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Never Home Alone

From Microbes to Millipedes, Camel Crickets, and Honeybees, the Natural History of Where We Live
By: Rob Dunn
Narrated by: Sean Patrick Hopkins
Length: 9 hrs and 32 mins
5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Summary

A natural history of the wilderness in our homes, from the microbes in our showers to the crickets in our basements Even when the floors are sparkling clean and the house seems silent, our domestic domain is wild beyond imagination.

In Never Home Alone, biologist Rob Dunn introduces us to the nearly 200,000 species living with us in our own homes, from the Egyptian meal moths in our cupboards and camel crickets in our basements to the lactobacillus lounging on our kitchen counters. You are not alone. Yet, as we obsess over sterilizing our homes and separating our spaces from nature, we are unwittingly cultivating an entirely new playground for evolution.

These changes are reshaping the organisms that live with us - prompting some to become more dangerous, while undermining those species that benefit our bodies or help us keep more threatening organisms at bay. No one who reads this engrossing, revelatory book will look at their homes in the same way again.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2018 Rob Dunn (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

"[An] intriguing and captivating scientific detective story...Dunn eloquently observes that many species we find in our homes have value to us." (BookPage)

"Delightfully entertaining and scientifically enlightening... [Dunn] makes a compelling case for the value of biodiversity, while also conveying the excitement of scientific investigation, demonstrating that important discoveries can be made very close to home." (Publishers Weekly)

"Scintillating...In a time of clear-eyed assessment of the environment, Dunn is a voice of reason who should be heartily welcomed." (Booklist, starred review)

What listeners say about Never Home Alone

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  • Paula
  • 17-04-19

The most astonishing book I've read this decade!

...and I purchase over 100 books a year. This is truly an AHa! book, that startles, amazes and inspires like none I have read since the Forgotten Pollinators, a couple of decades ago. Each chapter, each story, each new concept provides new insights into our natural world that I had never imagined. I have not written a review for a couple of years, but I just had to chime in about this treasure! I can't imagine anyone reading (listening) to it without coming away with a new understanding of life on our planet. I will buy it in hard cover and pass it on to all my friends that don't listen to audio books.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Beth Swope
  • 24-01-19

Very informative and icky

A great book for seeing the universe in our own home. A bit icky and scary knowing we are never alone. Good book. Slowed down near the end.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Ron
  • 13-03-19

Wonders of this planet right under our noses<br />

I loved it! This is well researched and fascinating. It is also well written, keeping the science fun.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Dana Hartley
  • 20-09-19

The Most Riveting Story on a Micro Scale

I was hooked as soon as the book got into the history of microbiology. The reader of the audio book was excellent, giving a voice to the author as if he was speaking to me at a dinner party full of colleagues. As a wildlife biologist, my studies only included one microbiology class and no entomology (insects). I learned a lot from this book and the part that was most riveting was the studies done on the micro-organisms found within homes. The icing on the cake was that the author lives in Raleigh (I lived there for a good chunk of time), and is a prof. at NC State, my alma mater. This book made me want to simultaneously deep-clean my shower head, make my backyard more wilderness-friendly, make a sour dough bread starter, and get my hands into the earth.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Klaus Earl Loft
  • 12-01-19

ecology microenvironment put in context

well presented and interesting and this so in a field with a huge lack of information.....bravo

8 people found this helpful

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  • Ningu
  • 21-07-20

Fascinating and fun

Rob Dunn makes science personal and offers hope for more effective ways to stay healthy. This book would appeal to kids, say ten and up, as well as every adult l know.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jplang43
  • 07-03-20

An endless diversity surrounds us!

I am a curious scientist at heart, and also lazy. This book made enjoying discoveries and revelations easy. I am also scouting microscopes and bread machines. If you are fascinated by your world then this book will feed your need to know.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Thomas
  • 18-11-19

Interesting but somewhat dull

It was a good story but some of the stories were old news if you know about the last decades progress in microbiology and immunology.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Skipster
  • 21-02-20

Fascinating!

I haven’t stopped recommending this book and, specifically, this narration The narrator was a perfect actor and oh so professional when having to read bacteria names over and over. Try reading Stachybotrys chartarum over and over...a real pro!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anna
  • 28-12-19

fascinating new perspective

I'd never thought of my life and environment in the perspective offered by this book and all the scientific studies underpinning it, but I will never again forget about the importance of biodiversity to our lives. a must- read if there ever was one!

1 person found this helpful