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Nature's Building Blocks 

An A-Z Guide to the Elements
Written by: John Emsley
Narrated by: Kevin Scollin
Length: 25 hrs and 14 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Written by award-winning science writer John Emsley, this informative and highly enjoyable book explains the what, the why and the wherefore of the elements. Arranged alphabetically, from Actinium to Zirconium, it is a complete guide to all the elements that are currently known, with more extensive coverage of those we encounter in our everyday life. The entry on each element reveals where it came from, what role it may have in the human body, the foods that contain it, how it was discovered, its role in human health, the uses and misuses to which it is put, and its environmental role. The new edition includes the three chemical elements discovered since the first edition - Darmstadtium, Roetgenium, and Copernicium - and the section on "transfermium elements" has now been incorporated into the main part of the book. In addition, Emsley has added new information on the economic uses of elements such as Scandium and Gold. Praised by Nature as "amusing and finely crafted," Nature's Building Blocks offers a pleasurable tour of the very essence of our material world.

©2001 John Emsley (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Theodore
  • 2013-07-01

Content Good! Delivery Bland

I'm a big fan of Chemistry... Why? I studied Chemistry at the tertiary level. So when I saw this book I was pretty willing to give it a listen, in fact I actually stopped listening everything else to give this a listen. I was NOT impressed...

Content wise I think it was good to average, it provided quick details on every element in the periodic table, providing details on their basic chemistry in the process. It would serve as a good lexicon of elements with melting point, boiling point, discovery, basic chemistry, usage and so on. What killed this title in general for me was the narration. I mean even if there was more that could be learned from this book the narration was so painful to listen to I found myself almost dozing off throughout the course of the book. I could see this book being more useful as a written title and not as an audio book.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Scott
  • 2013-11-15

Interesting but not suited for an audio format

Any additional comments?

Chemistry was never really my thing but the description intrigued me so I decided to give this audiobook a try. It takes the listener through the elements of the periodic table in alphabetical order, giving some history of the element, it's uses, where it is found , its abundance etc. This isn't the sort of book you are going to devour from cover to cover in one sitting. I kept coming back to it between other audiobooks. Thee are lots of interesting facts and tidbits here, the kind you would probably learn in an advanced high school chemistry class. On the positive side, you don't have to be an expert to follow along. On the downside, this really is more like a reference book and thus, is probably better enjoyed in a readable format where the reader can skip between the various elements rather than having to proceed through them sequentially.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • DLKFC
  • 2013-05-24

Interesting and fun . . .

Any additional comments?

especially for chemistry geeks, but the narrator should have been given help with pronouncing some common terms.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • paul
  • 2016-10-13

Is Emsley an anti-environmentalist?

As an Earth Science teacher, I am aware of many environmental concerns with the commercial production of some of these elements. I personally felt he did not do due justice to his category: Environmental Element.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Fiezullah
  • 2013-10-25

more background

Would you try another book from John Emsley and/or Kevin Scollin?

maybe

What was most disappointing about John Emsley’s story?

it is an encyclopedic listing of elements. what would be more helpful is if some of the terms, such as radioactivity, atom numbers and weights, etc. e.g. more of chemistry was introduced in the beginning, which would make a lot of cryptic text easier to understand. nowadays, you can type the element into wikipedia and it actually gives even more info than this book. putting the info in a context would have made it more useful. more of a chemistry textbook for adults.

Which character – as performed by Kevin Scollin – was your favorite?

there is no character, it is a science book

1 of 3 people found this review helpful