An Immense World by Ed Yong [10/10]

Science journalist Ed Yong, whose Covid-19 reporting for The Atlantic gained him a Pulitzer, is, first and foremost, a consummate researcher. In “An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us” there seems to be no interesting scientist in the fields of animal sense discovery whom he has not interviewed, subsequently dissecting the evidence and crystallizing it in his own mind. From sight to sound, from echolocation to magnetoreception, the author paints wondrously fascinating portraits of the latest understanding of how animals interact with the world. Using a beautiful term—the Umwelt of a creature—to signify the gulf between how we sense and how others do, Yong dazzles and delights with precise yet poetic, perky prose stuffed with similes. His sheer pleasure in the joy the many scientists express is infectious. Nigh perfect from start to finish, An Immense World is the most comprehensive, stately, yet exhilarating everyperson-science book I have read in years. I can guarantee it will grace university syllabuses and school libraries for the next century. Not to be missed.

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