Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past by David Reich
If you enjoyed Adam Rutherford’s recent book on genomics and learning about how Neanderthal DNA is in all of us, you should know that David Reich’s job was to analyze DNA for signs that Neanderthals had interbred with humans. He has retrieved DNA from more than 900 ancient people. In his new book, Reich describes with unprecedented clarity just how the human genome provides not only all the information that a fertilized human egg needs to develop but also contains within it the history of our species.
Read an excerpt: How Genetics Is Changing Our Understanding of ‘Race,’ The New York Times
You Can Stop Humming Now: A Doctor’s Stories of Life, Death, and in Between by Daniela Lamas
Pulmonary and critical care doctor Daniela Lamas surprises us with her debut book, a collection of true stories about what happens to people whose lives are extended by modern medicine: A grandfather whose failing heart has been replaced by a battery-operated pump; a salesman who found himself a kidney donor on social media; a college student who survived a near fatal overdose and returned home, alive but not the same; and a young woman navigating an adulthood she never thought she’d live to see.
Library Journal says, “Readers who enjoy books by Oliver Sacks and Atul Gawande, or Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air will find this volume moving and provocative.”
Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine by Alan Lightman
One-time theoretical physicist Alan Lightman discusses science and religion in a series of essays. Drawing on Saint Augustine’s conception of absolute truth, Einstein’s theory of relativity, the unity of the once-indivisible atom to the multiplicity of subatomic particles, and the recent notion of multiple universes, Lightman gives us is a profound inquiry into the human desire for truth and meaning.
Booklist says, “Physicist-novelist Lightman strives to, if not reconcile, at least put religion and science on good speaking terms.”
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