🥄 While I am not a chemistry whiz by any stretch of the imagination, I am an engineer and my work involves radium, thorium, and uranium (among other radioactive elements). I also love history. So, when I found a book that touted “fascinating tales” of all of the periodic elements and how they “play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, conflict, the arts, medicine” and the scientists who discovered them, I was sold!
🥄 I really liked this book. I didn’t find it to be particularly difficult to understand or too “scientific”. As a matter of fact, I think it was written in a way that anyone with even a passing interest in science, chemistry, or history would enjoy it. And much of it is actually humorous! Did you know that Lewis & Clark’s route to the Pacific Ocean was confirmed by archeologists by following the trail of mercury left behind in their latrines? Mercury pills were a thing back then and Lewis & Clark’s team used them frequently. So, the mercurial poo left behind provided insight to their route to the West. 💩
🥄 The stories for the elements are quirky, informative, and sometimes surprising. Not all elements are equally interesting, particularly for the more obscure ones, but I still enjoyed learning something about each of them. And the historical aspects were particularly interesting to me – including how they were discovered, used, and sometimes misused throughout history.
🥄 I truly enjoyed reading this and I learned something, too! Win win!!
Sorry I have been absent for so long. I am much more active on Instagram now and I encourage you to follow me there at @kayckay_bookreviews. I will continue to post reviews here from time to time.