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tannat

Tannat

Not so much a blog; just lots of books

Currently reading

The Mirror Empire: Worldbreaker Saga 1
Kameron Hurley
Leviathan Wakes
James S.A. Corey, Jefferson Mays
Life: An Unauthorised Biography: A Natural History of the First Four Thousand Million Years of Life on Earth
Richard Fortey
Progress: 274/371pages
Moby-Dick: or, The Whale (Penguin Classics)
Herman Melville
Manifold: Time
Stephen Baxter, Chris Schluep
Progress: 99/480pages
Boneshaker
Cherie Priest
Progress: 18%
The Long War
Stephen Baxter, Terry Pratchett
Progress: 68/501pages

The Last Alchemist in Paris by Lars Öhrström

The Last Alchemist in Paris: & Other Curious Tales from Chemistry - Lars Ohrstrom

If you've been following my updates, you're probably aware that I find this book to be a bit "scattered". It's not disorganized; it's just that it isn't always immediately apparent where the author is going with a particular story, or how he's going to tie the chemistry into the story, especially if it's a historical anecdote that you had never heard of before. The whole book is a series of stories where the author ties in chemistry to historical anecdotes. He's also not afraid to break out chemical equations and discuss how the three-dimensional shape impacts the reactions that take place.

 

Several of the anecdotes are quite interesting (a few not so much), and I really liked the author's sense of humour. He makes references to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Agatha Christie, among others. I'd gladly read another book by the author; I'd just hope it to be a little more focused.

 

An example (from page 220) that I feel like quoting:

Thermodynamics, especially chemical thermodynamics, is a fascinating subject, but many students find it difficult. I think part of the problem is that it starts off by stating the obvious in great mathematical detail, which makes everyone fall asleep, and when they wake up again the lecturer is well into partial derivatives with symbols such as S, G, and µ, and it is very difficult to catch up.

 

Make of that what you will; your mileage may vary. :)

 

Previous updates:

175 of 226 pages

100 of 226 pages

90 of 226 pages

1 of 226 pages