Book: Human Errors

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Human Errors was released on May 1st (2018) by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (US/Canada) and Orion (UK, Ireland, Australia).



  • Kirkus ReviewsThe author’s offbeat view of human evolution makes for lively reading and invites readers to think deeply. Full Review.
  • Discover MagazineA funny, fascinating catalog of our collective shortcomings that’s tough to put down. Full Review.
  • The Financial Times (UK) …written too entertainingly for the reader to feel depressed about our imperfections. Full Review.
  • The Times (UK). Spry, plausible, free from jargon, and much better than the usual run of popular science and medical books, which are destined to be shelved in the den of geek, Human Errors is the most enjoyable anatomical study since Jonathan Miller’s The Body in Question… Full Review.
  • Bustle.comWildly Entertaining…  Full Review.
  • Geographicala thoroughly entertaining ride, crammed full of the bizarre and enlightening and ripe with facts with which to wow dinner party guests.
  • Science-based Medicine: …fascinating, entertaining, easy-to-understand book that explains the complicated story of evolution.  Full Review.
  • The Australian: A scientist who can tell a story, Lents takes the reader on a fantastic voyage through the human body…”  Full Review.
  • Irish Times: …an offbeat view of our evolution Full Review.
  • The Daily Express (UK): After reading Human Errors, nobody will see their body in the same way again. Full Review.
  • Patheos: …waiting to greatly entertain and inform skeptics and realistsFull Review.
  • Shelf AwarenessEntertaining and informative, Human Errors can provoke thought and discussion… Full Review.
  • The Biologist. Full Review.
  • MediumHuman Errors is a page-turner of a biology book.  Full Review
  • The Inquisitive Biologist: …an excellent piece of popular science, that, far from being a downer, is more a laugh-out-loud romp… Full Review.
  • Dear AuthorI enjoyed this look at… Full Review.
  • Family Tree: Chosen as “top choice” for June 2018. “…refreshing take on modern scientific discoveries… Full Review.
  • Massive: “Human Errors was an enjoyable read (ironic, considering its focus on our faults). Lents’ tone and style are conversational, and his examples are relatable.” Full Review.
  • Rated Reads: “A fun little book, with the science explained in simple layman’s terms so anyone can appreciate the flaws the author has outlined. It’s educational and entertaining.” Full Review.
  • Purple Owl Reviewsan excellent blend of information, theory and humor. Full Review.
  • Bookish Beck: “Lents writes in a good conversational style and usually avoids oversimplifying the science… It’s a wry and gentle treatment of human weakness; the content never turns depressing or bitter. Recommended for all curious readers of popular science.Full Review.
  • Ylogs: An informative and entertaining read. Full Review.
  • Author Translator Olga: I really enjoyed this book and found it very informative…  very conversational tone… I found the book fascinating…  I strongly recommend it. Full Review.
  • Bless Their Hearts Moms:  I can guarantee, you will NOT be able to put it down, and you just might find yourself  telling random facts from it!  Full Review.
  • Good Reads: Examples: “I tore through this fun and fascinating look at human flaws.”… “The research is thorough and the writing is entertaining.” … “I loved the book and recommend it to anyone interested in biology.” … “the biology book I wish I had head in school.”    Full page of Good Reads reviews.

Order on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Indiebound.


Invited Articles (by me) About the Book:

Foreign Markets/Translations:

  • China (Simplified Mandarin), Taiwan (Traditional Mandarin), Japan, South Korea, France/Quebec, Poland, and Norway.

Order on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Indiebound.

Talks and Signings:

  • Phi Beta Kappa Induction Ceremony, City College of New York
  • Book Culture (NYC), May 3rd, (Facebook event).
  • New York Public Library (main building, 42nd St.), May 16th, w/ Ian Tattersall (listed in New York Times: “New York Today” section)
  • Boston Public Library, June 21st (with Kenneth Miller, Lisa Feldman Barrett, and Deborah Blum)
  • San Diego Public Library, August 1st
  • San Francisco Public Library, August 7th
  • New York City Skeptics, August 19th.
  • Ars Electronica Festival (Linz, Austria), Sep 7th.
  • Hosting a Panel with Carl Zimmer, Maria Konnikova, and Sebastian Seung, October 4th at the 92nd street Y.
  • Wimbledon Bookfest (with Adam Rutherford), October 7th.
  • Saint Louis Public Library, November 5th.
  • Barrington Public Library, November 7th.
  • Decatur (IL) Public Library, November 8th.
  • Emirates Festival of Literature (Dubai, UAE), March 8th, 2019
  • Cheltenham Science Festival (UK), June, 2019

Order on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Indiebound.


Endorsements from the book jacket:

“Anyone who has aged without perfect grace can attest to the laundry list of imperfections so thoroughly and engagingly considered by Nathan Lents in Human Errors. This is the best book I’ve read on how poorly designed our bodies are. I learned something new on every page.”
Michael Shermer, Founder and President of the Skeptic Society, publisher of Skeptic magazine and author of several New York Times best-sellers

“In Human Errors, Nathan Lents explores our biological imperfections with style, wit, and life-affirming insight. You’ll finish it with new appreciation for those human failings that, in so many surprising ways, helped shape our remarkable species.”
—Deborah Blum, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author of The Poisoner’s Handbook

“Anybody with a slipped disk knows humans are not very intelligently designed, but most of us are unaware of the extent of our imperfections. Nathan Lents fills in the gaps in Human Errors, an insightful and entertaining romp through the myriad ways in which the human body falls short of an engineering ideal—and the often surprising reasons why.”
—Ian Tattersall, Curator Emeritus of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History and author of over 20 books including Masters of the Planet and The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack: and Other Cautionary Tales from Human Evolution

Order on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Indiebound.

17 thoughts on “Book: Human Errors

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