When the continent of India slammed into Asia creating the Himalayas it changed the world climate which altered the plants available for food eventually leading to our ability to perceive color. How? This fascinating book, a sort of big history/big science blend, is exactly as its title describes it. The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets and People explores how the properties of our bodies and the course of our lives have been affected by the universe we live in, beginning with the big bang. It also includes some science history with personality filled stories of how plate tectonics and other scientific theories were first hypothesized, and it gives a taste of how current scientists in in the author’s field of biological sciences work, for instance dropping to all fours to hunt for tiny fossils that shed light on the evolution of our Earth. The tone is enthusiastic, and the endnotes include lots of suggestions for further reading. My copy of the book is decked with post it flags marking sections I have already reread several times, often sharing them with whoever happens to be around me at the time.