Friday, August 22, 2014

The Right Stuff

Stuff Matters – Exploring the Marvelous Materials that Shape our Man-Made World - Mark Miodownik (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

I don’t have what I would describe as a scientific mind; frankly it was never one of my favorite subjects, so I came away with just enough knowledge to make me dangerous. What I do bring to the table is a high level of curiosity and the desire to dig deeper and learn more about the things that interest me.

It is from that perspective that I approached the book Stuff Matters – Exploring the Marvelous Materials that Shape our Man-Made World, from author Mark Miodownik. When I learned that Miodownik was a university professor by trade, I had an increased level of trepidation about what I would be confronted with in the pages of Stuff Matters; would it be some bone dry dissertation full of formulas and scientific blather?

What I got, what Miodownik delivers, is and an easily accessible, clever slice of a times down right funny detail about how stuff gets made! Miodownik avoids periodic table wonkiness and actually sounds like he enjoys what he’s spelling out. It’s easy to sense his own level of curiosity in the pages of Stuff Matters.

Miodownik doesn’t bog you down in information overload, he gives you a solid primer in the form of easily digestible segments; if you feel the need to know more he gives you a solid jumping off point. The book is broken down so you don’t need to read it in order to comprehend what is going on; that jumpable content allows the reader to dive into what interests them most first. That’s great, but take from me you’ll want to tackle the whole thing. Makes a great read to hand off to your kids or any kid who loves to ask the question why?


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