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YA Book Club POSTPONED! Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have had to cancel this Saturday's YA book club meeting. We will reschedule and post it here and on our social media as soon as we can. 

Chemistry

Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another

Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another

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In the bestselling tradition of Stuff Matters and The Disappearing Spoon a clever and engaging look at materials, the innovations they made possible, and how these technologies changed us. Finalist for the 41st Los Angeles Times Book Award in Science and Technology and selected as one of the Best Summer Science Books Of 2020 by Science Friday.

In The Alchemy of Us, scientist and science writer Ainissa Ramirez examines eight inventions--clocks, steel rails, copper communication cables, photographic film, light bulbs, hard disks, scientific labware, and silicon chips--and reveals how they shaped the human experience. Ramirez tells the stories of the woman who sold time, the inventor who inspired Edison, and the hotheaded undertaker whose invention pointed the way to the computer. She describes, among other things, how our pursuit of precision in timepieces changed how we sleep; how the railroad helped commercialize Christmas; how the necessary brevity of the telegram influenced Hemingway's writing style; and how a young chemist exposed the use of Polaroid's cameras to create passbooks to track Black citizens in apartheid South Africa. These fascinating and inspiring stories offer new perspectives on our relationships with technologies.

CAESAR'S LAST BREATH: AND OTHE

CAESAR'S LAST BREATH: AND OTHE

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The Guardian's Best Science Book of 2017: the fascinating science and history of the air we breathe.

It's invisible. It's ever-present. Without it, you would die in minutes. And it has an epic story to tell.

In Caesar's Last Breath, New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean takes us on a journey through the periodic table, around the globe, and across time to tell the story of the air we breathe, which, it turns out, is also the story of earth and our existence on it. With every breath, you literally inhale the history of the world.

On the ides of March, 44 BC, Julius Caesar died of stab wounds on the Senate floor, but the story of his last breath is still unfolding; in fact, you're probably inhaling some of it now. Of the sextillions of molecules entering or leaving your lungs at this moment, some might well bear traces of Cleopatra's perfumes, German mustard gas, particles exhaled by dinosaurs or emitted by atomic bombs, even remnants of stardust from the universe's creation.

Tracing the origins and ingredients of our atmosphere, Kean reveals how the alchemy of air reshaped our continents, steered human progress, powered revolutions, and continues to influence everything we do. Along the way, we'll swim with radioactive pigs, witness the most important chemical reactions humans have discovered, and join the crowd at the Moulin Rouge for some of the crudest performance art of all time. Lively, witty, and filled with the astounding science of ordinary life, Caesar's Last Breath illuminates the science stories swirling around us every second.

DISAPPEARING SPOON: AND OTHER

DISAPPEARING SPOON: AND OTHER

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From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes incredible stories of science, history, finance, mythology, the arts, medicine, and more, as told by the Periodic Table.

Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why is gallium (Ga, 31) the go-to element for laboratory pranksters?

The Periodic Table is a crowning scientific achievement, but it's also a treasure trove of adventure, betrayal, and obsession. These fascinating tales follow every element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, and in the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. The Disappearing Spoon masterfully fuses science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, and discovery -- from the Big Bang through the end of time.

Though solid at room temperature, gallium is a moldable metal that melts at 84 degrees Fahrenheit. A classic science prank is to mold gallium spoons, serve them with tea, and watch guests recoil as their utensils disappear.

ELEMENTAL: HOW THE PERIODIC TA

ELEMENTAL: HOW THE PERIODIC TA

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If you want to understand how our world works, the periodic table holds the answers. When the seventh row of the periodic table of elements was completed in June 2016 with the addition of four final elements--nihonium, moscovium, tennessine, and oganesson--we at last could identify all the ingredients necessary to construct our world.In Elemental, chemist and science educator Tim James provides an informative, entertaining, and quirkily illustrated guide to the table that shows clearly how this abstract and seemingly jumbled graphic is relevant to our day-to-day lives.James tells the story of the periodic table from its ancient Greek roots, when you could count the number of elements humans were aware of on one hand, to the modern alchemists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries who have used nuclear chemistry and physics to generate new elements and complete the periodic table. In addition to this, he answers questions such as: What is the chemical symbol for a human? What would happen if all of the elements were mixed together? Which liquid can teleport through walls? Why is the medieval dream of transmuting lead into gold now a reality?Whether you're studying the periodic table for the first time or are simply interested in the fundamental building blocks of the universe--from the core of the sun to the networks in your brain--Elemental is the perfect guide.
EXPLORING THE ELEMENTS: A COMP

EXPLORING THE ELEMENTS: A COMP

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A graphically stunning, comprehensive introduction to the chemical elements that make up our universe for ages 8-14

This artful and accessible guide to the periodic table -- the ultimate reference tool for scientists worldwide -- names all 118 chemical elements and helps young readers understand the remarkable ways we have learned to use them.

Graphically stunning layouts feature each element's letter symbol and atomic number, exploring its attributes, characteristics, uses, and interesting stories behind its discovery. Complete with a comprehensive introduction, conclusion, and glossary, this is the perfect introduction to chemistry for inquisitive minds.

