Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean, 391 pages

Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why is gallium (Ga, 31) the go-to element for laboratory pranksters? The periodic table is a crowning scientific achievement but it's also a treasure trove of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. These fascinating tales follow all the elements on the table as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, conflict, the arts, medicine, and the lives of the (frequentlyO mad scientists who discovered them. The Disappearing Spoon masterfully fuses science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, discovery, and alchemy, from the big bang through the end of time.
I love nonfiction books that explore different subjects such as salt, the history of cod, and such, so this was a must buy for me when I saw it on the clearance table. Unfortunately it was way too heavy on the science and too light on the interesting history. I honestly only finished it because I had paid for it. If it was a library book, I would have stopped partway through. Science buffs would probably enjoy it though.

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