Friday, September 20, 2013

September Release: Richard Dawkins' AN APPETITE FOR WONDER

Appetite for Wonder, An By Richard DawkinsThere are so many wonderful books coming out from HarperCollins this fall, but one we’re particularly excited about is Richard Dawkins’s An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist (on sale 9/24). This is the sparkling first memoir from the world’s most famous evolutionary biologist, which explains how he went from being a curious, if academically indifferent child growing up in colonial East Africa to the author of one of most important books of the the twentieth century, The Selfish Gene.

When I read An Appetite for Wonder, I was struck by the very personal nature of Dawkins's depictions of his childhood and his blossoming intellectual curiosity. I had the opportunity to hear him speak twice in the last few months—once, when he came into the New York office, and once at BEA—which honestly turned me into a bit of a fangirl. He noted his longing for science appreciation courses, like the non-practical art or music appreciation courses often taught in schools, but to me, his memoir is just that.  His book will make even the most liberal arts-type (me) excited about biology, because behind everything he writes is an unmistakable sense of wonder at the natural world, an enthusiasm that is undeniably contagious. 

“The Richard Dawkins that emerges here is a far cry from the strident, abrasive caricature beloved of lazy journalists. . . . There is no score-settling, but a generous appreciation and admiration of the qualities of others, as well as a transparent love of life, literature - and science.”—The Independent 
“[Here] we have the kindling of Mr. Dawkins’s curiosity, the basis for his unconventionality.”The New York Times Daily

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