While the rating tells you how good a book is according to our two core criteria, it says nothing about its particular defining features. Therefore, we use a set of 20 qualities to characterize each book by its strengths:
Applicable – You’ll get advice that can be directly applied in the workplace or in everyday situations.
Analytical – You’ll understand the inner workings of the subject matter.
Background – You’ll get contextual knowledge as a frame for informed action or analysis.
Bold – You’ll find arguments that may break with predominant views.
Comprehensive – You’ll find every aspect of the subject matter covered.
Concrete Examples – You’ll get practical advice illustrated with examples of real-world applications or anecdotes.
Controversial – You’ll be confronted with strongly debated opinions.
Eloquent – You’ll enjoy a masterfully written or presented text.
Engaging – You’ll read or watch this all the way through the end.
Eye opening – You’ll be offered highly surprising insights.
For beginners – You’ll find this to be a good primer if you’re a learner with little or no prior experience/knowledge.
For experts – You’ll get the higher-level knowledge/instructions you need as an expert.
Hot Topic – You’ll find yourself in the middle of a highly debated issue.
Innovative – You can expect some truly fresh ideas and insights on brand-new products or trends.
Insider’s take – You’ll have the privilege of learning from someone who knows her or his topic inside-out.
Inspiring – You’ll want to put into practice what you’ve read immediately.
Overview – You’ll get a broad treatment of the subject matter, mentioning all its major aspects.
Scientific – You’ll get facts and figures grounded in scientific research.
Visionary – You’ll get a glimpse of the future and what it might mean for you.
Well structured – You’ll find this to be particularly well organized to support its reception or application.
After a brief, clear introduction to the basic concepts of genetics, including a sharp run-through of a working vocabulary, best-selling author Matt Ridley takes on the daunting task of explaining the miraculous complexity of the human genome. He discusses each of a person’s 23 chromosomes as a chapter in the book of human characteristics. Each chromosome’s story line encompasses broad conversations about science, history, psychology, philosophy, biology, and much more. Ridley avoids jargon and writes for clarity and smooth, quick flow. He offers an understanding of what makes human beings both so much alike and yet individually unique. Genome first came out in 1999, and the ensuing years have seen great discoveries of new information, some of which Ridley touches on in the back section “A Genetic Update, Courtesy of the Author.” Surprisingly, the advances in facts and understanding do not make this book obsolete; it remains a fundamental, invaluable foundation for comprehending human genes.
About the Author
Matt Ridley, who holds a PhD in zoology from Oxford, is a former science journalist for The Economist and founding chair of the International Center for Life. His books about science and human nature include the bestsellers The Red Queen, The Rational Optimist and The Agile Gene.