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The Violinist's Thumb - Sam Kean

Updated: Jun 26, 2021

My pick of the month for January, 2021 is "The Violinist's Thumb" by Sam Kean. It’s a capturing, nonfiction science book about the fascinating health topic of the genetic code. The author weaves facts, humor, and storytelling to teach you about the history of DNA. Some fascinating things he writes about is how a famous musician had career success on his violin, how the human race could have gone extinct, and weird animal crosses, such as a zonkey (a cross between a zebra and a donkey). As an added bonus, Mr. Kean smartly hid a DNA related acrostic. Be sure to check out this very informational novel about the genetic code!

Praise for The Violinist’s Thumb:

“Though his subject is a serious one, Mr. Kean enlivens his narrative with an appealing sense of humor… Kean’s witty style nicely blends facts and stories in an engaging package.”

-Christoper Chabris, Wall Street Journal

“Kean’s anecdotal approach to chemistry and now genetics has been hailed as a diverting, sneaky way to introduce readers to science, but as he points out, it is also useful for scientists to learn the history of their field.”

- Leah Binkowitz, Smithsonian

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