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

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

From New York Times best-selling author Sam Kean come more incredible stories of science, history, language, and music, as told by our own 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

In The Disappearing Spoon, best-selling 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.

©2012 Sam Kean; ©2012 Hachette Audio

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    Amazon Customer Mountain West 08-15-12
    Amazon Customer Mountain West 08-15-12 Member Since 2005

    Audiobook enthusiast

    ratings
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    "Worth two listens"
    Would you listen to The Violinist's Thumb again? Why?

    I don't think I have ever read a book twice, and I certainly have not listened to a book twice, but in this case I will make an exception. "The Disappearing Spoon" was a delightful compendium of intriguing scientific anecdotes, but "The Violinist's Thumb" is so rich with truly remarkable information, that I have to listen again.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Violinist's Thumb?

    Kean's description of the research into our DNA as it relates to our fellow primates is probably the most fascinating part of the book, particularly as the news continues to contain new discoveries on the human family tree.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    08-15-12
    08-15-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting, but not as quirky as you might like"
    If you could sum up The Violinist's Thumb in three words, what would they be?

    Interesting detailed scientific


    Would you be willing to try another book from Sam Kean? Why or why not?

    Yes. I enjoyed his book about the periodic table more, but The Violinist's Thumb was worth a listen.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. It's very episodic. Great for short car rides.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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