Tag Archives: The Violinist’s Thumb

Sam Kean’s “The Disappearing Spoon” — One Heck Of A Mind Expanding Book.

by Anura Guruge


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This is one heck of a book. I was going to say it was mind blowing, but that was, I realized, the wrong description. It is mind expanding. It is filled, chock-a-block with fascinating information and insights on every page. I learnt so much.

I already did two posts on subjects I learnt from this book: silver (and Argyria) & iodine.

I had never heard of him until this last March. Then, on a Sunday, on NPR, they read excerpts from his book “The Violinist’s Thumb“. I was hooked. I wanted to read the whole book. I went looking for it on Amazon and found all three of his books. As is my wont, when it comes to authors, I ordered all three.

I decided to start with the ‘Spoon‘ because I do have an affinity to elements.

Wow. I wish this book had been around 50-years ago when I was studying chemistry. I would have learnt so much more.

It should be a MUST READ for all high school kids doing chemistry. It will make chemistry that much more real.

Though well and amusingly written, it is NOT an easy book to read. It is technical and some of his very technical explanations are not as clearly explained by Sam. I ended up doing more research on my own.

If you like chemistry, do yourself a favor and read this book. It will enrich your life and expand your mind.


Sam Kean responded to this post on Twitter.

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by Anura Guruge