New York Times Bestseller
New York Times Notable Book of 2016
NPR Great Read of 2016
Economist Best Books of 2016
Brain Pickings Best Science Books of 2016
Smithsonian Best Books about Science of 2016
Science Friday Best Science Book of 2016
A Mother Jones Notable Read of 2016
A Bill Gates “Gates Notes” Pick
MPR Best Books of 2016
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books of 2016
Minnesota Star-Tribune Best of the Year
A Kirkus Best Book of the Year
A PW Best Book of the Year
Guardian Best of the Year
Times (London) Best of the Year
A groundbreaking, wondrously informative, and vastly entertaining examination of the most significant revolution in biology since Darwin—a “microbe’s-eye view” of the world that reveals a marvelous, radically reconceived picture of life on earth.
Every animal, whether human, squid, or wasp, is home to millions of bacteria and other microbes. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ed Yong, whose humor is as evident as his erudition, prompts us to look at ourselves and our animal companions in a new light—less as individuals and more as the interconnected, interdependent multitudes we assuredly are.
The microbes in our bodies are part of our immune systems and protect us from disease. In the deep oceans, mysterious creatures without mouths or guts depend on microbes for all their energy. Bacteria provide squid with invisibility cloaks, help beetles to bring down forests, and allow worms to cause diseases that afflict millions of people.
Many people think of microbes as germs to be eradicated, but those that live with us—the microbiome—build our bodies, protect our health, shape our identities, and grant us incredible abilities. In this astonishing book, Ed Yong takes us on a grand tour through our microbial partners, and introduces us to the scientists on the front lines of discovery. It will change both our view of nature and our sense of where we belong in it.