Twenty-five years ago when I was learning creationism rather than biology in the Christian college I graduated from, we had a fairly good excuse. No doubt scientists knew the evidence well enough and found it overwhelmingly supported the fact and theory of evolution. But for non-biology students and typical laypersons, the evidence was never presented in an accessible or cogent enough way to persuade us, and so we defaulted to the easy-to-grasp, if simplistic, notion that "God did it." Period, quotation marks, end of story.
The excuse is gone, and each new book in this field seems to top the previous entries in some key aspect. "Life Ascending" takes a biochemical approach to the fascinating "inventions" of evolution, from the beginning of life to photosynthesis, sex...even death. Other writers have dipped into this important topic, notably Sean Carroll, but I am not aware of another popularly written book that focuses so extensively on this one aspect of evolutionary theory. And for my money, it's the most compelling evidence that exists.
The chapters on the origins of life and metabolism (Krebs cycle) are worth the price of the book alone. Will the hypotheses advanced convince a hard-core Intelligent Design promoter? Not likely. The speculation required still eclipses the evidence provided, but a very plausible-sounding pathway is put forth, and it's fascinating to think about. What's more, key elements of each hypothesis are TESTABLE, setting them well apart from the comparitively content-free notion of Intelligent Design.
The capper is how lucid the prose is, and how entertaining. Even when the topics get technical and potentially dry, great care is taken to turn phrases, add color, and supply interesting metaphors and examples to pull the reader through. I can hardly recommend this book more highly.