Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Lives of the Cell -- A Book Review

The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology WatcherThe Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher by Lewis Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was recommended to me, and I'm definitely glad that I read it. It's a collection of brief essays about biology, the wonder of cells and their internal machinery, and human society. Thomas strikes me as the M.F.K. Fisher of biology writing, able to turn a striking phrase every page or so, using clear prose and occasional poetry to communicate his thoughts. Here's a great example: ""It is hard to imagine a solitary, independent, existentialist minnow, recognizable for himself alone." That's a great sentence. It's true that Thomas sprinkles in some jargon here and there, but on the whole he's excellent. Highly recommended.

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