Books do Furnish a Life

Listen to a sample

What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

Including conversations with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Steven Pinker, Matt Ridley and more, this is an essential guide to the most exciting ideas of our time and their proponents from our most brilliant science communicator. This audio edition also includes Richard Dawkins in conversation with Christopher Hitchens, in what was to be Christopher Hitchens’ last interview before his death in 2011.

Books Do Furnish a Life is divided by theme, including celebrating nature, exploring humanity, and interrogating faith. For the first time, it brings together Richard Dawkins’ forewords, afterwords and introductions to the work of some of the leading thinkers of our age – Carl Sagan, Lawrence Krauss, Jacob Bronowski, Lewis Wolpert – with a selection of his reviews to provide an electrifying celebration of science writing, both fiction and non-fiction. It is also a sparkling addition to Dawkins’ own remarkable canon of work.

‘Richard Dawkins is a thunderously gifted science writer.’ Sunday Times

© Richard Dawkins 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Critics Review

  • Richard Dawkins is fine scientist, rigorous thinker and supremely gifted writer. His books are justly famous, but his shorter works are just as good. Here is a rich feast of his essays, reviews, forewords, squibs and conversations, in which talent and passion are married to deep knowledge.

    Matt Ridley, author of How Innovation Works
  • Dawkins’ books are full of passion as well as reason, human warmth as well as rational detachment, literature as well as science. Richard Dawkins is one of the finest English prose stylists of the past fifty years. Plenty of other scientists write well, but no one writes like Dawkins.
    This collection is mostly made up of reviews, introductions and the like-and anyone who writes at a virtuoso level for such ephemera is a wordsmith to be reckoned with. (Compare Samuel Johnson’s masterpieces in similar genres.) Even the shortest pieces are not one-line, workaday reviews, but full of originality and insight…
    The content of the book is as excellent as its style-indeed, the two are intertwined. Some pieces are short, some long, all fascinating. The range is also astonishing: here is Dawkins the teacher, the scholar, the polemicist, the joker, the aesthete, the poet, the satirist, the man of compassion as well as indignation, the slayer of superstition and, above all, the scientist. With his treatment of everything from evolutionary psychology to the temptations of supposedly sophisticated theology, from African Eve to the beauty of the Galápagos, from the virtual reality software in our brains to postmodern baloney and the inspiration to be found in great science fiction, Dawkins excites, surprises and nourishes the mind.

    Areo Magazine
  • Much more than just a collection of journalism, this has an overarching unity and presents a panoramic survey of his intellectual career. There are occasional moments of delicious savagery as Dawkins dismantles an opponent. Much more often he celebrates the work of fellow scientists and throughout the entire 460 pages, one can enjoy the unfailing clarity of his thought and prose, as well as the grandeur of his vision of life on Earth. Mark Cocker, Spectator

    Spectator

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