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The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
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Manda (bookwenchmanda) | 1099 comments The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
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

GR synopsis:
From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes incredible stories of science, history, finance, mythology, the arts, medicine, and more, as told by the Periodic Table. 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 adventure, betrayal, and obsession. These fascinating tales follow every element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, and in the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. THE DISAPPEARING SPOON masterfully fuses science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, and discovery--from the Big Bang through the end of time. *Though solid at room temperature, gallium is a moldable metal that melts at 84 degrees Fahrenheit. A classic science prank is to mold gallium spoons, serve them with tea, and watch guests recoil as their utensils disappear.

I am reading this for week 19, a nonfiction book. There was no defining reason I picked this book, it just looked interesting. I am hoping to start this one in a few days after I get through a couple other books I am currently reading.

Anastasia (anastasiaharris) | 1306 comments This looks so interesting and my library has a copy! I am adding it to my TBR right now.

Manda (bookwenchmanda) | 1099 comments Do it! I haven't seen it on any other lists and it would be nice to have someone to discuss it with :)

Manda (bookwenchmanda) | 1099 comments I just finished Howl's Moving Castle so I am starting this one, along with 1,000 Places to See Before You Die tonight.

Manda (bookwenchmanda) | 1099 comments So, I'm pretty disappointed with this. As much as I wanted to like science in school, it just was never my thing. History however, that was my thing. This book seemed to be a lot about the history of science. That I can dig (was actually one of my all-time favorite classes in college). I was hoping the history aspect of this would make it all entertaining. I was wrong. I think it could have been good, great even. it has wonderful potential. But, the way the author strung things together was like watching a kid hopped up on sugar trying to do a complicated math problem. He just could stay in one spot or in a coherent thought.

I guess you could say the writing was the killer of this book, not so much the subject matter.


Anastasia (anastasiaharris) | 1306 comments I am almost done this one Manda, and half to agree with your assessment. I was hoping for more storytelling. The subjects were interesting, but since I have not studied chemistry past high school level I was lost at times.
I was hoping to use it as part of our homeschooling also. There is a companion book for that. Unfortunately the level of chemistry is just to high for beginners to be interesting.

Joanne | 384 comments I read this for week 18: A book related to one of the elements on the periodic table of elements

I'm a scientist and I love chemistry so I really wanted to read a science book and not just something that happened to have an element in the title. This book is worth the read. There were a few concepts that flew over my head but it was nice refreshing my memory on things I learned years ago and haven't thought about since.

Sophie (sawphie) | 2924 comments Joanne, I picked this book for the same reason as you! I found it really interesting and it was good to refresh some knowledge, although some parts were not easy to understand.

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