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Never Home Alone

From Microbes to Millipedes, Camel Crickets, and Honeybees, the Natural History of Where We...

Rob Dunn

$39.99

Hardback

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Basic Books
08 January 2019
It's the dream scenario for many of us after a long week: having the house completely to ourselves. No partners, no parents, no kids, no pets. But as we settle into the couch, something stirs: maybe a mouse darts out from under a cupboard, or a fly buzzes lazily past the window. We're not actually alone at all. Until quite recently, no one had taken the life that lives with us very seriously: until Rob Dunn and his team decided to take a closer look. Upon investigating the terra incognita of our homes, they discovered that there are nearly 200,000 species living in our bedrooms, kitchens, living areas, bathrooms, and basements. Some of these species can kill us. Some benefit us. And some seem simply benign. But almost all of them were completely unknown--and they've been living alongside us the whole time.

In Never Home Alone, biologist Rob Dunn takes us to the edge of biology's latest frontier: our own homes. Every house is a wilderness--from the Egyptian meal moths in our cupboards, to the camel crickets living in the basement, to the antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus waiting on the kitchen counter, thousands of species of insects, bacteria, fungi, and plants live literally under our noses. As we have become increasingly obsessed with cleaning and sterilizing our homes and separating our living spaces from nature, we have unwittingly cultivated an entirely new playground for evolution. Unfortunately, this means that we have created a range of new parasites, from antibiotic-resistant microbes to nearly impossible to kill cockroaches, to threaten ourselves with. At the same time, many of the more helpful organisms--such as microbes that can protect us from autoimmune diseases or promote healthy digestion, or the centipedes that can hunt down those pesky roaches--are caught in the crosshairs. If we're not careful, the healthier we try to make our homes, the more likely we'll be putting our own health at risk.

A rich natural history and a thrilling scientific investigation, Rob Dunn's Never Home Alone shows us that if are to truly thrive in our homes, we must learn to welcome the unknown guests that have been there the whole time.
By:   Rob Dunn
Imprint:   Basic Books
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 240mm,  Width: 160mm,  Spine: 34mm
Weight:   540g
ISBN:   9781541645769
ISBN 10:   1541645766
Pages:   336
Publication Date:   08 January 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Rob Dunn is a professor in the Department of Applied Ecology at North Carolina State University and in the Natural History Museum of Denmark at the University of Copenhagen. He is also the author of five books. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Reviews for Never Home Alone: From Microbes to Millipedes, Camel Crickets, and Honeybees, the Natural History of Where We Live

A Brooklyn couple visiting the West told me, 'We don't do nature.' Today, I'm sending them a copy of Rob Dunn's Never Home Alone, with this note: 'Nature made you, so roll in the dirt, open the windows, get a dog. Change your showerhead, but don't kill your spiders. And read this terrific book at once.' --Dan Flores, author of Coyote America If you truly want to know yourself and be amazed, get to know your ecology. This charming book shows how important and fun it is to discover the astonishing world of marvelous and unseen creatures around us. You'll never take a shower again in the same way! --Daniel E. Lieberman, author of The Story of the Human Body Rob Dunn is a brilliant explorer of the strange, mostly uncharted biology of our homes and bodies. This must-read book is full of astonishing stories, skillfully told. --David George Haskell, author of The Songs of Trees and The Forest Unseen If you're looking for a guide to the teeming, tiny, tenacious creatures that share our bodies, our homes--and may one day well inherit our planet--you could not do better than this fascinating book by Rob Dunn. --Deborah Blum, author of The Poisoner's Handbook In Never Home Alone, Rob Dunn reveals the unseen wilderness that surrounds us every day. This book will change the way you think about everything from dust to spiders to showerheads--a fascinating and highly recommended read! --Thor Hanson, author of Buzz, Feathers, and The Triumph of Seeds


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