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SusannaG

SusannaG - Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady

Just another GR refugee.  Other than that, I had a stroke in 2004, and read almost anything I can get my hands on, though I have a particular weakness for history, mystery, and historical fiction.

Currently reading

The Talisman Ring
Georgette Heyer
Progress: 43 %
Scars of Independence: America's Violent Birth
Holger Hoock
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari Dr
Progress: 9 %
Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years
John Guy
Progress: 20/512 pages
Lady Cop Makes Trouble
Amy Stewart
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World
Andrea Wulf
Progress: 2 %
The Hundred Years War, Volume 1: Trial by Battle
Jonathan Sumption
Progress: 166/586 pages
King Solomon's Mines
H. Rider Haggard
Progress: 4 %
Queen's Gambit: A Novel
Elizabeth Fremantle
Progress: 22 %
1913: The Eve of War
Paul Ham
Progress: 20 %

The Violinist's Thumb

The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code - Sam Kean

Sam Kean's The Violinist's Thumb is an exploration of the world of genetics, and all the strange places it takes you, from why humans, unlike other primates, have 46 and not 48 chromosomes, to why you shouldn't eat polar bear liver, and, yes, why a mutation in the thumb made Paganini the greatest violinist ever.

 

This book is a fun scientific tour of President Kennedy's "tan," why it's hard to retroactively diagnose historical figures with diseases, a Soviet biologist's attempt to breed humanzees, polar exploration, how to write an eulogy that's a scientific condemnation (Baron Cuvier didn't like Lamarck much), the saga of Einstein's brain, the unluckiest man of the 20th century, and as they said in the TV commercials I grew up with "much, much more!"

 

I gave this one a shot because I enjoyed Kean's The Disappearing Spoon, and I'm glad I did.