The book is divided into three parts: I found the first section just okay a bit too basic I think but enjoyed the second and third sections more. Given the broad range of topics—everything from genetic differences betwee 3. Given the broad range of topics—everything from genetic differences between men and women to the effect of stress on brain size to the mating habits of monkeys—there is something here for everyone. Which is also the major weakness of this book; that is, it has breadth at the expense of depth.
Plus, how can you resist this cover? Not to mention the great backcover photo of the author with a…baboon I think May 23, Mark rated it it was amazing Shelves: One of the best science writers out there! I found myself chuckling out loud about things like parasitic bacteria.
Sapolsky is great at bringing biology down to earth as well as warding us away from stereotypical ideas that can develop from popular coverage. With his cleverness and cynical humor, he doesn't have to resort to hype to make his topics interesting.
Dec 14, John rated it it was amazing. A wonderfully readable collection of essays on a wide range of topics, from genetics to physiology to society and civilization. Oct 26, Danielle rated it it was ok. Aug 13, Adrian Sergiusz rated it it was amazing. Sapolsky in his masterclass educational, entertaining and eye opening way steps back and observes all the weird peculiarities of human behaviour as a scientist and integrates that with his observation of our various cultural practices around the world.
In a collection of various essays, he muses about interesting aspects of evolution and it's effect on us as animals. He very excellently observes the importance of understanding what genes are and are not and how they impact the nature of our beha Sapolsky in his masterclass educational, entertaining and eye opening way steps back and observes all the weird peculiarities of human behaviour as a scientist and integrates that with his observation of our various cultural practices around the world.
He very excellently observes the importance of understanding what genes are and are not and how they impact the nature of our behaviour together with our environment. Dec 01, Hina rated it it was amazing Shelves: The essays in the book go into just the right amount of biology and technical information without making the topic seem dry or boring.
The book covers a very wide range of topics covering human behaviours, traits, evolution, biology, psychology and many other fields of science to explain what makes humans so quirky. It was a surprisingly fun read and I chuckled out loud quite a few times. Jul 22, Zimran Ahmed rated it liked it.
Jun 23, Nadiya rated it it was amazing. A great collection of essays about the influence on our behaviour caused by genes, body and environment. Masterfully written, well-researched with interesting scientific details. Not exactly a book, rather a compilation of articles on different topics. From low-level stuff like our genes and their interaction with the environment to some patterns that emerge in human societies. Everyone would find something interesting, and the best part is that every article has a list of literature for further exploration. And apart from that, the book is nicely written and easy to read.
Jul 19, Hiina Shiota rated it it was amazing. I think that this book was very unique. I liked the way how each of the essays were all organized very well, and how they all talked about the people and animals within these essays. The essays were very clear and understandable as well.
I thought that by reading this book, I get to know how animals are related to humans, and why they are acting the same way as humans. Also, by reading these essays, I get to learn more about the animals, and their own actions, such as why they do these actions i I think that this book was very unique. Also, by reading these essays, I get to learn more about the animals, and their own actions, such as why they do these actions in front of us.
In addition to this, this book was full of interesting ideas of how both animals and humans could be related by their own functions inside the brain. Therefore, I think that this book was very great, and would like to recommend to those who are learning about animal behavior.
I love reading science essays. No really, I do! And I really enjoy when the essay is written well. A little humor on the subject goes a long way here, too. Sapolsky knows his topics. As he states in his footnotes to "Bugs in the Brain", he will "get crazed about some topic, read endlessly on it," and "eventually write something, getting it out of my system, thereby freeing me to fixate on a next topic. Each essay is a mini-study on a different topic, although some I love reading science essays.
Each essay is a mini-study on a different topic, although some do play off of others, each with footnotes for further reading. There is one that is mentioned frequently that I am curious to read, by the same author Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers , but unfortunately my library only carries it in e-book form. From primates that display a range of human-like emotion and societal behaviour, to the science of mothers who don't; from parasites to PTSD. The science of life is truly amazing and deep, yet Sapolsky manages to keep his writing quick and witty, leaving the reader to laugh frequently while absorbing the depths of life.
Never once did I feel like the essays were speaking down to me, from some scientific tower. I have encountered scientific journals that will write in this manner, and I loose interest quickly - not for not understanding the material, but rather from the tone. That was not an issue here, and was full of well-explained stories of life, and what makes it so unlikely! Oct 15, Sandy D. This was a fantastic, educational, funny, well-written book. Sapolsky is a neurolbiologist at Stanford who studies stress hormones and their effect on health.
He does field work with baboons in east Africa. In this collection of essays, originally written for magazines like Natural History, Discover, and Men's Health, he writes about our genes and how they interact with our environment. He explains things like why people who think nature always trumps nuture are wrong or don't know how genes wor This was a fantastic, educational, funny, well-written book.
He explains things like why people who think nature always trumps nuture are wrong or don't know how genes work , depression and PTSD how a susceptibility for that can be inherited but not always developed , sexual attraction, dreams, cross-cultural religious patterns, Munchausen's by proxy, and more.
