would have been nice if the subject matter were broken down a little more. I'm sure this book comes across much better in print than audio. In an audio book it's difficult to get across large amounts of information at one time. It's a little harder to go back and re"read" a section to make sure you understand it all.
You will laugh, gasp, learn how to successfully and unsuccessfully poison people (team it up with "The Poisoner's Handbook", the story of the first metropolitan modern toxicology labs for more there). This one is a digest that keeps amusing and amazing. The periodic table is not as dull as you remember. Its a short book that can be listened to repeatedly, and actually, its about time I spin through again. Too many tidbits and tales to pick any highlights, unless its the kid trying to build a nuclear reactor in his toolshed and his mom being mad at the authorities for shutting it down and dampening his enthusiam at a sensitive age.
I honestly had no idea how the periodic table and the elements came to be discovered. How interesting could these stories be? It might surprise you that fact is often stranger than fiction and this book certainly brings out an interesting side of chemistry that I never knew existed. You won't regret this book if your a science geek like me. One question. Why don't they teach this stuff in school?
I really enjoyed this one. The science is easy to follow and the stories are amusing.
I understand the chemistry that makes the periodic table the periodic table. What I expected was some stories about the elemental discoveries or interesting uses of the elements. I wanted more casual conversation starter topics, instead I got a basic chemistry lesson on the outer electron shell. Makes a very boring listen, like a chemistry lecture. There are some great interesting stories layered in but they are far and few in-between to really keep my interest.
What a great romp through the history of the discovery and application of the elemental table. Rather than teaching science and chemistry, this book tells the stories surrounding the scientists, their lives and discoveries of the elements, and other elemental-associated occurrences. If you're afraid of taking a chemistry class for fear that you won't understand the information, this is a book that opens up the history of chemistry in a way that can help you overcome your fears and potentially even enjoy taking a chemistry class. If you're a science professional, such as a teacher, this book can provide you with entertaining, informative, and humorous stories to make chemistry a much more interesting and approachable subject. And if you're simply generally interested in science (like me), this book is highly entertaining and educational. Note: After listening to this book, I purchased some gallium (the "disappearing spoon" element) as a Christmas present for a family member, and we had fantastic fun playing with it.
Chemistry's Spellbinding History.
The author has done a bang-up job in writing the history of the periodic table (the elements therein), so much so that I find myself listening to the chapters repeatedly. Historical scientists and startling finds are covered throughout the book. This is a very intriguing, engaging, and informative book of science through and through.
I found this book to be fascinating. As I listened I frequently bothered my boyfriend with tidbits starting "did you know..." As a teacher I thought this book could make for an interesting inter-disciplinary assignment as it connects history, chemistry, biology and more. For a curious mind, this is a winner.
Well worth the read. Instead of being a chemistry/physics heavy book, it ties in the history, controversy, personal stores and interesting facts about the elements and the design of the periodic table. For example did you know, aluminum used to be consider the rarest of the fine metals (before we figured out how to refine it) and as such a 100oz. pyramid of it sits atop the Washington Monument, or that Napoleon is reputed to have given a banquet where the most honored guests were given aluminum utensils, while the others made do with gold? This book is filled with a plethora of interesting factoids, history and even a little science.
Well narrated, well written, can't stop listening to it! The weaving of all of the stories will keep you wanting more.