Better Looking, Better Living, Better Loving: How Chemistry can Help You Achieve Life's Goals - PDF
خلاصه: John Emsley has carved out quite a niche for himself in writing popular books (not textbooks) dedicated to scientific matters in general, and chemistry matters in particular. One of his more inspired titles is "Better Looking, Better Living, Better Loving", which has a very unfortunate subtitle "How Chemistry Can Help You Achieve Life's Goals". The subtitle makes the book sound like a how-to book (Make your own mascara! Better breath through home-made mouthwash!) It is NOT a how-to book, but rather a how-it-is-done book. In a wide-ranging series of short essays, Emsley covers most consumer topics that exist at the intersection of chemistry and the personal consumer, including food, plastic containers, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, birth control, cleaning products (for humans, clothes, and dishes), etc.The beauty of this book is that it can be picked up and read starting anywhere, and is therefore an ideal bathroom book (especially since there are a lot of bathroom-related topics!) or coffee table book (again, since there are a lot of food topics!). This makes some of the topics a little repetative for someone reading the book cover-to-cover over the course of a few days or weeks, but it's a better choice for a book of this type. I think the science is readily understandable to the average person (although it might be hard for me to judge, being a chemistry teacher), and there is a glossary for more scientific terms and broadened explanations. More importantly, the science is correct and rigorous while still presented in a palatable manner.I think North American readers will notice the no-nonsense style of writing. British authors (at least, scientific ones) tend to be more forthright than their American cousins, and it's especially noticable in this book's discussions on abortion and rape - two topics that American authors would couch in more subtle terms, with at least an acknowledgement of the cultural/moral issues associated with them. Similarly, most Americans are used to hedging their bets: Emsley comes right out and tells people that they are wrong to believe that aluminum has anything to do with Alzheimers, for example, and debunks other "common knowledge" associations just as ruthlessly, if they been scientifically demonstrated to be wrong.In terms of sheer readability, I think I prefer Joe Schwarcz's books that cover similar terrain. However, Emsley's book is more focussed and logically presented. It's certainly interesting, certainly entertaining, and even the best-read chemist is likely to learn something s/he didn't know. Unfortunately, the price is excessive compared to other books of this type (even other Emsley titles) - what gives, Amazon?