What a Wonderful World: One Man’s Attempt to Understand the Big Stuff by Marcus Chown
I’ve recently been very privileged to have a sneak preview of Marcus Chown’s latest book. In a departure from his usual focus on cosmology, he attempts to explain everything, from biology to banking, with stunning results.
I discovered that the entire human race could fit into a sugar cube, I’m one-third mushroom, and slime moulds have 13 sexes. I was introduced to the vital competitive advantage of sewing, the only two non-human species to have a menopause, and a creature that eats its own brain. All this and much more. It’s a brilliant read, with something for everyone.
There are many books which I’ve read once, learnt something, and never picked up again. This isn’t one of those. There’s so much more in here than I can digest in a single read through. I want to go back to it over and over, each time reminding myself of the details of a particular topic. If this gathers dust on your bookshelf, I think there’s something wrong with you.
As an added bonus, I’ve been offered the opportunity to host an extract as part of a blog tour to promote the book – well, I could hardly say no. That’s coming up on Saturday, but the tour’s already started. I’ve posted the itinerary below, as well as a rather fun little promotional video.
And there’s more where that came from – check out these great sites for some great stuff over the next two weeks.
3rd October – Eliza Do Lots
4th October – Buried Under Books
5th October – Recovering Agnostic
6th October – Live Otherwise
7th October – Atifa’s Book Shelf
8th October – Curiosity Killed the Bookworm
9th October – Keeper of the Snails
10th October – Sue Guiney’s Writing Life
11th October – The Book of Lost Nights
12th October – Annabel’s House of Books
13th October – Keris Stainton
14th October – Teen Librarian
15th October – Penguin Galaxy
16th October – Open Democracy
I’m really looking forward to it.