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Skeleton Keys

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Skeleton Keys by Riley Black (Brian Switek)
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Mar 05, 2019 | ISBN 9781984839633 | 416 Minutes

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  • Mar 03, 2020 | ISBN 9780525539124

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  • Mar 05, 2019 | ISBN 9780399184918

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“I sit here now crossing my extraordinary kneecaps… I can see them better thanks to Switek’s keys.” —Rose George, The New York Times Book Review

“Smart, lively, and hugely informative, Skeleton Keys is the ideal guide to the bones around us and in us.” —Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction   

“A thoughtful, engaging meditation on the origins of the human skeleton, how it functions (or malfunctions) and how we come to terms with our essential but unsettling osseous framework.” —Nature

“Brian Switek writes with remarkable grace about the natural world. In Skeleton Keys, he looks inward, making us keenly aware of the marvels of the bones that give us the scaffolding we need to survive. Every chapter has some surprise, told in elegant tales, that you will repeat to your friends.” —Carl Zimmer, author of She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity

“[Switek] compellingly evokes the sheer wonder and complexity of the supporting framework inside you—and the murky human responses it arouses.” —Science

“From touring the famed Mutter Museum and London ossuaries, to ferreting out what really happened to Richard III, Skeleton Keys is a lyrical love letter to the 206 or so bones in the human skeleton and the colorful figures who have studied them over the centuries.”—Jennifer Ouellette, author of Me, Myself, and Why and The Calculus Diaries  

Skeleton Keys is an absorbing tour through the world of bones and the bones of the world. Considering in turn dinosaurs, saints, kings, and our own possible future, it is an assured and revelatory book.” —Maryn McKenna, author of Big Chicken and Superbug

“A cheerful popular-science romp through the matter that makes up our skeleton…. leaves the beaten path to deliver a fun explanation of the history, function, and cultural meaning of bone.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Informative, contemplative, and even lyrical, Switek’s work is popular-science writing at its best.” —Booklist

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