The periodic table is an unlikely topic for a best seller, yet The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean hit the NYT Nonfiction list last week at #12, and continues in the same position on the upcoming 8/15 list.

Published early last month, it’s been reviewed in several consumer publications (including Entertainment Weekly, which gave it an A-), but until today, not in the NYT. Reviewer Janet Maslin clearly enjoys the  “nonstop parade of lively science stories,” but finds it “is more notable for its gymnastics than its coherence.”

Entertainment Weekly had no such trouble, applauding author Sam Kean for bringing “an enthusiasm for the material that infects even those of us who wouldn’t usually give a flying photon,” and combining “the anecdotal flourishes of Oliver Sacks and the populist accessibility of Malcolm Gladwell…”

Libraries are showing holds as high as 10:1 on moderate ordering. Note that it will soon be available in audio from Tantor (see below).

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
Sam Kean
Retail Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company – (2010-07-12)
ISBN / EAN: 0316051640 / 9780316051644

Tantor Audio; UNABR; Read by Sean Runnette; On Sale Date: 08/23/2010

Trade; 9781400119523; 11 Audio CDs; $34.99
Library; 9781400149520; 11 Audio CDs; $83.99
MP3; 9781400169528; 2 MP3-CD; $24.99

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