The Violinist's Thumb

And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code

By Sam Kean
(Little Brown and Company, Hardcover, 9780316182317, 401pp.)

Publication Date: July 2012

List Price: $25.99*
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Description

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

In The Disappearing Spoon, bestselling 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.




About the Author
Sam Kean is a writer in Washington, D.C. His work has appeared in the "New York Times Magazine", "Mental Floss", "Slate", the "Believer", "Science", and the "New Scientist".


NPR
Monday, Jul 23, 2012

In The Violinist's Thumb, writer Sam Kean goes inside our genetic code, looking at the stories written by the fundamental building blocks within us. The book explains things like why some people can't handle drinking coffee and why some human babies are born with tails. More at NPR.org

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