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Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Disappearing Spoon

The periodic table is one of science's crowning achievements. But it's also a treasure trove of stories of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The infectious tales and astounding details in the Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean, follow carbon, neon, silicon, and gold as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, the arts, poison, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.

Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? Why did a dash of lithium (Li,3) cure poet Robert Lowell of his madness? How does mercury (Hg, 80) help us detect the campsites of Lewis and Clark? And why did tellurim (Te, 52) lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history?

The Disappearing Spoon has the answers, fusing the table's science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, discovery and alchemy, from the Big Bang through the end of time.

My Review:

I found this book to be surprisingly interesting. Having studied the Periodic Table in my own school years and then again with my own kids, I had never made the interesting discoveries that this book shows. It is a delightful way to engage ourselves in learning why the mercury inside of a thermometer always stays in a ball and never disburses like a liquid would. Is it a liquid?

This seeming harmful and toxic element was also recommend to cure a variety of ailments and was given in a pill form. Discover thorough reading this book just what was it given for and what it really did for those unlucky enough to take it. You will even discover the longest chemical name for a simply thing like titin, a molecule, whose original name is 189, 819 letters long.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone looking to gain some insight into understanding the periodic table and it's elements a whole lot better. It really does make learning more about them fun. I could see providing this book to anyone who is taking any science class in Junior, High School or College classes.

I received this book, 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 compliments of Hachette Book Groups.

For three lucky followers of my blog, Hachette has graciously offered to giveaway a copy of the book. Here are the guidelines. No P.O. Boxes and you must be a resident of the US and Canada only to enter. Simply leave me a comment on which element is your all time favorite and on July 10th, I'll notify you if you are one of the lucky winners.

This book comes in the following formats: Hardcover and eBook only!

For more information on this wonderful book, the author and where to get a copy in case you can't wait for the giveaway, click on the link below:


  1. oxygen :)

    thanks for the chance to read this book.

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  2. I was just dropping in to wish you and yours the happiest Independence Day. May your day be full! May you enjoy laughter shared with family, great food shared with friends, fireworks to make you gasp, a lump in your throat at the anthem, and a full and grateful heart at all we have been given. Happy Fourth of July, my friend!

  3. My all time favorite is Ag. (silver) I prefer it over gold.

  4. Definitely O2 is the most important to life.
    This is a very interesting book and I would love to win it.

    cenya2 at hotmail dot com

  5. You get to read and review a lot of interesting books! My fave element is Xenon, because in my physical science class in high school, that's the element that I had to create a model for - lots and lots and lots of foam balls were used.

  6. I would like to read this book! Please enter me. Thank you!
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

  7. I'd love to read this book. Please enter me. Thank you!
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

  8. I would have to say oxygen. This book definitely sounds interesting.

    Thanks for the chance

  9. I would love to win this book! I am a book worm for sure! I read so much my eyes cross! LOL! I enjoy your blog very much and pray for your family daily. I have been trying to catch up on these blog hops. Thank you and have a wonderufl weekend. Anne

  10. My favorite element...carbon. Think of all the fun mysteries we're solving with carbon dating. Funny story about the periodic table, to remember the noble gases? we would say Son of a BIFCA...I don't even remember what it stands for anymore, but I still say Son of a Bifca!
    autumn.crochet (at)


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