She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity by Carl Zimmer
A history of our understanding of heredity, from Darwin’s crucial role in making the question of heredity a scientific one to the birth of genetics in the early 1900s, to today’s understanding of cells and microbes. Zimmer questions today’s definition of heredity, addressing urgent bioethical quandaries arising from new biomedical technologies and long-standing presumptions about who we really are and what we can pass on to future generations. Available on audio.
Publishers Weekly (starred review) says, “Journalist Zimmer masterfully blends exciting storytelling with first-rate science reporting. His book is as engrossing as it is enlightening.”
Burning Planet: The Story of Fire Through Time by Andrew C. Scott
Through evidence drawn from preserved fossilized charcoal, found in rocks hundreds of millions of years old from all over the world, Andrew C. Scott has put together the history of fire’s impact on Earth’s atmosphere, climate, vegetation, ecology, and evolution of plant and animal life. (Publishes June 1)
Nature says, “Scott’s study of fossil charcoal has unearthed an astounding deep-past record of botanical riches and shifts in climate and oxygen levels. A timely book in an era of heightened fire risk and threats to water supply. ”
Happy Brain: Where Happiness Comes From, and Why by Dean Burnett
I’m a big fan of Dean Burnett’s first book, Idiot Brain (as well as his adorable cat photos on Instagram). In this sequel, he takes a deeper dive into the neuroscience of happiness using his latest research and interviews with relationship experts, psychology professors, comedy writers, celebrities, and millionaire gurus. As a comedian (and neuroscientist), you can expect witty writing in both his books.
Kirkus Reviews says, “Burnett’s description of the neurochemistry of love and its affiliated emotions is worth the price of admission.”
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