Explaining Humans: What Science Can Teach Us About Life, Love and Relationships
By Camilla Pang
Why this book?
Sometimes, a voice actor is the absolute right choice for an audiobook. (I think this was the case for my book, which was read by George Newbern — whose voice I quickly recognized as the cartoon Superman.) Other times, though, absolutely nobody but the actual author will do, and this is most certainly the case with Camilla Pang’s beautifully written — and narrated — book about human behavior. I’ve both read and listened to Explaining Humans, and I recommend the latter, for Pang’s particular manner of emphasis, inflection, and cadence add color, clarity, and personality to her written words. And this, to me, was tremendously helpful, because Explaining Humans is not so much a scientific explanation for why we humans are such peculiar creatures as it is a series of scientific analogies that help explain how Pang — a computational biologist who is autistic — has come to understand many of the seemingly illogical behaviors of our species.
Reading and listening to Explaining Humans felt like a very intimate peek inside Pang’s mind — and her ruminations have prompted me to consider many other ways in which science can offer us a lens through which we can see the world in a new light, even (and perhaps especially) when it cannot provide a specific answer to the questions we ask along the way.
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