I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
Jus about every book of non-fiction covering a specific subject starts off in much the same way: easing the reader into the meat of the book by subjecting them to a broad-view history / overview / introduction. These introductory chapters are the bane of my existence as I generally find them tedious; the tax I have to pay to get to the good stuff.
Strictly speaking, the first two chapters of this book adhere to this pattern, but they didn't feel at all tedious to me, which is a surprising and delightful change of pace. Were I constitutionally able to mark a book, there would have been many, many underlines sections. Right off the bat in the prologue, I finally find out what a pangolin is (and there's a picture in the middle section of my edition!). I found his condensation of the planet's history to a 1-year span brilliant; nothing puts the insignificance of the human race in perspective like saying we've only existed for 30 minutes. The last 30 minutes of the year. Bacteria, on the other hand, have existed since the previous March.
I have mixed feelings about the microbe museum in Amsterdam; one of those times I'm both fascinated and repulsed. I can't say for sure I'd visit on my next trip to Amsterdam - I'd like to think I would, but truthfully, eyelash mites creep me right the hell out.