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The Book of Humans: The Story of How We Became Us by Adam Rutherford | ARC #BookReview



The Book of Humans: The Story of How We Became Us by Adam Rutherford

Published: March 19, 2019 

Publisher: The Experiment 

Pages: 272 

Genres: non fiction, science, history

Rating: 4 stars

Recommend to fans of: learning about science – in particular evolution, looking at the world in a different way

Foodie Vibes: a nice chopped salad 



We like to think of ourselves as exceptional beings, but is there really anything special about us that sets us apart from other animals? Humans are the slightest of twigs on a single family tree that encompasses four billion years, a lot of twists and turns, and a billion species. All of those organisms are rooted in a single origin, with a common code that underwrites our existence. This paradox – that our biology is indistinct from all life, yet we consider ourselves to be special – lies at the heart of who we are.

In this original and entertaining tour of life on Earth, Adam Rutherford explores how many of the things once considered to be exclusively human are not: we are not the only species that communicates, makes tools, utilises fire, or has sex for reasons other than to make new versions of ourselves. Evolution has, however, allowed us to develop our culture to a level of complexity that outstrips any other observed in nature.

THE BOOK OF HUMANS tells the story of how we became the creatures we are today, bestowed with the unique ability to investigate what makes us who we are. Illuminated by the latest scientific discoveries, it is a thrilling compendium of what unequivocally fixes us as animals, and reveals how we are extraordinary among them.



Thank you to NetGalley, the Experiment, and Adam Rutherford for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me.


  • Opportunity to learn even more about evolution 
  • Shows the specific genetics and behaviors that contribute to evolutionary change
  • Many visuals to help with understanding of the text


  • Everyone can learn something from this book
  • Complex information that’s written in an easy to understand way. You don’t need a college degree in science to understand the information 


  • Not so much a dislike, but more of a warning- there’s chapters on sexual activity ( because how else are new animals and humans created) It goes in depth into various sexual activities, mating practices, and genital touching. So heads up, if you end up listening as an audiobook without headphones. 

Wish that:

Overall, a well written, comprehensive book about the step by step process of evolution. Written in an interesting easily accessible manner. I definitely recommend if you’re interested in the topic!


In high school, did you love or hate science class?


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Twitter: @BooksAndLife1

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Goodreads: Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)

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