Craig."
by Library Journal (Starred Review),
"[Angier] writes with such verve, humor, and warmth that even readers who may have flunked any of those subjects in high school will still be willing to give them a second chance."
"An astonishingly literary science book....Angier's gift for metaphor lights up the dustiest corner....If any book can help the public learn to love science, this is it."
by Leon Lederman, Nobel laureate,
"An essential experience....How dare she write so artfully, explain so brilliantly, rendering us scientists simultaneously proud and inarticulate!"
Buckle up for a joy ride through physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and astronomy with this ebullient guide to science by a Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author.
by Hold All,
In this exuberant book, the best-selling author Natalie Angier distills the scientific canon to the absolute essentials, delivering an entertaining and inspiring one-stop science education. Angier interviewed a host of scientists, posing the simple question What do you wish everyone knew about your field?” The Canon provides their answers, taking readers on a joyride through the fascinating fundamentals of the incredible world around us and revealing how they are relevant to us every day. Angier proves a rabble-rousing, wisecracking, deeply committed tour guide in her irresistible exploration of the scientific process and the basic concepts of physics, chemistry, evolutionary biology, cellular and molecular biology, geology, and astronomy. Even science-phobes will find her passion infectious as she strives "to make the invisible visible, the distant neighborly, the ineffable affable."
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