Brain Fuel: 199 Mind-Expanding Inquiries Into the Science of Everyday Life by Joe Schwartz, PhD

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Stars: ***

Random House (2010)
288 pages

Summary: As with Dr. Joe’s previous best-selling books, Brain Fuel informs and entertains on a wild assortment of science-based topics. But this is not “science trivia.” […] simply wondering why the birth of Prince Leopold was so different from Queen Victoria’s previous seven; or why an iron rod that went through a man’s head is now on display in a museum in Boston; or why white chocolate has such a short shelf life; or why eggs terrified Alfred Hitchcock – and what all of this means for the rest of us, and why – then bingo. – from

Do you have any questions about science related matters? Not the technical part of science, but the everyday science.

Maybe you want to know how safety glass was discovered? The benefits of spinach?

Maybe you’ve heard that the military used Silly String but you’re not sure for what. Or you’ve noticed that workers who pick pineapple have to wear gloves and you wonder why.

The book’s subtitle is 199 mind-expanding inquiries into the science of everyday life. That’s exactly what this book is but it’s a bit different than I was expecting and wasn’t quite as good as I was hoping for. Remember how I asked if you wanted to know how safety glass was discovered? Well even if you do, you wouldn’t find it worded like that in the book. The question reads: “In 1903 a French chemist dropped a glass flask. It shattered, but the fragments did not fly apart. What had he discovered??” The problem with wording it this way is that as you are flipping through the book the questions don’t capture your eye as much.

I love science but the book just didn’t capture my attention the way I hoped it would.

The topics are separated into 8 chapters: Potions from the Past, Food Stuff, To Your Health, Toxic Relationships, Mysterious Connections, Chemicals in Action, Just Amazing and Curiouser and Curiouser.

Links of Interest: YouTube video of Dr. Joe Schwartz, Brain Fuel at Google Books (for preview),

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.