When I first read Brian Switek's blog, I had no idea he was going to write a book. It was long before PepsiGate and before I was even a scibling. Back then, his blog, Laelaps, was still on ScienceBlogs, which is how I happened to stumble across it. I loved it from the first post I read, and instantly added to my Google Reader. His posts were (are!) entertaining, intriguing and well researched. He was among a small handful of science bloggers that I decided I wanted to emulate.
So of course, when I found out he was writing a book, I couldn't help but be excited about it. When the package arrived I could barely contain myself. I tore into the envelope to find my prize: an advanced copy of Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place in Nature. I immediately opened up and flipped through the first few pages. Then I sat down and started reading. I didn't stop.
When I get into a book, I go on autopilot. You should have seen me when the last Harry Potter book came out - it was insane. My friends and family found that attempting to draw my attention away was futile. So, too, was it that way with Written in Stone. I was captivated from the first page, and I simply couldn't stop reading until the last sentence.
You might expect a book about bones and rocks to be boring or dull, but Switek makes the fossil record come alive.Written in Stone is beautifully written, weaving together the stories of naturalists, the fossils they found and how each one shaped our current understanding of the evolution of different animals. From flying dinosaurs to swimming mammals, you'll be captivated by the science and history behind some of the most incredible tales of evolution we know about - including our own.
I think anyone who is curious about what we know about the evolution of animals and how we know it should buy this book. It's easy to read and enjoy no matter what level of science background you have. And if you sit down and read all 320 pages straight through without pausing for meals or sleep, it'll only take you about a day to finish!
Sounds like an appealing book. I will certainly look out for it to accompany the only other book I have specifically addressing evolution: The Greatest Show on Earth.
Thanks for the great review, Christie! And I'm especially glad to hear that you considered the book to be a page-turner.
Since my RSS Feed is populated by rave reviews of this book today, I guess I'll have to buy it. Sounds fun!
rewarp: Jerry Coyne's "Why Evolution is True" and Neil Shubin's "Your Inner Fish" might also be good company for your lonely Dawkins book...
you excited about science and history of some of the most incredible stories of development that we know - including our own.
Ya dead Mon?