Wrapped in a double-sided jacket, with the illustrated periodic table printed on the underside, Exploring the Elements is jam-packed with 240 pages of information, including:

- A comprehensive introduction explaining what elements are and the design and purpose of the periodic table
- Each of the 118 elements is visually presented with its respective letter symbol and atomic number, as well as a map of where it's located in the periodic table
- Additional details showing where each element is found in the universe (from food on our plates to the center of a star), its unique properties, atomic diagram, secret chemistry, and working examples of how it's used or changing the world
- Plus an index, glossary and suggested reading and additional references and Resources

Both a gift book and a practical book, Exploring the Elements is for teachers and librarians, parents and grandparents, the home bookshelf and classroom bookshelf, science enthusiasts and budding scientists of all ages.

Half Lives: The Unlikely History of Radium

Half Lives: The Unlikely History of Radium

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The fascinating, curious, and sometimes macabre history of radium as seen in its uses in everyday life.

Of all the radioactive elements discovered at the end of the nineteenth century, it was radium that became the focus of both public fascination and entrepreneurial zeal.

Half Lives tells the fascinating, curious, sometimes macabre story of the element through its ascendance as a desirable item - a present for a queen, a prize in a treasure hunt, a glow-in- the-dark dance costume - to its role as a supposed cure-all in everyday twentieth-century life, when medical practitioners and business people (reputable and otherwise) devised ingenious ways of commodifying the new wonder element, and enthusiastic customers welcomed their radioactive wares into their homes.

Lucy Jane Santos--herself the proud owner of a formidable collection of radium beauty treatments--delves into the stories of these products and details the gradual downfall and discredit of the radium industry through the eyes of the people who bought, sold and eventually came to fear the once-fetishized substance.

Half Lives is a new history of radium as part of a unique examination of the interplay between science and popular culture.

Ingredients: The Strange Chemistry of What We Put in Us and on Us

Ingredients: The Strange Chemistry of What We Put in Us and on Us

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When it comes to chemicals and our bodies, there are no simple answers. Thanks to George Zaidan, there are beautifully clear, elegant, accurate explanations. And they're funny. Zaidan has accomplished something I would not have thought possible. He has written an entertaining book about chemistry. Thank you, George, for this much-needed breakwater against the tide of misinformation that sloshes onto our screens.
--Mary Roach, author of Stiff

Cheese puffs. Coffee. Sunscreen. Vapes. George Zaidan reveals what will kill you, what won't, and why--explained with high-octane hilarity, hysterical hijinks, and other things that don't begin with the letter H.


INGREDIENTS offers the perspective of a chemist on the stuff we eat, drink, inhale, and smear on ourselves. Apart from the burning question of whether you should eat those Cheetos, Zaidan explores a range of topics. Here's a helpful guide:

Stuff in this book:
- How bad is processed food? How sure are we?
- Is sunscreen safe? Should you use it?
- Is coffee good or bad for you?
- What's your disease horoscope?
- What is that public pool smell made of?
- What happens when you overdose on fentanyl in the sun?
- What do cassava plants and Soviet spies have in common?
- When will you die?

Stuff in other books:
- Your carbon footprint
- Food sustainability
- GMOs
- CEO pay
- Science funding
- Politics
- Football
- Baseball
- Any kind of ball, really

Zaidan, an MIT-trained chemist who cohosted CNBC's hit Make Me a Millionaire Inventor and wrote and voiced several TED-Ed viral videos, makes chemistry more fun than Hogwarts as he reveals exactly what science can (and can't) tell us about the packaged ingredients sold to us every day. Sugar, spinach, formaldehyde, cyanide, the ingredients of life and death, and how we know if something is good or bad for us--as well as the genius of aphids and their butts--are all discussed in exquisite detail at breakneck speed.

It's Elemental: The Hidden Chemistry in Everything (Original)

It's Elemental: The Hidden Chemistry in Everything (Original)

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In this fresh and engaging guide to chemistry, Dr. Kate Biberdorf, aka "Kate the Chemist," reveals the fascinating science we experience every day

Have you ever wondered what makes dough rise? Or how your morning coffee gives you that energy boost? Or why your shampoo is making your hair look greasy? The answer is chemistry. From the moment we wake up until the time we go to sleep (and even while we sleep), chemistry is at work--and it doesn't take a PhD in science to understand it.

Dr. Biberdorf has appeared on TV programs from the Today show to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, lighting the world on fire and changing the face of chemistry as we know it. In It's Elemental, she demystifies the fundamental principles of the science that may have eluded you in high school and shows how chemistry comes alive in everything we do. With wry wit and infectious enthusiasm, this entertaining guide will ignite your passion for science and change the way you experience the world.
STUFF MATTERS

STUFF MATTERS

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New York Times Bestseller - New York Times Notable Book 2014 - Winner of the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books

"A thrilling account of the modern material world." --Wall Street Journal

"Miodownik, a materials scientist, explains the history and science behind things such as paper, glass, chocolate, and concrete with an infectious enthusiasm."

--Scientific American

Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does any material look and behave the way it does? These are the sorts of questions that renowned materials scientist Mark Miodownik constantly asks himself. Miodownik studies objects as ordinary as an envelope and as unexpected as concrete cloth, uncovering the fascinating secrets that hold together our physical world. In Stuff Matters, Miodownik explores the materials he encounters in a typical morning, from the steel in his razor to the foam in his sneakers. Full of enthralling tales of the miracles of engineering that permeate our lives, Stuff Matters will make you see stuff in a whole new way.

"Stuff Matters is about hidden wonders, the astonishing properties of materials we think boring, banal, and unworthy of attention...It's possible this science and these stories have been told elsewhere, but like the best chocolatiers, Miodownik gets the blend right." --New York Times Book Review