Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Armchair Book Review - The Disappearing Spoon

The Disappearing Spoon
and other true tales of madness, love, and the history of the world
From the Periodic Table of Elements
Sam Kean
Hardcover, 400 pages

Well, I don't know how he pulled it off, but Sam Kean - Washington D.C. writer for Science magazine, with a background in English, Science, and Library Sciences - made the periodic table of elements sexy.
He takes the reader through the table and through history, near and far, sharing nuggets of information, intrigue and interest about each kind of element and the effects they have had on mankind - especially those who discovered them.
Mad scientists, politics, warfare and the creation of the universe are all handled with ease and humour by this young man you just wish had been your high school science teacher.
I confess I was not science-minded when in school, but Sam Kean has made the entire subject seem so fascinating that I was frequently wishing that I knew a science teacher personally to ask them more questions. Oh sure, there were times when I knew I wasn't absorbing the information when it got technical, but that didn't interfere with the narrative and I am quite pleased to have read the book. I will definitely look out for more of his work. My interest in science has now been awakened.. beyond CSI.

For more information about Sam Kean, The Periodic Table of Elements, and The Disappearing Spoon, check out his website here