Book of Week: An Appetite for Wonder – Richard Dawkins

We’re moving into a publishing season of heavy hitters. And there’ are few bigger ones than Richard Dawkins. Even those of us with only a passing awareness of science know the name—Dawkins is the author of many bestsellers including the seminal Selfish Gene and his more recent, controversial treatise, The God Delusion. Dawkins now offers a memoir of his early life in South Africa and how he came to be a scientist.

Of his earlier work, the NYTBR has said, “Dawkins is above all a masterly expositor, a writer who understands the issues so clearly that he forces his readers to understand them too.” Advance reviews for this have been good, with Library Journal giving it a starred review and commenting,

Enjoyable from start to finish, this exceptionally accessible book will appeal to science lovers, lovers of autobiographies–and, of course, all of Dawkins’s fans, atheists and theists alike.”

Here’s a snippet from PW’s review: “As anyone familiar with his work might expect, Dawkins’s memoir is well-written, captivating, and filled with fascinating anecdotes. Beginning just prior to his birth in colonial Kenya during WWII and concluding with the groundbreaking publication of The Selfish Gene in 1976, the book illuminates the underpinnings of Dawkins’s intellectual life…. He often hints at themes that would preoccupy him later in life, including his firm atheism and opinions regarding pedagogy.”

I expect this book to be reviewed by every major national publication. Additional media includes the Diane Rehm Show on 9/24, a Time magazine interview on 9/23, inclusion in a NYT Style Magazine pictorial of major authors with Fall books, and a Q&A in the NYTBR around publication. C-SPAN will also be running two different pieces, one from a BEA interview in the spring and one from his national book tour.

An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist (9780062225795) by Richard Dawkins. $27.99 hardcover. 9/24/13 one day laydown.

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