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Sounds of Life

How Digital Technology Is Bringing Us Closer to the Worlds of Animals and Plants

«[I] couldn’t put [The Sounds of Life] down. . . . [A] fascinating and forward-looking book."---Marc Bekoff, Psychology Today»

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Princeton University Press
24 x 16 cm


«[I] couldn’t put [The Sounds of Life] down. . . . [A] fascinating and forward-looking book."---Marc Bekoff, Psychology Today»

«Nature lovers will delight in [Bakker's] chronicle of the emerging technologies tuning us into a new world of non-human sound and conversation.»

Globe & Mail

«In this beautifully written study, Karen Bakker, a tech entrepreneur and academic, compares digital technology that can reveal these sounds with the microscope’s effect on vision. By extending our hearing, the technology allows us to encounter 'new soundscapes around the world and across the Tree of Life.'"---Andrew Robinson, Nature»

«A fascinating account of a rapidly advancing understanding of the sonic world that binds life together on this planet."---Graeme Gourlay, Dive Magazine»

«The Sounds of Life is a charming and timely book, packed with stories of remarkable, eye-opening (and ear-opening?) discoveries."---Hilary Lamb, Engineering and Technology»

«Winner of the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books for Young Adults»

«Finalist for the PROSE Award in Popular Science and Mathematics, Association of American Publishers»

«Winner of the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award, Northland College»

«Winner of the Nautilus Book Award, Animals & Nature Section»

«Winner of the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize, BC and Yukon Book Prizes»

«Bakker is talking about extension of our experience and our understanding and our sympathy in ways not possible before the advent of digital technology."---John Wilson, First Things»

«Bakker’s book is full of stories of wonder and curiosity about the world of sound that constantly surrounds humanity.»


«A meticulously researched work. . . .A fascinating and convincing account of acoustic awareness having become one of the core structural supports of almost all life."---Geoff Sample, Ibis»

«Meticulously researched and colorfully presented . . . the first [book] to integrate so many dimensions of the field in a way that is accessible to nonexperts. It is a wonderful mix of animal ecology, narratives of science-doing, futurism, and accounts of Indigenous knowledge that is as interdisciplinary as the field itself."---Benjamin Gottesman, Science»

«Bakker's well-researched stories showcase the mysterious communication styles of whales, elephants, turtles, corals, plants, bats, and bees as told by the scientists who care enough to listen. . . . These scientific breakthroughs couldn't come at a better time."---Krystal Vasquez, Sierra»

«Bakker ladles academic research liberally onto the reader in short, spare sentences that build up to a comprehensive whole. Her deep knowledge is worn lightly throughout the book, so that you never feel overwhelmed."---Chris Stokel-Walker, New Scientist»

«This is a fascinating and surprising look at how the natural world teems with remarkable conversations, many beyond human hearing range. . . . A great read."---Lorraine Connolly, The Countryman»

«Impeccably written, soundly researched, and utterly fascinating. . . . Between and around the book’s hard science, the author wraps accessible and warmly told human narratives such as the tale of the dying man who on his last sea trip first realized whales communicated with each other. Thus, The Sounds of Life is filled with a certain kind of wild, brilliant charm that makes it very readable for the scientific and the nonscientific minded alike.»

Compulsive Reader

«This is an extraordinary book."---Christopher W. Clark, The Quarterly Review of Biology»

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