I had started this book with the intention to comment on each chapter – or part, as each section contained smaller chapters on the various topics of the book – but as so often, I ended up finishing the book before I could summarise my notes for each part.
I much enjoyed the buddy read of this with Murder by Death, who is infinitely more patient with books than I am. Unlike her, I am not just a bit biased by my admiration for Helen Czerski’s Storm in a Teacup, I fully enjoyed – and have no regrets – about Storm in a Teacup spoiling Marty Jopson’s attempt here at making science accessible to the general reader.
It is not that The Science of Everyday Life was a bad book – it wasn’t! – it is just that the brevity of descriptions and eclectic selection of topics really makes an entertaining introduction to science for people who think they don’t like or want to know about science. I am just not Jopson’s target reader here. (But I am, evidently, Czerski’s target audience.)
For what it is, tho, Jopson does an excellent job at showing how science is the basis of everything around us – from the colour of autumn foliage to the workings of toothpaste to why sheep don’t shrink in the rain (despite wearing woolly jumpers) and why people shrivel up in the bathtub.
Each topic is explained just briefly enough to gather interest but not leave you bored with pages and pages of explanation.
Again, I wish there had been more explanation and connection between the topics, but this was not in the scope of this book.
I should add, tho, that there was one chapter that left me baffled and criticising its content – the part about the boomerang did nothing for me. I could not follow the description of the experiment and could not understand the explanation that was offered for how a boomerang works. I had to google the answer and explanation here.