Dawkins is a controversial public figure. Last year, when I interviewed Dawkins at NPR's Washington headquarters, I found myself in keen disagreement with his style of religion-bashing. And only just last month he caused a furor when he tweeted this message:

All the world's Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though.

So, I approached An Appetite for Wonder with some trepidation. Indeed, the book was lampooned in The Guardian's "digested read" feature as boastful and arrogant. But what I discovered was something quite different. It's a memoir that is funny and modest, absorbing and playful. Dawkins has written a marvelous love letter to science.