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Wonders of Life: Exploring the Most Extraordinary Phenomenon in the Universe (Wonders Series) Hardcover – May 7, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-0062238832 ISBN-10: 0062238833

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Wonders of Life: Exploring the Most Extraordinary Phenomenon in the Universe (Wonders Series) + Wonders of the Universe (Wonders Series) + Wonders of the Solar System (Wonders Series)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A magnificent new book. ... Brian Cox is as close to a Richard Feynman of our time as we can hope to get.” (BrainPickings.com)

“With Cox, physics and the wonders inherent in exploring the great beyond are not just rebooted for a new generation, but given an almost breathless exuberance.” (The Onion AV Club)

“The passionate advocate of science education has been hailed in some quarters as the next Carl Sagan. ... The book features striking photography and graphics and accessible prose. (Boston Globe)

From the Back Cover

Life

What is Life? Where did it come from? Why does it end?

In this beautiful companion book to the Science series Wonders of Life, professor Brian Cox takes us on an incredible journey to discover how a few fundamental laws gave birth to the most complex, diverse, and unique force in the universe—life itself.

Earth is home to an estimated one hundred million species—yet each one is governed by the same laws. Light, gravity, time, matter, and energy are the building blocks of everything, from the smallest microbe to the biggest galaxy. What is true for a bacterium is true for a blue whale. This is the story of the amazing diversity and adaptability of life, told through the fundamental laws that govern it. Through his voyage of discovery, Brian explains how the astonishing inventiveness of nature came about and explores the milestones in the epic journey from the origin of life to modern civilization.

From the vast networks of subterranean fresh-water caverns of the Yucatan peninsula to the unique and precious island of Madagascar, Brian brings readers on a thrilling adventure to the earth's most remote locations, where the wonders of life are on spectacular display. Along the way, the biggest scientific questions are answered: What is life? Where did it come from? Why does it end?

Relying on the latest advances in science as well as the cutting-edge graphics used in the visually stunning bestsellers Wonders of the Solar System and Wonders of the Universe, Brian uncovers the secrets of life in revolutionary detail.

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Product Details

  • Series: Wonders Series
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Design (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062238833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062238832
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 9 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Full of fun factoids throughout the book.
Book Shark
Enjoyed every minute of book so bought the DVD as well to watch.
Anthony hall
Another superb work by Professor Brian Cox!
Christine

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Book Shark TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonders of Life: Exploring the Most Extraordinary Phenomenon in the Universe by Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen

"Wonders of Life" is a fantastic book that complements the Discovery Science Channel series. Professor Brian Cox is at it again but this time he takes us on a global journey of the most unexpected locations to explain the origin of life to our lives. This enlightening, full-color 288-page book is composed of the following five chapters: 1. Home, 2. What Is Life?, 3. Size Matters, 4. Expanding Universe, and 5. Endless Forms Most Beautiful.

Positives:
1. Elegant and passionate prose. Innate ability to make science fun and educational for the masses.
2. The fascinating topic of the life sciences in the hands of a master educator.
3. Great use of charts and illustrations to assist the reader. This book is full of awe-inspiring photos. High production value, I can't stress that enough.
4. In science it's not always about the right answer but asking the right questions. Cox focuses his journey on Schrodinger's 'How' question.
5. In reverence to one of the greatest theories ever, the grand theory of evolution.
6. Thought-provoking questions that guide this wonderful book, as an example: "What is the minimal set of ingredients necessary for life to evolve, and how widespread are these ingredients in the Universe beyond Earth?"
7. A look at the history of water. Fascinating!
8. The evolution of the biological process of oxygenic photosynthesis. Who knew biology could be this much fun?
9. The impact of light...enlightening indeed. "A photon's wavelength is directly related to its colour."
10. Full of fun factoids throughout the book. "A single drop of water contains, on average, a million bacteria."
11. What is life?
Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Oceanfront HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on February 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I am always looking for books/documentaries that are extraordinary. This is one of them!

Brian Cox explores our earth and asks many of the questions I think about, which he very clearly answers.

Examples would be, What is our evolutionary background, and the story behind it; why is yen earth so fertile (excellent photography of Africa and other exotic places); what happened that transformed once barren place like earth into what it is today; how size determines the nature of life...effects of gravity and electromagnetism on life, and so many more topics.

Their is also a DVD and a new app available. This is a must read if you have any interest in this topic.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By amanda on October 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is a wonderful, eye-opening experience. The book beautifully displays life's arduous, energetic journey from LUCA to the conscious human experience. It simplifies difficult concepts and offers elegant explanations from the microscopic world of our predecessors through the vast divergence of species we see today. I will never look at a blade of grass the same way either. Thank you Brian Cox! I just ordered Wonders of the Universe and Wonders of the Solar System.

My only criticism is the rare grammatical error occurring mostly in the captions for the illustrations. The material content itself is accurate.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book exceeded my expectations. I had bought it on Kindle but could not see the pictures well. Packed with interesting and often challenging facts and details. I recommend this for anyone interested in getting a deeper view of some amazing facts of life on earth.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anthony hall on October 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Outstanding to see a physicist offering his view of life on earth. Different perspective from that of a "pure" biologist. Enjoyed every minute of book so bought the DVD as well to watch. (Also purchasing other books by Prof Cox)
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Karl Pietrowski on May 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Brian Cox delivers most graciously in his new book "Wonders of Life". The book is an epic, all encompassing voyage into natures' backyard. From the origins of life, to how everything, and everyone operates, this book offers an experience unparalleled to that of other work. Anyone interested in how evolution has dictated our existence, and how the "Wonders of Life" reveal to us just who and what we are, should embrace this experience.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kathy A. Mayo on August 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an extraordinary book. It has fascinating photos & a wonderful content of information. Helps you to understand the mystery of life.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David E. Calhoun on July 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful book, am a big fan of Brian's tv series and even bigger fan of the "Wonders" companion books. Thanks
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