Thursday, August 12, 2010

Book review and giveaway (closed): The Disappearing Spoon

Congrats to my winners: Shannon and Katie.

I'm a scientist by profession, so I'm admittedly a bit of a nerd.  Which is why I was so excited to get to review a great new book entitled The Disappearing Spoon- and other true tales of madness, love and the history of the world from the periodic table of the elements.



Here's some information on the book from its website:

The Periodic Table is one of man's crowning scientific 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 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.


We learn that Marie Curie used to provoke jealousy in colleagues' wives when she'd invite them into closets to see her glow-in-the-dark experiments. And that Lewis and Clark swallowed mercury capsules across the country and their campsites are still detectable by the poison in the ground. Why did Gandhi hate iodine? Why did the Japanese kill Godzilla with missiles made of cadmium? And why did tellurium lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history?

From the Big Bang to the end of time, it's all in THE DISAPPEARING SPOON.

Reading The Disappearing Spoon was like sitting through a fun chemistry class. Something I, as a chemistry minor in college, have never actually experienced in real life :)  This book isn't a light read, but it's endlessly fascinating and crammed full of great historical tidbits, stories about famous (and infamous) scientists, and tons of actual chemistry facts.  The author, Sam Kean, presents everything in a really understandable and down-to-earth manner. You won't even realize how much you're learning as you read!

I think that every chemistry teacher needs to run out and pick up this book and use it to help teach their classes. Fun facts and stories make learning science so much easier! I never imagined that the periodic table of the elements could come alive and be something more than just columns of information on the wall, but this book makes it happen. If you're someone who is interested in science and history, I think you'll like this book a lot. And you'll have lots of great conversation topics for all the holiday parties right around the corner!

And I have good news! Two of you will win a copy of this book! (US/Canadian mailing addresses only, please).


Mandatory entry (must be done for extra entries to count):
Let me know why you want to read this book!

Extra entries (please leave a separate comment for each):
1. Follow my blog with Google Friend Connect
2. Subscribe to my blog via email (sign-up on the right side of this page)
3. Put my button up on your website/blog. Let me know where to find it!
4. Enter any of my other currently ongoing giveaways
5. Follow me on twitter and tweet this: "@gabreviews is giving away a copy of a fun new book- The Disappearing Spoon. Visit http://bit.ly/d2P6wE to enter. #giveaway"  
You can tweet this once per day, just leave me the link to your tweet each time.

Giveaway will close at 9PM Pacific time on September 2, 2010. I'll choose winners with random.org and will email that person who will then have 48 hours to respond. Good luck!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review for myself, thanks to my involvement at the Product Review Place. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.

78 comments:

DK said...

Thanks for posting about this book. I love science and hope to one day teach.

Amanda said...

I would love to learn and not realize I am learning thanks
amandakapenga at yahoo dot com

skgaff said...

I would love to read this because I actually used to teach chemistry and it sounds like a fun book to read.
glass.stephanie(at)gmail(dot)com

skgaff said...

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Katie said...

I never took Chemistry in high school so I think this would be interesting and informative.


kt1969 at comcast dot net

Katie said...

I follow you on GFC.


kt1969 at comcast dot net

Katie said...

I subscribe via email.


kt1969 at comcast dot net

Katie said...

I follow you on Twitter and I tweeted:

http://twitter.com/Skaketgirl/status/21057564466

kt1969 at comcast dot net

Katie said...

I entered your Mabel's Labels giveaway.


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Angela said...

I love to read. Books and learning are an important part of my life.
veniceangel@hotmail.com

Angela said...

I follow via GFC

Shannon said...

I read a really good review in Entertainment Weekly and added it to my "to read" list...it would be awesome to own a copy to read!


snaugle81@gmail.com

Shannon said...

I subscribe via email


snaugle81@gmail.com

Shannon said...

I follow you


snaugle81@gmail.com

Shannon said...

I entered your Rattles CD giveaway


snaugle81@gmail.com

Shannon said...

I entered your What are the Odds giveaway


snaugle81@gmail.com

The Elwells' Weekly said...

I'm actually a biology major with a chemistry minor and while I didn't really love my actual chemistry classes, I LOVE reading about how chemistry is applied in the real world!
erica dot jmail at mac dot com

The Elwells' Weekly said...

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The Elwells' Weekly said...

I get your emails
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The Elwells' Weekly said...

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The Elwells' Weekly said...

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The Elwells' Weekly said...

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The Elwells' Weekly said...

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The Elwells' Weekly said...

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janetfaye said...

I want to read this book because it is different and it sounds interesting.

janetaye (at) gmail (dot) com

janetfaye said...

I follow on GFC.

janetaye (at) gmail (dot) com

janetfaye said...

Email subscribed.

janetaye (at) gmail (dot) com

The Elwells' Weekly said...

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The Elwells' Weekly said...

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sweetpea08 said...

I want to read it because it looks interesting and I like chemistry.
rachel_demille@yahoo.com

The Elwells' Weekly said...

tweet
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Benita said...

I've always loved science. So, I think I'd really enjoy this book.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Benita said...

I'm now following by GFC.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

The Elwells' Weekly said...

tweet
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traveler said...

I am fascinated with this unique book. thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Rebecca Graham said...

I would like to read this because I have an interest in science.

rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

The Elwells' Weekly said...

tweet
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melydia said...

Sounds like a truly fascinating read. I love science, the history of science, and bizarre tales, so it sounds like a good match for me. :)

melydia@hotmail.com

The Elwells' Weekly said...

tweet
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LAMusing said...

I never took Chemistry in school - but I find the synopsis fascinating :)
adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

LAMusing said...

I follow you on GFC!
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LAMusing said...

I follow you on Twitter. TWEET! http://twitter.com/LAMusing/status/21943528226
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The Elwells' Weekly said...

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rhapsodyinbooks said...

I want to read this because I love chemistry!

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

rhapsodyinbooks said...

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The Elwells' Weekly said...

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spynaert said...

sounds like an interesting title
please enter me
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The Elwells' Weekly said...

tweet
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Heather! said...

I love nonfiction, and I think this book sounds so interesting! I can't wait to read it; I just hope I win it so I can read it a bit sooner than later! :)

Thanks!
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Heather! said...

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Wise Owl said...

I am a follower. I would love to win this book to give as a birthday gift to a dear science major friend.

Eileen
wiseowlreviews@aol dot com

Heather! said...

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The Elwells' Weekly said...

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Stephanie said...

It sounds like a fun read.

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Angie said...

I had heard the story of "the cadmium girls" and often wondered what became of other people that discovered other potentially dangerous elements. I think this would be an interesting read.
angiewith3 at live dot com

Angie said...

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Angie said...

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BookMarc Blogpants said...

I would like to read this because it looks interesting and I have a reading addiction!

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Heather! said...

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The Elwells' Weekly said...

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degood said...

I am a science geek and this sounds like a very interesting book to me.
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degood said...

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