The Curious Lives of the Elements
The phenomenal Sunday Times bestseller packed with fascinating stories and unexpected information about the building blocks of our universe
Everything in the universe is made of them, including you.
Like you, the elements have personalities, attitudes, talents, shortcomings, stories rich with meaning.
Here you'll meet iron that rains from the heavens and noble gases that light the way to vice. You'll learn how lead can tell your future while zinc may one day line your coffin. You'll discover what connects the bones in your body with the Whitehouse in Washington, the glow of a streetlamp with the salt on your dinner table.
Unlocking their astonishing secrets and colourful pasts, Periodic Tales is a voyage of wonder and discovery, showing that their stories are our stories, and their lives are inextricable from our own.
Praise for Periodic Tales
Science writing at its best ... fascinating and beautiful ... if only chemistry had been like this at school ... to meander through the periodic table with him ... is like going round a zoo with Gerald Durrell ... a rich compilation of delicious tales, but it offers greater rewards, tooMatt Ridley
Immensely engaging and continually makes one sit up in surpriseSunday Times
Splendid ... enjoyable and polishedObserver
Full of good stories and he knows how to tell them well ... an agreeable jumble of anecdote, reflection and informationSunday Telegraph
Great fun to read and an endless fund of unlikely and improbable anecdotes ... sharp and often wittyFinancial Times
A joyous romp through the chemical elementsToday, BBC Radio 4
Not only a cultural history of the elements, it is also a lament to the loss of science as a hobbyEconomist
A flashily brainy book, crammed with literary references and held together by a personal quest to collect as many elements as possibleTelegraph
'Elements are fun' is the essential premise of Hugh Aldersey-Williams's new book and by heck he's right ... Aldersey-Williams mourns the fact chemistry isn't really sexy any more; Periodic Tales is a step towards it getting its mojo backMetro ****
Imaginative and fun ... almost every page yields a nuggetNature