We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
13 Things That Don't Make Sense Audiobook

13 Things That Don't Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time

Regular Price:$19.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Science starts to get interesting when things don't make sense.

Science's best-kept secret is that there are experimental results and reliable data that the most brilliant scientists can neither explain nor dismiss. In the past, similar "anomalies" have revolutionized our world, as in the 16th century, when a set of celestial anomalies led Copernicus to realize that the Earth revolves around the Sun and not the reverse, and in the 1770s, when two chemists discovered oxygen because of experimental results that defied the theories of the day. If history is any precedent, we should look to today's inexplicable results to forecast the future of science.

In 13 Things That Don't Make Sense, Michael Brooks heads to the scientific frontier to meet 13 modern-day anomalies and discover tomorrow's breakthroughs.

©2008 Michael Brooks; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (2128 )
5 star
 (606)
4 star
 (784)
3 star
 (517)
2 star
 (150)
1 star
 (71)
Overall
3.8 (1168 )
5 star
 (365)
4 star
 (419)
3 star
 (260)
2 star
 (84)
1 star
 (40)
Story
4.0 (1167 )
5 star
 (399)
4 star
 (435)
3 star
 (237)
2 star
 (70)
1 star
 (26)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Gerard 09-11-12
    Gerard 09-11-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    62
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Makes you go hummmm"
    Would you try another book from Michael Brooks and/or James Adams?

    Found subjects very enlightening. Makes you understand how little is fact and how much we add as fiction.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    09-10-12
    09-10-12 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "excellent and fun for lay-people"
    Would you listen to 13 Things That Don't Make Sense again? Why?

    possibly, but i am generally too bust to read pleasure books twice. if i wanted the technical info, then i might. but it is written very well for lay-people. you dont need to be a scientist to enjoy the book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of 13 Things That Don't Make Sense?

    the overall theme that we cannot figure everything out.


    Have you listened to any of James Adams’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    n/a


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    no emotional responses


    Any additional comments?

    just a fun book and helps me understand the overall position of science in the early 21st century.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Roberta, GA, United States 09-06-12
    Margaret Roberta, GA, United States 09-06-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "PERFECT for those of us who like to ask "WHY"?"
    Would you consider the audio edition of 13 Things That Don't Make Sense to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version but that would allow the reader to go back and re-read certain parts....which in the case of this book would be helpful. The book is presented well but just stuffed full of information and names of scientists that may or may not be familiar depending on the listener. Einstein was correct when once he alluded to standing on the shoulders of giants. All scientists have done that throughout history. I liked the way the author linked "one thing" to the next in a more or less logical progression. I was waiting for more and then the book ended. It is always good to want more. I was engrossed and loved the details but the author does not belabor points and moves on to the next one quickly. He asks so many questions during the presentation that when you finish listening you want to start finding out more. Amazing what some scientists suffered at the hands of their contemporaries. It still goes on today, in every career field and in every office. That part of human nature has not evolved in recorded history. Definitely a book for people curious about why things are the way they are...or you could say a book for curious people!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    If you have ever heard the phrase "mind over matter' then you will especially enjoy the section about the "placebo effect".


    Any additional comments?

    Great read...but pay attention less you miss something. Definitely one to re-read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kurt Lansing, MI, United States 09-04-12
    Kurt Lansing, MI, United States 09-04-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    37
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exciting suprise"
    Would you consider the audio edition of 13 Things That Don't Make Sense to be better than the print version?

    I do not know, did not read print version. Had time to listen though, on the way to and from work.


    What other book might you compare 13 Things That Don't Make Sense to and why?

    Perhaps "The Viral Storm".


    What does James Adams bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Excitement and a conversational quality, a very interesting conversation.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It renewed some scientific passion for me, made me feel excited about science.


    Any additional comments?

    I wasn't expecting this book to be so interesting to me. The way it was read was excellent and I didn't want to stop listening, and will probably listen again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samuel 09-04-12
    Samuel 09-04-12 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining and Thought Provoking"
    What made the experience of listening to 13 Things That Don't Make Sense the most enjoyable?

    I found 13 Things That Don't Make Sense both entertaining and thought provoking. It is certainly fascinating to consider all of the things that science has figured out but humbling to acknowledge all that we still have left to learn.


    If you’ve listened to books by Michael Brooks before, how does this one compare?

    no.


    What about James Adams’s performance did you like?

    He has a very intelligent sounding British accent that gives the book an added dimension. He also had an interesting inflection that makes the book more entertaining to listen to.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    no.


