** Seven Skeletons by Lydia Pyne

Seven Skeletons: The Evolution of the World’s Most Famous Human Fossils explores the discovery of real (and fake!) fossils not so much from the scientific perspective, which has been covered elsewhere, but from the perspective of fame: how did certain remains gain worldwide notoriety (Lucy, anyone?) while others don’t. The author wisely limits herself to seven stories, which is obviously reductive but allows  her to tackle universal themes: a good name, an unusual finder, even a well-timed release of a novel can make the difference. Fun and instructive.

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