Book Review, Comedy, Nonfiction, Philosophy, Science

STUFF: The Fortunes, Foibles, and Fiascos of Those Who Sought to Understand Matter by George Graybill

What is stuff made of?

Mr. Graybill gives a humorous, easy-to-follow,  history lesson in the study of matter.  He includes an extensive vocabulary of science terms from various theories, elements, and compounds to the explanation of wave-particle duality, quantum mechanics, and the Bohr model.

There are also profiles of various philosophers and scientists including Hermes Trismegistus, Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Dmitri Mendeleev and their noted scientific discoveries.

One will find answers to who discovered the element gallium (Ga), who created the periodic table, who had a crater on the Moon named after him, and what scientist lived with two wives?

Graybill adds humorous quips such as “Right up front, you should know that this last chapter is designed to creep you out.” and to my relief “Hey, relax, there won’t be a quiz on this later”.

When I received a book request from Mr. Graybill, he assured me to “don’t let the science scare you off. You will know a lot more science when you have finished the book, and it will have been painless.”  After completing this very informative book, I was relieved to find out that he was right and feel that I can now watch The Big Bang Theory and play Trivial Pursuit with confidence.  Adult readers will find this book thoroughly entertaining, but it can also serve as a supplement to a middle school physical science class.

Thank you to Mr. Graybill for giving me the opportunity to review this book!

81gE+7eOR5L._UX250_Author Bio

I was raised on a chicken farm in a remote Pennsylvania village. After abandoning the chickens, I worked as a professional student, oceanographer, bum, woodworker, research chemist, chemistry teacher, and science writer in that order. I wrote “STUFF” because I like to write and because I know that science is more important and more interesting than many people realize. I have also written articles for woodworking and backpacking magazines, science texts, articles for chemistry journals, and standardized science test questions for about half the states and several foreign countries. Don’t bother looking those up; “STUFF” is much more interesting and entertaining. Prior to the publication of this book, my greatest writing triumph was putting evolution back in the Kansas state education standards when no one was looking.

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