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The Secret Family: Twenty-Four Hours Inside the Mysterious World of Our Minds and Bodies

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The Secret Family follows a family of five - father, mother, daughter, son, infant - through twenty-four hours, and uncovers the extraordinary goings-on in an ordinary day. The book opens with the family awakening and eating breakfast. Breakfast - in fact, any meal - will never be quite the same again. You will be amazed to learn what is in your morning orange juice. You w The Secret Family follows a family of five - father, mother, daughter, son, infant - through twenty-four hours, and uncovers the extraordinary goings-on in an ordinary day. The book opens with the family awakening and eating breakfast. Breakfast - in fact, any meal - will never be quite the same again. You will be amazed to learn what is in your morning orange juice. You will find confirmation of your belief that men and women navigate differently through a refrigerator. You may be appalled to discover which invisible creatures awake alongside you every morning. In addition to illuminating these mysteries, David Bodanis describes the myriad undetected activities of our own bodies: how people have a tendency to synchronize their blinking (which is faster when we are agitated, slower when we are happy); how our endorphin levels rise quickly in the presence of ultraviolet energy, making sunlight a pleasure; and the patterns underlying our everyday behavior - how in choosing our mates we often gravitate toward those similar to us in looks, opinions, and even number of siblings; or how teenagers have baffled their elders back to the time of Aristotle, who wrote of young Athenians that they "think they know everything and are always quite sure about it."


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The Secret Family follows a family of five - father, mother, daughter, son, infant - through twenty-four hours, and uncovers the extraordinary goings-on in an ordinary day. The book opens with the family awakening and eating breakfast. Breakfast - in fact, any meal - will never be quite the same again. You will be amazed to learn what is in your morning orange juice. You w The Secret Family follows a family of five - father, mother, daughter, son, infant - through twenty-four hours, and uncovers the extraordinary goings-on in an ordinary day. The book opens with the family awakening and eating breakfast. Breakfast - in fact, any meal - will never be quite the same again. You will be amazed to learn what is in your morning orange juice. You will find confirmation of your belief that men and women navigate differently through a refrigerator. You may be appalled to discover which invisible creatures awake alongside you every morning. In addition to illuminating these mysteries, David Bodanis describes the myriad undetected activities of our own bodies: how people have a tendency to synchronize their blinking (which is faster when we are agitated, slower when we are happy); how our endorphin levels rise quickly in the presence of ultraviolet energy, making sunlight a pleasure; and the patterns underlying our everyday behavior - how in choosing our mates we often gravitate toward those similar to us in looks, opinions, and even number of siblings; or how teenagers have baffled their elders back to the time of Aristotle, who wrote of young Athenians that they "think they know everything and are always quite sure about it."

30 review for The Secret Family: Twenty-Four Hours Inside the Mysterious World of Our Minds and Bodies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sue Williams

    If you think this is just another biology book or some sort of mystery who done it,you are very wrong. It is actually about all the microscopic beasties living on us and all the microscopic environmental things our bodies deal with every day. It isn't dry reading. The author has a wonderful sense of humor which makes reading this book a pleasure. It also makes you want to put on a bubble suit to protect yourself from the many things bombarding you every second. But that is silly because most of If you think this is just another biology book or some sort of mystery who done it,you are very wrong. It is actually about all the microscopic beasties living on us and all the microscopic environmental things our bodies deal with every day. It isn't dry reading. The author has a wonderful sense of humor which makes reading this book a pleasure. It also makes you want to put on a bubble suit to protect yourself from the many things bombarding you every second. But that is silly because most of us do quite well without protective gear. People with decreased immune systems are an exception - you know who you are. I highly recommend reading this book, if not for the educational value, then for the humorously way the author talks about bugs and tiny beasties.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    This book taught me how post-its work and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stefan

    Pop-Sci at it best (from the early-Internet era)!? Amusing, engaging, definitely entertaining, albeit a bit outdated, capably edited, microphotographical overview of all the biochemistry activities surrounding an average family's members, with a dash of social stats (some begging for 2nd updated revision), historical references, consumer psychology etc. Sadly (or thankfully as these would probably triple the book weight) references aren't given. Great introduction to Bodanis' writing style, just Pop-Sci at it best (from the early-Internet era)!? Amusing, engaging, definitely entertaining, albeit a bit outdated, capably edited, microphotographical overview of all the biochemistry activities surrounding an average family's members, with a dash of social stats (some begging for 2nd updated revision), historical references, consumer psychology etc. Sadly (or thankfully as these would probably triple the book weight) references aren't given. Great introduction to Bodanis' writing style, just don't get yourself stuck fact checking ;-)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lia

    I didn't really read the book, but I really love the pictures in this book. It's a hardproof that we're never really alone in this world. Because there are thousands of little creatures that are unseen by our naked eyes that interacts with our everyday lifes I didn't really read the book, but I really love the pictures in this book. It's a hardproof that we're never really alone in this world. Because there are thousands of little creatures that are unseen by our naked eyes that interacts with our everyday lifes

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ketan Shah

    David Bodanis is an amazing science writer. In this book ,he takes a day in the life of an average family and reveals the science behind their everyday actions.Parents of young children may want to skip the part about what actually goes into baby food. Highly reccommended.

  6. 4 out of 5

    talia

    I didn't finish this book. It was VERY well-written and everything, but there was just too much information and I couldn't take it all in. I didn't finish this book. It was VERY well-written and everything, but there was just too much information and I couldn't take it all in.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kaye

    A book that makes you think twice about laying your head on a pillow. :-)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    nonfiction (fictionalized). I didn't care for the writing style--a bit too cluttered/dense for me to enjoy. nonfiction (fictionalized). I didn't care for the writing style--a bit too cluttered/dense for me to enjoy.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

    Ha ha! This book is AWESOME. A germaphobe's nightmare. You will most definitely find out some things you wish you hadn't. Ha ha! This book is AWESOME. A germaphobe's nightmare. You will most definitely find out some things you wish you hadn't.

  10. 5 out of 5

    hyytekk

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carol Krueger

  12. 5 out of 5

    Irish Whisler

  13. 4 out of 5

    Debbye Campbell

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mom

  15. 5 out of 5

    Steven

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cory

  17. 4 out of 5

    Geoff Schwartz

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mohammed Hussein

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

  20. 4 out of 5

    John

  21. 4 out of 5

    Janet

  22. 4 out of 5

    Frank

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rob Nolan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sunju

  26. 5 out of 5

    Seaquay

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

  28. 4 out of 5

    Matilda Wormwood

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cal Lang

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

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