2018: I re-read this book as part of the Flat Book Society's group read. I don't want to review it twice, so I'm re-posting my original review. My feelings about this book stand, and moreover, it holds up on re-reading very well.
2017: A pretty excellent book for anyone who gets a bit giddy about science and the everyday ways that science is part of everyone's life.
Czerski has a very accessible voice and a very clear way of explaining what are at times complex topics, and she covers the gamut: electromagnetism, water tension, viscosity, plate tectonics, and Newton's laws of motion (I'm old-school) among them. I learned so much about so many things and those that I had a basic understanding of, she elucidated in ways that really brought the concepts to life in better detail. I had no idea that an electromagnet was what held down the tray in my toaster - did y'all know that? That's why the tray doesn't stay down when the toaster is unplugged.
So much of this book got read out loud to MT, who is not a lover of science, but even he found the bits I shared fascinating (he was equally surprised about the toaster), and there were so many suggestions throughout the book that can easily be done at home; I plan to do several of them with my nieces when next they are here - including building our own trebuchet.
Honestly, anyone interested in science but might feel intimidated by the often tedious or complex explanations, or anyone who just thinks the science involved in the every day fascinating will get a lot out of this book. Czerski often gets auto-biographical with her narrative, but she is a physicist, so why wouldn't she use her own experiences to illustrate her points? (For the record, MT and I both think she and her friends got totally screwed on the whole trebuchet debacle.)
Overall, a lot of fun.
PS: oh, yes, the trebuchet will happen!