The Disappearing Spoon

| June 10, 2012 | 0 Comments

“The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements” is the full title of this unique book that tells the story behind the chemical elements, how they were discovered and affected the world. Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie’s reputation? And why is gallium (Ga, 31) the go-to element for laboratory pranksters? If you would like to find out the answers to these and many more interesting questions, be sure to read this interesting book.

Basic Info

About the Author

Sam Kean spent years collecting mercury from broken thermometers as a kid, and now he’s a writer in in Washington, DC. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Mental Floss, Slate, and Science, and has been featured on NPR’s “Radiolab” and “All Things Considered.” The Disappearing Spoon, his first book, was a New York Times national bestseller

Short Review

The Periodic Table of elements is not only a crowning scientific achievement, but also a treasure trove of stories of adventure, betrayal,  obsession and much more. These fascinating tales follow every element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, and in the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. As one reviewer accurately noticed, perhaps the most amazing thing about this book is that it presents the relevance of chemistry to the real world and real people throughout the history. This really nice debut is well written and offers a lot of interesting information in addition to fun and easy to read material. So I would like to recommend this one not only to chemistry fans but for anyone who is looking for an informative and easy-to-read book.


1. Paperback and kindle editions on Amazon:




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Category: General Science Books

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