14 July 2010

The Disappearing Spoon, another Book Review

Every one likes to read a good story. However when you combine a well written book, filled with historical anecdotes, biology, astronomy, geography, well known names and scientific facts you never knew (at least I did not) or you simply have forgotten, you get a “cannot put it down” book!

I guarantee this one can be understood by anyone and I only studied the merest of chemistry. The periodic table is still a mystery to me but I also know I would have responded better to the subject if someone such as Sam Kean had given the matter such an interesting approach. The periodic table is the most important chemistry reference there is. It arranges all the elements.

From tracing the origin of chemical warfare to Greece to Gandhi 240-mile march from Ahmedabad to the coastal town of Dandi to protest the salt tax charged the Indian people by the British Empire. Did you know the largest elephant weighted approximately 24,000 pounds, thirteen feet at the shoulders? How about cold fusion produced at room temperature?

As for radon, a colorless and odorless heavy element, "it displaces air, sinks into the lungs and discharges lethal radioactive particles leading inevitably to lung cancer"... You will find out how he believes a supernova sowed our solar system and how elements deceive and baffle us when they encounter the chaos of biology!

Informative and definitively interesting, "The Disappearing Spoon and Other True Tales of madness, love and the history of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements" by Sam Kean is an amazing book you will not want to put down. This book has fascinating tales and all the elements of an historical novel filled with passion, adventure, betrayal and obsession of the scientists!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Hachette Book Group as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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