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text 2019-01-31 11:07
Reading progress update: I've read 80 out of 394 pages.
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

This is not directly linked to The Disappearing Spoon, which I'm still struggling with, but I wanted to share with you some interesting stories about the Periodic Table, since its 150th anniversary is coming up. Nature has dedicated some stories to the Periodic Table, which I found interesting to read.

 

For example this article on the discovery of the super heavy elements.

Source: www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00285-9
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text 2019-01-16 05:34
First Impression: The Disappearing Spoon
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

The Disappearing Spoon

by Sam Kean

Progress:  31 of 346 pages (9%)


Admittedly, Chemistry was probably my worst subject in school (both high school and college).  So why I decided that I'd just casually join in on this month's Flat Book Society read is beyond me.  Maybe I just thought that, not being a required read for some class, I'd be able to enjoy it more... or at least not fret as much about what I'm understanding.

And really, the only thing that I've gotten out of this book so far is that the outlining is atrocious.  Don't get me wrong, the writing isn't terrible, and the subject matter has lots of potential--some of the information is actually pretty interesting.  And when I actually understand one of the paragraphs after deciphering all the chemistry jargon, I think I might have learned something new.

Not that that's helpful, because I promptly turn around and forget what I've just learned.  It probably doesn't help that the organization of the telling feels pretty scattered.  The author jumps from one thing to another, and then back so quickly that I'm at a point where I just quietly move on because I'm embarrassed to admit that I had no idea what he was trying to present.

There is SO MUCH jargon.  This does not feel like a science book for casual readers who enjoy fun science.  This feels like a lot of chemical name-dropping.

Meanwhile, I had fallen asleep twice reading just the introduction.  And we hadn't gotten to the elements yet.  Not really.  And I'm not sure who's fault that is--mine or the book's.  Maybe I just don't have the capacity to follow the content?

I'm probably going to give this book a few more chapters to see how well I fare.  I mean, I took chemistry classes and I work in a hospital lab.  Some of this stuff HAS to make sense at some point, right?  No matter that I really wasn't all that great at chemistry, mind you.

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/01/first-impression-disappearing-spoon.html
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text 2019-01-14 18:47
Random Bookish Update: The Disappearing Spoon and Penguins in the Library!
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

My library hold for the Flat Book Society read this month alerted me some time last week, but due to schedule constraints, I hadn't had time to pick up the book until today.  After browsing for a little while and not finding anything else I wanted to check out--which is probably a good thing since I've got what feels like a million books on my plate right now anyway--I headed out of the library....

... only to turn right back around when I spotted their display by the entrance.

 

 

 

 


Oh my, SO MANY PENGUINS!  Aren't they all so cute?!

Needless to say, I got super giddy and excited.  If we haven't already figured it out yet, I have an immense love for penguins.  I mean, I love animals, in particular (monkeys, pandas, mice, dogs...  Dino Baby! Rawr!).  I've used any number of these for many a blog post and reading games.

Heck, Peek-a-Boo Penni Penguin, alongside Magnetic Monkey, has sort of become my bookish/game mascot.


Meanwhile, back to the Flat Book Society pick, The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean, the official book club read starts tomorrow, but I might go ahead and jump in if I get a chance, just to get a head start, as well as get an idea how I want to divide out parts for when to read.

Because I've finished a couple other books I've been reading, I'm at least not juggling too many current reads at the moment.  I'm listening to The Neverending Story on audio book, which is a pretty slow process right now as I'm really only listening to it during commutes, or if I need to multi-task.  I just started Amanda Quick's I Thee Wed, my second Reading Assignment book for Professor AuthorLuv's course.  I also started the fourth Cormoran Strike installment a couple days ago and am letting myself move through this one slowly, as has always been the case with previous Cormorant Strike novels.

Not too much to handle, right?

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/01/random-bookish-update-disappearing.html
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text 2019-01-13 19:47
Reading progress update: I've read 20 out of 394 pages.
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

Call me late to the party but when I was visiting my sister in London this weekend, I happened upon The Disappearing Spoon and I had seen so much of it recently, I couldn't leave without it.

 

The authors mentions his fascination for the element Mercury, and it's one of the elements I've also loved since I was a kid because I liked the name of it (in Dutch) : Kwik (from quicksilver).

 

I'm only 20 pages in, but one note already. In my edition the side notes are all collected at the back rather than at the bottom of the pages. It will need some getting used to and I'll need a bookmark...

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review 2014-04-05 00:00
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 - Sam Kean Storytelling at its best. The author steps through the periodic table and tells the stories he knows about the elements' uses, discoveries, etc. The stories are all short, and therefore, of course, a little over-simplified. I don't think some of them would pass a rigorous scholarly historical interrogation. But it's a good read full of interesting facts, both scientific and historical in nature. Really good introduction to science in general, with some significant physics and biology as well as chemistry.
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