    Any additional comments?

    no.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gabriel BELLEVUE, WA, United States 07-23-12
    Gabriel BELLEVUE, WA, United States 07-23-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book, spoiled by Audible's terrible app"
    Any additional comments?

    Really enjoyed this book, but come on Audible, your app is the. worst. It is slow to load, crashes, never renders the thumbnails in recent titles (who tested this thing??!) and periodically just loses its place and starts in some random location. The app is so bad it just spoils my enjoyment completely.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob Holladay, UT, United States 04-02-12
    Rob Holladay, UT, United States 04-02-12 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting, but stretching"
    What did you like best about 13 Things That Don't Make Sense? What did you like least?

    The title is a lot more sensational than the content. There are some legitimately interesting chapters, but a lot of filler.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jo Green Cordova, TN, United States 03-16-12
    Jo Green Cordova, TN, United States 03-16-12 Member Since 2016

    Grandma bibliophile! Audible books make reading with an active life possible.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    69
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    235
    77
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good, but some over my head!"

    Some of this book was absolutely riveting and fascinating! Other parts of this book I'm just, what? I'm not exactly the most intensely educated in science so some of this went right over my head and some was well explained so I got the jist, so that was OK! For the most part though I'd say go ahead and get the book. It was a fun listen, I feel for the scientists in the past who's ideas weren't confirmed until later, post-mortem for them, so they were humiliated and shunned in life. Goes to show that just because you are unique and brilliant doesn't mean you're wrong! Give it a go and see what you think, I sure don't regret the credit. It was interesting enough I'd like to know more of what we don't know!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 10-29-11
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 10-29-11 Member Since 2005

    Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2852
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    370
    305
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    541
    14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Contains some interesting topics, but muddled"

    A decent overview of some the unsolved questions that modern science is currently puzzling over (how to explain all the "missing" matter in the universe) or lacks the data to answer conclusively any time soon (is there life on other planets? do we really have free will?). Then there are a few chapters concerning what might be described as fringe science (e.g. cold fusion, the placebo effect, homeopathic medicine). While I appreciate the spirit of inquiry, I suspect that homeopathic medicine is probably not one of the great mysteries occupying scientific minds today.

    Unfortunately, the author's style is a bit fragmentary -- he drops a lot of names and technical information, but doesn't make the core controversies quite as clear as they could be, or provide the satisfying overview one might get from a book focused solely on astrophysics, space exploration, or biology. Regarding the "fringe science", the author's discussion of the side making the incredible claim is extremely lightweight. Sure, maybe the cold fusion people are somehow right, and the mainstream scientific community will be proven wrong, but this writer hasn't elucidated anything compelling about that particular mystery -- if it even is a mystery -- for me.

    Still, the book expressed an interesting theme: the scientific community has always had trouble accepting anomalous data that suggests that current theories on something might be flawed -- those who have staked their careers on an existing model aren't eager to see it overturned, and those who might try to explain the data using a new framework must put their own reputations on the line. Thus, it takes a while for "hey, the galaxy isn't expanding the way Einstein's theory predicts" to become an issue scientists are willing to talk about. For this somewhat disquieting revelation and the fact it'll probably whet your appetite for other science reading, this book's certainly worth a library check-out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara Omaha, NE, United States 12-17-10
    Sara Omaha, NE, United States 12-17-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "A fantastic listen."

    Of all the audiobooks I have ever purchased, this is the one I listen to over and over. The narration is clear, and each time I listen, I catch a new detail or understand something a little more fully. I think it should be required listening/reading for high school students to inspire them that there are still mysteries out there, waiting to be discovered.

    Other reviewers have dogged on the last chapters of the book, especially the chapter on homeopathy. He does say there is no reason for it to work scientifically, and yet people feel better. Placebo? Perhaps, but that IS the mystery that doesn't make sense. In fact, there is a whole section on placebos, a mystery in and of themselves.

    I agree those chapters aren't my favorites either, but the topics aren't fully explained by modern science, and that is the theme of the whole book: 13 scientific mysteries of our time.

    The mysteries covered in the book are explained from the ground up, so you can fully appreciate the anomalies. They topics covered are dark matter and energy; possibly incorrect laws of physics (the Pioneer anomaly); varying constants of nature; cold fusion; what *is* life; the WOW signal; a giant virus (that even though viruses are not alive, it has a genome like yours); why things die; why do some organisms have sex?; do you actually have free will?; the placebo effect; and homeopathy.

    As you can see, the topics are varied and all are described in full. Your mind will be opened to new ways of thinking about the world around you. Enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.