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From acclaimed science writer, presenter, and illustrator Alice Roberts, a visual and linguistic adventure through the strange, astonishing worlds within our anatomy
Did you know you have cobwebs in your head, hair in your lungs, and snails in your ears? In the world of anatomy, every name paints a picture: from the arachnoid mater, a brain membrane resembling a spider’s web, to the ciliated epithelium of the respiratory tract (from the Latin for “eyelash”) and the curlicue cochleas (from the Greek for “snail”) that power our hearing.
Quirky, bizarre, and beautiful, Anatomical Oddities traverses the body’s crypts, islets, and mountains to reveal a secret map of organ, tissue, and bone—complete with peculiar place names (duodenum, from the Greek for “twelve-fingers-long part of the gut”) and overlooked but essential regions (like the orbicularis oculi, the muscle that lets us blink). Featuring stunning original artwork by the author—acclaimed science writer and presenter Alice Roberts— these fifty-seven brief lessons in anatomy lay bare the intricate details of the human body, the history of those who unearthed its secrets, and the rich world of language that gives us form.
About the Author
Professor Alice Roberts is an academic, author, and broadcaster specializing in human anatomy, physiology, evolution, archaeology, and history. In 2001, Alice made her television debut on Channel 4’s Time Team, and went on to write and present The Incredible Human Journey, Origins of Us, and Ice Age Giants on BBC2. She is also the presenter of the popular TV series Digging for Britain. Alice has been a Professor of Public Engagement with Science at the University of Birmingham since 2012.
“Highlights the amazing abilities of the human body. . . . As a compendium of anatomical trivia, this entertains.”—Publishers Weekly
“O! How an art-full, word-mad book about the body can exercise the mind.”—from the foreword by Holly Dunsworth
Praise for Alice Roberts
“Roberts . . . finds that our uniqueness is often more complicated and surprising than we could have imagined.”—Forbes
“Roberts’s anatomical expertise is seductive.”—The Guardian
“Alice Roberts writes as a scholar with the intensity and flair of a novelist.”—Dan Snow, author, historian, and award-winning television presenter
Praise for Buried
“Buried is a tender, fascinating act of listening—of listening to the tales the dead have to tell us about the landscapes we share with them, the histories we have constructed around them, and the futures we imagine for ourselves. Lucid and illuminating.”—Robert Macfarlane
“Roberts’s legions of fans will find themselves delighted by a book that is both accessible and expert [and] wears deep learning lightly.”—Daily Telegraph
“Intriguing and informative. . . . Fascinating.”—Country Life
Praise for Ancestors
“This is a book everyone should read. Roberts is the new Da Vinci, able to shift between science and humanities, the objective and subjective, the global and the individual. There is such a scope of knowledge between the covers of this book that you feel like a better and more knowledgeable person having read it. A mind-altering, life-altering book.”—Dr. Janina Ramirez
“While the rest of us read words, Alice reads bones—and what stories they have to tell. In her hands they seem slick with life, bearing messages from ancient worlds. I was captivated.”—Neil Oliver
“Roberts is a prolific TV presenter, and Ancestors skillfully deploys the arts of screen storytelling: narrative pace, a sense of mysteries being unfolded. . . . [It] is above all a tribute to the archaeological profession.”—The Times
Praise for The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being
“A masterful account of why our bodies are the way they are. . . . Roberts's lightness of touch is joyous, and celebratory.”—Observer
“Roberts's engagingly personal style connects you to your ancestors, to your own personal beginnings as a single cell and, in a most attractive way, to herself as an author of great charm. From your brain to your fingertips, you emerge from her book entertained and with a deeper understanding of yourself.”—Richard Dawkins
Praise for The Little Book of Humanism
“Gorgeous and full of wise quotes and stories that we would all do well to heed in today’s crazy world.”—Jim Al-Khalili
“A delight. Give it like a bunch of flowers to someone you love.”—Richard Dawkins
Praise for Tamed
“A masterpiece of evocative scientific storytelling.”—Brian Cox
“Epic and joyous, a landmark in the story of us.”—Adam Rutherford
“An excellent point of entry for anyone who wants to understand the new deep human history and what it portends.”—Guardian
“[A] lively work of popular scientific history.”—Observer