04 December, 2016

I contain multitudes: the microbes within us and a grander view of life by Ed Yong

When you think of scientific texts, you usually think of technical jargon followed by page after page of equations, diagrams and other essential scientific nomenclature pertaining to that subject. As I began reading this book my fears were assuaged as Ed Yong had written an easier and somewhat humorous tome about this fascinating world of microbes.

Ed Yong delves into the world of microbes and takes us on a journey to marvel, not just at ourselves, but all living beings in our natural world, and see it in a new light; as thriving ecosystems to trillions of microbial communities. He introduces us, in every chapter, to the remarkable scientists who are on the front lines of discovery into this hidden world. Not only did I learn of the wondrous science behind all sorts of unique creatures, but also of the role microbes played in our own bodies. Yong also demonstrates the various partnerships between microbes and their hosts. I contain multitudes is the story of these extraordinary partnerships and reveals in great depth how we humans are disrupting these partnerships and how we might manipulate them for our own good.

Despite the easy nature of Ed Yong’s writing, readers might find some portions of this book a bit technical. If you, like me, find it difficult to grasp, I recommend that you take your time in reading it through. It will truly fascinate and amaze you when you begin to understand the impact and influence this unseen world of microbes have on the way we live and have lived. This book has profoundly changed the way I see the natural world and my own place in it.

I contain multitudes is truly one of the best scientific books published this year.


Title: I contain multitudes: the microbes within us and a grander view of life
Author: Ed Yong

Recommended by Surani R, Waitakere Central Library, Henderson.

Surani R enjoys reading biographies, travelogues, some non-fiction, and loves fiction that makes you laugh out loud. She also finds comfort in children’s fiction with thought-provoking stories.


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