From Eugenia Bone, the critically acclaimed author of Mycophilia, comes an approachable, highly personal look at our complex relationship with the microbial world. While researching her book about mushrooms, Eugenia Bone became fascinated with microbes--those life forms that are too small to see without a microscope. Specifically, she wanted to understand the microbes that lived inside other organisms like plants and people. But as she began reading books, scholarly articles, blogs, and even attending an online course in an attempt to grasp the microbiology, she quickly realized she couldn't do it alone. That's why she enrolled at Columbia University to study Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology. Her stories about being a middle-aged mom embedded in undergrad college life are spot-on and hilarious. But more profoundly, when Bone went back to school she learned that biology is a vast conspiracy of microbes. Microbes invented living and as a result they are part of every aspect of every living thing. This popular science book takes the layman on a broad survey of the role of microbes in nature and illustrates their importance to the existence of everything: atmosphere, soil, plants, and us.