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Nature's Building Blocks : An A-Z Guide to the Elements | [John Emsley]

Nature's Building Blocks : An A-Z Guide to the Elements

Written by award-winning science writer John Emsley, this informative and highly enjoyable book explains the what, the why and the wherefore of the elements. Arranged alphabetically, from Actinium to Zirconium, it is a complete guide to all the elements that are currently known, with more extensive coverage of those we encounter in our everyday life. The entry on each element reveals where it came from, what role it may have in the human body, the foods that contain it, how it was discovered, its role in human health, the uses and misuses to which it is put, and its environmental role.
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Publisher's Summary

Written by award-winning science writer John Emsley, this informative and highly enjoyable book explains the what, the why and the wherefore of the elements. Arranged alphabetically, from Actinium to Zirconium, it is a complete guide to all the elements that are currently known, with more extensive coverage of those we encounter in our everyday life. The entry on each element reveals where it came from, what role it may have in the human body, the foods that contain it, how it was discovered, its role in human health, the uses and misuses to which it is put, and its environmental role. The new edition includes the three chemical elements discovered since the first edition - Darmstadtium, Roetgenium, and Copernicium - and the section on "transfermium elements" has now been incorporated into the main part of the book. In addition, Emsley has added new information on the economic uses of elements such as Scandium and Gold. Praised by Nature as "amusing and finely crafted," Nature's Building Blocks offers a pleasurable tour of the very essence of our material world.

©2001 John Emsley (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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3.4 (14 )
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  •  
    Teddy Bronx, NY, United States 07-01-13
    Teddy Bronx, NY, United States 07-01-13

    "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Content Good! Delivery Bland"

    I'm a big fan of Chemistry... Why? I studied Chemistry at the tertiary level. So when I saw this book I was pretty willing to give it a listen, in fact I actually stopped listening everything else to give this a listen. I was NOT impressed...

    Content wise I think it was good to average, it provided quick details on every element in the periodic table, providing details on their basic chemistry in the process. It would serve as a good lexicon of elements with melting point, boiling point, discovery, basic chemistry, usage and so on. What killed this title in general for me was the narration. I mean even if there was more that could be learned from this book the narration was so painful to listen to I found myself almost dozing off throughout the course of the book. I could see this book being more useful as a written title and not as an audio book.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Scarborough, ON, Canada 11-15-13
    Scott Scarborough, ON, Canada 11-15-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting but not suited for an audio format"
    Any additional comments?

    Chemistry was never really my thing but the description intrigued me so I decided to give this audiobook a try. It takes the listener through the elements of the periodic table in alphabetical order, giving some history of the element, it's uses, where it is found , its abundance etc. This isn't the sort of book you are going to devour from cover to cover in one sitting. I kept coming back to it between other audiobooks. Thee are lots of interesting facts and tidbits here, the kind you would probably learn in an advanced high school chemistry class. On the positive side, you don't have to be an expert to follow along. On the downside, this really is more like a reference book and thus, is probably better enjoyed in a readable format where the reader can skip between the various elements rather than having to proceed through them sequentially.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fiezullah 10-25-13
    Fiezullah 10-25-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    37
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    Story
    "more background"
    Would you try another book from John Emsley and/or Kevin Scollin?

    maybe


    What was most disappointing about John Emsley’s story?

    it is an encyclopedic listing of elements. what would be more helpful is if some of the terms, such as radioactivity, atom numbers and weights, etc. e.g. more of chemistry was introduced in the beginning, which would make a lot of cryptic text easier to understand. nowadays, you can type the element into wikipedia and it actually gives even more info than this book. putting the info in a context would have made it more useful. more of a chemistry textbook for adults.


    Which character – as performed by Kevin Scollin – was your favorite?

    there is no character, it is a science book


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donn Fort Collins, CO, United States 05-24-13
    Donn Fort Collins, CO, United States 05-24-13 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
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    "Interesting and fun . . ."
    Any additional comments?

    especially for chemistry geeks, but the narrator should have been given help with pronouncing some common terms.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-4 of 4 results
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  • J
    7/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "very intresting, found out loads"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Nature's Building Blocks  to be better than the print version?

    I only have the audio edition so can't answer this


    What other book might you compare Nature's Building Blocks  to, and why?

    it's like a shopping list where you go around find the product and then study the label including reading the ingredients in 5 languages


    Which character – as performed by Kevin Scollin – was your favourite?

    Boron ,,, just love Boron , better than the more flighty helium, but lighter than carbon


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    elements of the element will have you asking why, where and when?


    Any additional comments?

    this is a good book, it is a very long and detailed list, well what do you expect. the listening format sounds at times to be reading off a table. no story , just a huge pile of facts. (why did audible give me these questions in guided review ? )

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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