Reviewed by Claudia R.

“There’s an old joke about a lab assistant who bursts into a scientist’s office one morning, hysterical with joy despite a night of uninterrupted work. The assistant holds up a fizzing, hissing, corked bottle of green liquid and exclaims he has discovered a universal solvent. His sanguine boss peers at the bottle and asks, “And what is a universal solvent?” The assistant sputters, “An acid that dissolves all substances!”

If you got that joke this is the book for you, if you didn’t, don’t feel bad, most who read The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean, won’t. The chances, however, of anyone picking this book to read at random are, well, frankly, let’s be honest here, none. Zero. Zip.

There is no gray area here. No middle line.

If you pink puffy heart’d Science in H.S., more specifically Lab and all the experiments (that may or may not have led to inadvertent fire drills), than this book belongs on your reading list.

Beginning with a chapter on the table itself and the reason for each elements placement, it becomes immediately apparent that The Disappearing Spoon is unlike any other book. Kean continues on and allots each element its given due, uses for and history of, along with entertaining, and memorable anecdotes.

While I confess to being a bit of a geek in school, the table was never my forte, memorizing the letters, placement and numbers, an almost impossible task. Had I read THIS book, perhaps I would have fared better in my classes, not only does Kean make it simple (well, as simple as the PTOTE can be, let’s not get crazy now), but really kind of interesting.

Perhaps it’s Kean’s way of engaging his readers that makes the subject more enjoyable than I remember, or the fact that each element is so much more than meets the eye, but I feel this is a book all H.S. and College [amazonify]0316051640[/amazonify]students, as well as adults seeking to stimulate their brain, should own. Our Universe is intriguing, and in The Disappearing Spoon, Kean reminds us that there is much more to it than the oxygen we breathe. Definitely a ‘feel smarter for having read it’ book!

Claudia lives on Cape Cod with her husband and two children. She entertains her passion for reading in between being a full-time Mom, aspiring writer, avid photographer & volunteer for Missie’s Closet, an emergency food & necessities pantry for the low-income in her area.

I have 2 copies of The Disappearing Spoon to give away!

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This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada residents only. Deadline to enter is midnight on September 3rd.

Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by Little, Brown and Company. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.