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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Joy To Read
Natures Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide To The Elements, is an outstanding book, and quite possibly the greatest science book I've ever read. It is filled with countless fascinating facts, such as why an octopus has blue blood and why some people can consume more than twice the lethal dose of Arsenic and live. It really is an excellent reference book for anyone interested...
Published on 5 Jan 2008 by Andrew Kerr

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Nature's Building blocks
Too much for me! I bit off more than I can chew! If you are a serious scientist I'm sure it is excellent. If you are a dabbler, then save your money, and research online.
Published 12 months ago by Mr. A. Pearce


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5.0 out of 5 stars book: chemical elements nos 1-126 in some depth, 10 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements (Paperback)
99% score with almost near brilliant book on one of my favourite hobby subjects.
not too technical but just enough ie hybrid between superficial and mad-professor. good bedtime reading for questionable chemistry teachers either educated at or previously taught at... my old school in battersea eg emanuel.

BUT missing INFO for each el: (next edition?):

1. price at market GBP/kg. current/historic.
2. cost to produce GBP/kg. current/historic.
3. electro-platable (yes/no) ... details etc. noble/non-noble metals.
4. complex ions.
5. all ores listed by chem formula and mineral name, mine types, etc.
6. colour photo. gold=orange, copper=pink, etc
7. magnetic strength. eg nickel or iron
8. special uses.
9. more physical properties....?
10. crystal structure type.
11. purity max level. eg silver=99.99%
12. examples of companies that mineral search, produce, mine, refine, finished goods, etc in uk, usa, australia, south africa, new zealand, ie english speaking cos.
13. discovery country eg rhodium=uk ie 'place' too vague.
14. league table by country of discovery.
15. where buy from / how
16. legal/illegal to own at home/other places.?

boring but (also) useful:
A. example box set of el's suppliers for schools/colleges/universities/etc.

very highly recommended for both GCSE/O and A level and BSc grad students in UK.
eg copper, rhodium, silver, gold, platinum, palladium all now used in hi-fi industry.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bathroom Windowsill Book, 11 Mar 2011
Great book with lots of info and really easy to read with the sections laid out well. I pick it up the odd time and read about a particular element - each element has a few pages depending on how widely used it is. And then you can saunter out and drop a cool extremely intelligent comment about the element into the conversation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 22 Dec 2010
A mine of information. Full on interesting and surprising stories. If you are interested in Geochemistry, you will be most certainly happy to have of copy of it within your reach.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest reference works i've ever owned., 12 Oct 2010
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T. West (England) - See all my reviews
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This book is invaluable, even to someone without much formal science training. Although i'm interested in science, chemistry seemed the bridge between Physics and biology that I really didn't know about. This book is a logically presented, well-written, comprehensive guide to every element, with proportional amounts of information given to each. the roles of the elements in biological systems, the environment and manufacturing are well-developed, and relevant quantities given, such as how much of each makes up the earth and our tissues, as well as the atomic weights and details about isotopes and radiological properties.

A must have for anyone who wants to know what life and the universe is made of beyond fundamental particles, and that should be everybody.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is this the best science book ever written?, 2 Nov 2006
By 
Gareth Bessant (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
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Yes quite possibly!

Brilliantly written and very readable. You can work your way a-z or just browse and turn your thinking of elements and chemistry from; "its a collection of letters and grapes on sticks" to "wow isnt science interesting". Tales of discovery and use of the elements read like any Hardy novel, woe and deception abound!

If youve never thought about 'popular science' and think its an oxymoron. Pick up this book. If you're president of the RSC and think you know everything about chemistry. Pick up this book. You'll learn alot and enjoy it whatever!

A perfect christmas present for everyone with a remote interest in the world around them from about 12+
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 Oct 2014
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Great, great, great if I didn't think so I would not give it 5 stars.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive Chemical Elements, 18 April 2012
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This review is from: Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements (Paperback)
I was amazed at the detailed coverage of all the known chemical elements, their sources, properties and uses, in this comprehensive book. It serves as a reference book for scientists and laymen, requiring an update on the expanding field of Inorganic Chemistry, but is also very readable and packed with interesting and surprising information. The latest edition has been revised to bring it right up to date and has inspired me to memorise the the Periodic Table, beyond Lanthanum. It was a revelation to find that many of the Lanmthanoids are not 'rare' earth metals and have important applications now.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 18 Sep 2014
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E. M. Robinson "Eva" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements (Paperback)
Good book and an interesting read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 20 July 2014
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This review is from: Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements (Paperback)
good book
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7 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ablsolutely marvelous, 18 Nov 2001
i have never in all of my life come against such a brilliant science book. i find it interesting that zinc gives you sexual powers, and oysters are full of it. casanova must have eaten a few oysters. if i could give it a million stars i would.
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Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements
Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements by John Emsley (Paperback - 25 Aug 2011)
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