“The Violinist’s Thumb” by Sam Kean / Little, Brown & Co., 2013
Written in a conversational, rather than academic, style, Kean’s book makes the history and current state of the science of genetics accessible to us ordinary folks. Among the fascinating information he provides is the discovery that, although 19th century French scientist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck had the details wrong, his basic idea was right, in that changes to an organism caused by its environment can, indeed, be inherited by the organism’s offspring. This is possible because of something called epigenetics, which has only been seriously researched in recent years. I have read quite a lot about genetics over several years and I would put this work first on my list of recommended readings on the subject.