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Download The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science Audiobook, by Natalie Angier Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.45 out of 53.45 out of 53.45 out of 53.45 out of 53.45 out of 5 3.45 (20 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Natalie Angier Narrator: Nike Doukas Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2007 ISBN: 9781598874969
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Buckle up for a joy ride through physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and astronomy. Drawing on conversations with hundreds of the world's top scientists and her own work as an award-winning science writer, Natalie Angier does the impossible: She makes science fascinating and seriously fun, even for those of us who, in Angier's words, "still can't tell the difference between a proton, a photon, and a moron."

Most of the profound questions we will explore in our lives—evolution, global warming, stem cells—have to do with science. So do a lot of everyday things, like our ice cream melting and our coffee getting cold and our vacuum cleaner running (or not). What does our liver do when we eat a caramel? How does the horse demonstrate evolution at work? Are we really made of stardust? (Yes, we are.)

In The Canon, Lewis Thomas meets Lewis Carroll in a book destined to become a modern classic—because it quenches our curiosity, sparks our interest in the world around us, reignites our childhood delight in discovering how things work, and instantly makes us smarter.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rhea Krieg | 2/3/2014

    " Again, I honestly love the way she writes...read it again and again! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy Drew | 1/18/2014

    " a pure delight and a must-read for an aspiring science writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Delilah Des | 12/28/2013

    " Did precisely what it needed to. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 12/17/2013

    " It's informative, but Angier's writing style got on my nerves pretty quickly. As a general science primer, though, it does its job. I think it would be fun to incorporate in a class with middle or early high school-age kids. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lola Wallace | 12/10/2013

    " Natalie Angier has a gift for explaining complicated things in really simple terms. Her prose is snappy, though often verging on cutesy, and I agree with the initial argument of this book, that all the joy and wonder we derive from science as children is slowly beaten out of Americans as we age, and that's a damn shame. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanna | 11/28/2013

    " I finally buckled down and finished this book. I certainly appreciated getting a review of all of all of these topics and concepts learned (or glossed over) throughout school. It was a great refresher course. However, in her effort to make is "accessible" to the masses, she ends up going over the top, being annoyingly condescending and talking down to the reader. It is not something to be read on consecutive nights of reading, but it is a great reminder of basic scientific principles that it is important to understand. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott | 11/24/2013

    " A good, light, quick review of basic science stuff. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ed | 11/23/2013

    " Parts were really good, but for the most part I thought it was a little to whimiscal. Strange, most of the time I think the science books could do with more whimsy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark Szidik | 11/17/2013

    " There is some excellent content in this book (the sections on cells and on plate tectonics were very good) but as many others noted the authors insistence on adding supposedy clever phrases every pther paragraph was extremely annoying and really detracted from the otherwise interesting content. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Leah McKeen | 11/12/2013

    " If I could give this book negative stars, I would. I had to read it for a class and it is close to the most painful thing I have ever done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Flannery | 8/27/2012

    " Okay, I'll admit. I didn't finish it...yet. It is the kind of non-fiction that you can work on slowly. It made me feel good to try to understand science that is around us. It makes all the stuff you learned and forgot in high school interesting and accessible, although occasionally oversimplified. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie Ruffing | 7/31/2012

    " Great book for lay person wanting to know the rudiments of science. I thoroughly enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marilee | 5/25/2012

    " Again, love Angier. I have to admit though, I had to cherry-pick this book a little; just didn't have time to read it cover to cover. I'll get back to it, though, for sure. It makes me want to learn EVERYTHING! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica Valenti | 6/23/2011

    " I wish I could write the way that Angier writes - she makes even the most complex ideas accessible. Love her. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Desy | 5/1/2011

    " Quite interesting at first, but then it gets boring. I couldn't put myself to finish this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie | 4/9/2011

    " Very good book on science by a New York Times Science reporter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara | 2/25/2011

    " Three stars because its heart is in the right place, but did there really need to be chapter full of nothing but analogies
    about the size of the solar system? We got it the first, okay- admittedly the second time. :p "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gloriavirtutisumbra | 2/4/2011

    " Loved this book. Her humor felt to me to be a little too much at times, yet i wouldn't change any of the book for the world. The kind of book you want to read with a highlighter near at hand so you can mark the parts you want to read more about later. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eric | 1/1/2011

    " Light enough to be enjoyable, but still informative. I didn't learn a great deal about any of the disciplines covered here, but the goal was to highlight how the disciplines apply to everyday life and why the average person should care. On that goal, it mostly succeeds. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julia | 11/5/2010

    " I couldn't finish this. It was interesting, but halfway through I stopped, and realized I don't want to pick it up again. It's not the subject matter, but her prose is too flowery and wandering. "

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About the Narrator

Nike Doukas is an actress who is most recognizable for her recurring role in Desperate Housewives. She performs regularly at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California, and has appeared several times at The Old Globe in San Diego, The Pasadena Playhouse, the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, she now lives in Costa Mesa.