Review: The Violinst’s Thumb

January 7, 2016 Uncategorized 9

Review: The Violinst’s ThumbTitle: The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code
Author: Sam Kean
Source: Gift
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: This engaging science read was perfect for me, well researched and full of fascinating anecdotes, including a surprising number that were new to me.

I really loved the way this book was organized. The author managed to generally move forward through the history of evolution and the history of genetics at the same time. Each chapter answers a fairly specific question and each set of chapters addresses a broader question, such as what makes us human and where all of our discoveries are leading us. This structure made for an accessible and intriguing read.

The writing was also interesting and easy to follow. I was thrilled that even with plenty of academic knowledge of genetics and many popular science books in my background, this book included fun facts and stories I hadn’t heard before. The author did a great job getting into some of the very latest moral questions raised by genetics research as well. However, I think that the structure and writing would make this a great read for anyone interested, regardless of their background. Well researched, well explained, well written – this was exactly what I look for in my science nonfiction.

For a perspective on how accessible this is for someone without a biology background, I’d recommend checking out Allison at The Book Wheel’s review.

 

9 Responses to “Review: The Violinst’s Thumb”

  1. Krysta @ Pages Unbound

    I’ve been interested in reading this, but wasn’t sure how good it was. It can be difficult to balance scholarly material for popular audience. Great review!

  2. susan

    So I’m assuming the book is written for the regular layperson? Or is it? How dense is the read? Genetics can be interesting or at times overwhelming. thx
    susan recently posted…My 2015 in ReviewMy Profile

    • DoingDewey

      I would say it’s pretty accessible. Allison at the Book Wheel has less of a biology background than I do and it sounded as though she found the beginning a little dense, but it got more interesting as it went and easier to understand because of the background at the beginning.

  1. Best Nonfiction Books of 2015 - Doing DeweyDoing Dewey

    […] The Violinist’s Thumb – A wonderful science book, with a ton of fun facts and interesting anecdotes. The Philadelphia Chromosome – This was a fascinating, easy-to-follow story of an awesome of scientific success. […]