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Liquids, Gases, Solids, this is our world. But why do they behave the way do? Why do clothes dry, tar roads crack, saliva drools, clouds burst? The author explains the scientific reasons in a simple language, observing and commenting on everyday liquids around us as he travels on a plane. The reader is left with a sense of wonder, awe and satisfaction as the secrets of nature are revealed in a simple entertaing laungage.
The topic is interesting, the "angle" (flying in a plane, considering all the liquids one comes across) more or less stands up, but the fact is that this book isn't about the topic. It's about the writer, Mark Miodownik. He talks us through his attempts to emotionally connect with the woman sat next to him, his anxienties about flying, his personal alcohol consumption habits, his coffee drinking... everything screams "me me me". And to be honest, while his first book was like that too, there was enough substance (especially in the first half of the book) for you to forgive him. In this one, however, there isn't.
If you're more interested in Mark than the science he's "popularizing" then by all means get the book. Otherwise don't waste your money.
I really enjoyed this book. The science is more pop than deep but that gives the author scope to entertain as well as to inform. The entertainment comes largely from the author's using a long-haul flight as the backbone to his story. I also found the epilogue fascinating; although the author seems to have latched onto a particular style of science writing I hope he will write again, and more deeply, on advances in liquid technologies. Who might particularly enjoy 'Liquid'? Creative writers, possibly. Students getting into chemistry or physics, probably. And, certainly, those with a long-haul flight in the offing; six hours in a metal tube will give you enough time for a wine or two, a meal, a coffee (not tea!), a bit of a movie, a biro hunt, filling in your landing card, and finishing this gem of a book.
In Liquid Rules Mark Miodownik makes us take a second look at some common liquids that we routinely take for granted. He uses a flight he took from London to San Fransisco as the structure of the book. This allows him to explore a diverse range of liquids including the kerosene that allows the plane to fly, water in the oceans the flight crosses, the ink in a ballpoint pen and the drinks served on the plane among many others. The very state of being a liquid, somewhere between a solid and a gas, means liquids sometimes behave in quite strange ways, but some have even more incredible properties. Full of fascinating facts, it's an easy read that's not too heavy on the science but is full of wonder about the world.
A glimpse into the science of liquids and what a treat! I'm not generally interested in science but this book is so clever; very readable and accessible yet informative and educational. Using a journey as the peg on which to hang the stories about different substances is inspired. It gives each chapter a direct relevance to our own daily lives. Very enjoyable but perhaps a few more interesting illustrations would have made it really shine.
This book delivers. Its subject of liquid opens a whole new world of wonder coming from the mundane. The sea, tea, flying, clouds, tar, the body, the Earth, life and more will never be the same again. It also delivers possibilities for future advance to save the planet. Written eruditely but easily accessible and with gallons of humour, Liquid is a must read for those with an appetite for discovery.
I am not a reader of scientific books but reviews in the press persuaded me to buy it and I was not disappointed. The book imparts knowledge in a format which is very easy to read and I would certainly buy another book by the same author
The basic idea of the book is to detail the liquids Mark encounters on a flight to San Francisco. There are a number of great stories, incuding everyday liquids like tea and coffee, which most people people will find really interesting but there is plenty there for full time nerds (like me) to get their teeth into. The only downside for me was that it was over all too soon.
Brilliant and entertaining. It's not often that you come across a science book which is a page turner, but this is one. Crammed full of fascinating facts, including why airplane tea tastes nothing like tea, woven into the author's musings during a transatlantic plane journey, this book puts the popular into science.