Since the essays were originally written for popular magazines, they are short and very readable. At the end of every essay, he's added a nice "further reading" section that tells you about the research about this issue, more technical works you may want to read, and more. This is the kind of popular science we need to see a LOT more.
It doesn't oversimplify the issues, but it doesn't bore the reader. I could go on and gush about every single essay, but I'll stop here and just tell you to read the book if you're at all interested in your biology and your environment and health. Or recent scientific studies on any of these issues. Sep 29, Jessica rated it liked it Shelves: I love this guy see my review for A Primate's Memoir. And by far the best thing about this book is the insight into theoretical science based in biology: However, the majority of I love this guy see my review for A Primate's Memoir.
However, the majority of the content in this book is repeated in The Trouble with Testosterone they also share a shocking amount of turns of phrase. What's more, a fair amount of that content is touched upon in A Primate's Memoir , where it is presented much more indepthly and interestingly. So, you should read these books if you loved A Primate's Memoir , but you should probably wait a few months so that you won't be annoyed reading the same sentence or paragraph over again.
And if you only really think you'll read one, definitely make it A Primate's Memoir. Jan 08, Robert rated it really liked it Shelves: I found this collection of essays on neurobilogy and primatology to range from great to merely OK; I enjoyed them all, a breezy read,. What will I want to remember?
The essay on corpses -- why is it that we will go to great lengths to retrieve a body from a sunken ship if it sunk recently enough, but would consider it desecration to pull up the skeletons from the Titanic? And some day I want to find out more about those 20, noses that the Japenese sliced off of Koreans in The essay on di I found this collection of essays on neurobilogy and primatology to range from great to merely OK; I enjoyed them all, a breezy read,. Dec 27, Barbara rated it really liked it. There was a hysterically funny interview with author Sapolsky explaining the physical differences that men and women experience when arguing.
In the interview and in the book, Sapolsky talks about the differences between I discovered Monkeyluv while listening to Radiolab on NPR while driving in the car. In the interview and in the book, Sapolsky talks about the differences between the autonomic nervous systems in men and women, and how those differences affect relationships, particularly arguments.
His other essays address other areas of human bodies and human behavior. He makes scientific information about fascinating and funny. I highly recommend Monkeyluv for anyone interested in knowing more about their body and their behavior. Feb 12, Robert Raymond rated it it was amazing.
Sapolsky is a great science 'popularizer'. Way more witty than Dawkins--of the same caliber as Gould, perhaps.
Though the thought of reading about science dna, pysychology, etc can be intimidating, he writes so that any layman can understand and form personal opinions. What does People magazine's list of America's "50 Most Beautiful People" teach us about nature and nurture? Plus, how can you resist this cover? Each essay is a mini-study on a different topic, although some do play off of others, each with footnotes for further reading. Given the broad range of topics—everything from genetic differences between men and women to the effect of stress on brain size to the mating habits of monkeys—there is something here for everyone. Robert Maurice Sapolsky is the John A. At the least, they should caution us to look for more nuanced explanations.
This book is basically a collection of articles published over the last few years in various popular magazines, but they are all tied together. Sapolsky discusses lots of wide ranging and interesting topics and relates them all to gene-environment interactions. I guess the take-away message of this book is that genes are hardly the determinant factors of our behavior and morphology that Sapolsky is a great science 'popularizer'. I guess the take-away message of this book is that genes are hardly the determinant factors of our behavior and morphology that popular understandings of genetics currently espouse.
Genes don't code for specific behaviors, they code for amino acids that build up proteins that allow us REACT to our specific environment in certain ways. The same exact gene can have completely different outcomes when existing in different environments. Dec 07, Myridian rated it really liked it Shelves: This is a book of essays that have been published elsewhere previously. Sapolsky reminds me of a top.
He gets wound up and then it's just fun to watch his mind go. In this book Sapolsky takes a series of subjects and explores them mostly through relatively popular science sources. He then draws conclusions that feel relevant to how we live our lives and think about the world. The one complaint I have is that the topics don't feel obscure enough to me. Perhaps because of my background I'd at hear This is a book of essays that have been published elsewhere previously.
Perhaps because of my background I'd at heard most of the information before, though some of the conclusions he came to were completely new. I think The cultural desert was my favorite essay in the book mostly because it did discuss something I really hadn't heard before. Dec 14, Mike rated it really liked it Shelves: It was an enjoyable read on some extremely fascinating topics.
That point leads me to the books largest deficiency: All in all I recommend this book to anyone with even a passing interest why we are the way we are or just wants to learn more about the fascinating world we live in. As Sapolsky says, "Warning: As Sapolsky writes, "Sometimes, all you need to do is think a thought and you change the functioning of virtually every cell in your body. When and why do our preferences in food become fixed? Why do desert cultures tend to be monotheistic and sexually repressed, whereas rainforest cultures tend to be sexually relaxed and polytheistic?
Why do different cultures think differently about dead bodies? Charming and erudite in equal measure, this collection will appeal to the inner monkey in all of us. Is it because of Monkeyluv is a book of essays by Robert Sapolsky on animal and human behavior.