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review 2019-01-09 15:27
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World From the Periodic Table of Elements by Sam Kean
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements - Sam Kean,Sean Runnette

Date Published: August 18, 2010

Format: Audiobook (Tantor Audio)

Source: RB Digital/RAF Lakenheath Library 

Date Read: January 3-5, 2019

BL's Flat Book Society book club pick for January 2019

 

Blurb:

Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? Why did the Japanese kill Godzilla with missiles made of cadmium (Cd, 48)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why did tellurium (Te, 52) lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history?

The periodic table is one of our crowning scientific achievements, but it's also a treasure trove of passion, adventure, betrayal and obsession. The fascinating tales in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, gold and every single element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, conflict, the arts, medicine and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.

Why did a little lithium (Li, 3) help cure poet Robert Lowell of his madness? And how did gallium (Ga, 31) become the go-to element for laboratory pranksters? The Disappearing Spoon has the answers, fusing science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, discovery and alchemy, from the big bang through to the end of time.

 

 

***********************************SPOILERS***************************************************

I listened to this book just before the amended date for the book club read because I had other bookish obligations this month and didn't want to miss reading this book. So if you are reading this book for the first time on the amended date, you might want to skip my review.

 

 

Review:

In full disclosure, this wasn't my pick for this month's book club choice (kind of had my heart set on reading The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert), but I am determined to read and participate fully in this book club in 2019. So here we go - wait, that title is quite a mouthful! Oh, it is about chemistry...okay, so the audiobook would be my best route. And it turned out it was, because if I read this book in print/ebook, I probably would've DNF'd by the third or fourth chapter. Major applause for the narrator in getting me through 12+ hours of chemistry!

 

So this book had its highlights, some lowlights, but mostly it was just okay. The chapters are sorted by breaking up the Periodic Table of Elements (PToE) into clusters of like elements, and then each chapter goes into discovery, history, and uses of each element in that cluster. There is one chapter early in the book that is more devoted to the reasons and history of word usuage/language development/common names of elements - this was the chapter that had me contemplating hitting the DNF button. Most of the history of the elements had to do with scientists' egos and the Nobel Prize awards; after awhile, these controversaries all blurred into one another. So many egos, fighting over the same award that was more political than scientific based. The highlights for me was the element's use in chemical warfare and radiological sections as well as Ghandi's hatred of salt and the Gold Rush in the US. 

 

The book may not be in my science wheelhouse, but now I do want to read Kean's The Violinist's Thumb because I like his writing.

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review 2018-12-31 00:38
Could this be more heavy handed?
Champions (2016-2018) Annual #1 - Jim Zub,Marcus To,Sean Izaakse

No, wait, it probably could be.   But not by much. 

 

So.   Much.  Lessons.   So.  Obviously.   Told. 

 

Not only that, it was heavy handed with pretty much my least favorite Champion being the only one in play for most of this. 

 

Not a favorite by any means.

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review 2018-12-30 23:56
Not my favorite storyline
Champions (2016-2018) #27 - Jim Zub,Max Dunbar,Sean Izaakse

Not by far, and this, the finale to this storyline and this series, was underwhelming for me.  In an unsurprising move, Marvel is rebooting this series, leading me to be absolutely burnt out keeping track of what's coming and what's ending and what's what .

 

I will be continuing, because there is no series - mini, maxi or better yet ongoing - with Vision now that I know of, so at least I have Viv Vision in this series, and hopefully more Vision cameos as he's the only parental figure who shows up in this series at all on a semi-regular basis at least. 

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review 2018-12-21 11:41
REVIEW BY MERISSA - Special Teams (Underground #1) by Sean Michael
Special Teams (Underground #1) - Sean Michael

Special Teams is the first book in the Underground series. In this, we meet Hunt and Keif, a Dom and sub respectively. Hunt turns up to a private party where he is actually checking out whether the subs are being kept there against their will (they're not). Who he finds in the number one sniper on the SWAT team.

The is a book with plenty of hot sex, there's no doubt about that. It also tells the story of how Hunt needs someone to be his boy, but to be his equal in other areas. Keif is permanently on guard, and doesn't know how to relax. He needs to place his trust in someone. These two really are a perfect match.

With no editing or grammatical errors to disrupt my reading, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was especially nice to read about the care Hunt gave Keif, before, during, and after scenes. Hunt also didn't need to do a scene to care for Keif. I would have liked a bit more information about Keif's background, as it seemed to have a big impact on how he was as a person.

All in all, a hot and sexy book with sweet times too. Definitely recommended.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *

Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2018/12/21/Special-Teams-Underground-1-by-Sean-Michael
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review 2018-12-08 02:15
Nudge
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (Audio) - Richard H. Thaler,Cass R. Sunstein,Sean Pratt

 

 

3.5 stars on Booklikes (this rounds down to 3 stars on Goodreads).

 

Continuing my obsession with behavioral economics.  Having read The Undoing Project and Thinking, Fast and Slow, I was familiar with many of the concepts and examples discussed in Nudge, but still, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein had a somewhat different emphasis (plus I enjoyed their humor).  I really appreciated their concept of "choice architecture," and I think they have given me much to consider when it comes to applying their "nudge" ideas to life and work (I am in continuing medical education).

 

The edition I listened to (audio) is not their updated edition, and I am interested to discover what they have added (or changed).  One thing that struck me is how dated their section on same-sex marriage is, now that marriage equality is the law of the land.  I feel as though what actually happened is much more satisfying than any of their recommendations in that part of the book.

 

Some of their policy-oriented chapters struck me as a little dry, but mostly, I found their insights and ideas salient and applicable.  I believe we can all benefit from becoming choice architects.

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