This is a book that took me so long time to read that I even cannot remember when I started reading it. But in the meantime, it was a quite amusing and enjoyable experience for anyone like me, who is interested in solid scientific stuff and also well-written English.
This book is a combination of them which gives a review of key developments in the materials science. These developments have changed our world in different ways but all for good. The author, Mark Andrew Miodownik, utilised his strong scientific background, together with his literature skills and a piece of sense of humour, openning a fatastic world of materials to the readers, who are curious about how the morden world is established and why our life is in the current status as it is.
As Miodownik pointed out, the material world is organised in a hierachical architecture with the quantum mechanics dominating its atomic-, nano-, micro, macro- and miniature level, which results in the human scale features. It is not something at a single level, but the synthesis of the features of each level that forms our current world. We, as human beings, study and learn about how the materal world organise itself through firstly trial and error and then advance of other technologies, such as microscope, and then manipulate towards the benefit of our human kind. Through the process, we not only become much wiser and acquired more knowledge about the material world, but put our feelings, perspectives and characteristics into them. As a result, the materiality is not just something material, but has concrete meanings, which might be different according to our backgrounds, and emotional feelings to ourselves.
After reading such a book, I was amased by the material world, (I would want to study material science if I read this book in my high school; this idea is always coming to me when I come accross something amasing), and ashame by the lack of capability of introducing what I'm studying to a broad audience. This is never an easy job. It requires a profound understanding about the subject you're talking about, as Miodownik had, and also literuary and writing skills that can translate scientific jargons, concepts and theories into 'human words' that are friendly to ordinary readers with scientific or technological interests but limited background knowledge. Personally, I'd like to work towards this direction to make myself become someone like Mark Miodownik, a scientist, an engineer, and a proper 'writer'.