In this exuberant book, the best-selling author Natalie Angier distills the scientific canon to the absolute essentials, delivering an entertaining and inspiring. Though Angier is a regular contributor to the Science Times section of this “The Canon” presents the fundamentals of science: numbers and. ONE to watch: out in paperback in early January is science writer Natalie Angier’s The Canon. It is an ambitious sweep through the basics of.

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Overall, I can’ I liked this more than I thought I might, given the reviews. Understanding how things work feels good. Therefore, I’m going to patronizingly write qngier rest of this review in Angier’s style to drive the point home. The author manages to be entertaining, informative, and at times even lyrical as she gives an overview of the basics in the basic sciences chemistry, physics, molecular biology, evolutionary biology, geology, astronomy.

Lab fab guide to life

The entire idea of the book is to teach science and yet I found myself floundering in a rant about how more people should just learn science and go into science and people really need to start valuing science and for This book just annoyed me.

That’s okay once in a while, and I understand the desire to liven up what could be written in a very dull way, but it’s a constant stream and you just want to put your hands on her shoulders, look her in the eye, and with a gentle tone tell her to stop trying so hard and if that doesn’t work, scream “knock it off!!!

Angier’s gifts are on full display in The Canon, an ebullient celebration of science that stands to become a classic. She asked them questions such as, “What does it mean to think natalei But when the freq You know the joke that goes “sip, don’t gulp”?

Anyway, if there’s a main idea here, it’s that the book blew. Well, that’s exactly what The Canon is supposed to be, the newest book by Pulitzer winner and New York Times columnist Natalie Angier, in which she approached a whole series of scientists and asked them, “What are the four or five most basic things about your profession that you wish the general public all knew? The result was a bastard child caught agier between the two that had an annoying sing-song quali I nataie up on this one after about pages.


It has some great ideas and I love the premise of laying out in simple, brief terms the basic tenets of science, but the writing style drives me crazy, and not in zngier good way. It was hard to give this two stars. Scattered amidst the whirling prose were solid facts, truly witty quotes from scientists, and interesting ideas. In her Introduction, Angier writes:. It would have been more enjoyable that way.

It’s Lewis Carroll meets Lewis Thomas — a book that will enrapture, inspire, and enlighten. Dec 03, Ryan rated it it was ok. I loved cotton candy, and only got it once a year at the county fair. Open Preview See a Problem? She devotes many pages to the busy activity inside every cell, ranging from protein synthesis to cell division to communication with other cells.

Starting with the idea that ‘the best way to teach science to non-scientists is to go for depth over breadth’, Angier’s research takes her natlaie numerous leaders in their field to find out what they wish people better understood. The folksy humour and the optimistic, upbeat delivery are perhaps just a manifestation of native style in what is a very American book; in fact The Canon is at its most successful when this is in the foreground.

A boring book by a science writer who tries too hard to justify her profession. Dec 08, Elazar rated it did not like it.

It’s this annoying beating around the bush that really put natzlie off reading this. My gut tells me the author thinks this syntactical tactic is either intellectually illustrative or seductively scholarly, like James Bond giving a Powerpoint presentation, but with slightly less ass slapping. This needn’t be a bad thing, but the writer’s presentation is meandering and counterproductive.

It explains why some drinks taste good cold, some taste good hot, and most taste lousy at room temperature — red wines, of course, excepted.

I was especially curious about her writing on molecular biology I have a PhD in this field and get frustrated with poorly written newspaper articles on mol.

The introduction describes her motivation for writing this book: Stopping and starting and lurching and joking just distracts the mind from being absorbed in the wonders of the scientific landscape. But then another beautiful sentence is thrown at you and you go, OK. Ahgier the next part of the sentence offered me a long list of characteristics including the word mesmeric. This book is a fine review of about nine or ten meta-categories of introductory college science concepts.


Hardcoverpages. With the next beautiful sentence you go, umm The problem I had was that at times the author seemed to be more focused on finding cute ways to say things than on the ideas themselves.

Natalie Angier, The Canon | Views from Crestmont Drive

That was this book. Nov 11, EAL rated it it was amazing Shelves: This got to the point that I started to feel dumb, not because I couldn’t understand the science, but because I couldn’t parse her goddamn sentences. But again, to be fair, she is a science writer for a newspaper. She is very knowledgeable and I can trust she has done her homework and is writing accurately about her subject. Want to Read saving…. Well, that’s interesting, yes, but so what? Second, as made clear in the first two chapters, Angier’s aim is to introduce scientific topics to a broad and perhaps unwilling audience.

I naatlie get past it. And, perhaps for that reason alone, I enjoyed this book. She draws on conversations with hundreds of the world’s top scientists and on her own work as From the Pulitzer Prize winner and ccanon author of Woman, a playful, passionate guide to the science all around us With the singular intelligence and exuberance that made Woman an international sensation, Natalie Angier takes us on a whirligig tour of the scientific canon.

My third bite was, wow, this is a lot of sugar. The goal of this book is to recapture science from the nerdy margins of society.

Okay, whatever, but then one sentence later, “If you bought a euphorbia and nicknamed it Saguaro, your aunt from Tucson might not see any cause to correct you. She didn’t deliver on this promise.

But whirligig is actually a more accurate term for the spinning, circular prose, cliched phrases, lists of adjectives, and nonsensical metaphors plucked from thin air without bothering to establish a relationship to the topic.

By way of example I give you this gem from page”Perhaps nothing underscores carbon’s chemical genius better than the breadth of its packaging options, from the dark, slippery, shavable format of graphite on one extreme, to fossilized starlight on the other- translucent, mesmeric, intransigent diamond, the hardest substance known, save for a human heart grown cold.