The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean, number of pages: 346, number of pages read: 346.
Some features that determine if a book is of literary merit is standing the test of time, the realistic characters, emotional complexity within the book, the originality of the concept of the book, and the concern with truth. The Disappearing Spoon may be a nonfiction book, but I wouldn’t consider that it has literary merit; the reason why, the book does have its original concept but its not enough to attract the entire population, although it does have realistic characters (even though its a nonfiction book) they have to have more “pizzazz” to them to keep the reader keep reading. Other reasons is that it needs some time to gain recognition from the general population and not just from one person, although it may not achieve the popularity from everyone there are certain parts in the book that may be recognized as being great. To sum it all up, the book could have needed a better foundation to at least make it gain some recognition and eventually a work of merit.
“To get around this problem, scientists invented the atomic number as a placeholder, which just underscored that no one knew what the atomic number actually meant.” (pg.100) This sentence fits into place with the story, the predicament is that scientists had a run in with cobalt (Co, 27) and with nickel (Ni, 28); the problem was that the weight of these elements had scientists wondering who would precede who, and so the atomic number was created but at the time no one knew what it meant until a fellow scientist figured it out. The syntax of this sentence is not really complicated, its more of a descriptive sentence of which people can understand what is going on; the author might have structured it this way so that the reader can understand the general idea that the sentence gives. On the other hand, the diction of this sentence is not bad either, the author has made the sentence easy to understand so that the reader doesn’t have to pull up a dictionary so that they can comprehend what it actually says; the sentence would have a good impact on the reader because it would make the reader realize that not every scientist knew about their discoveries and that time would pass until people would actually understand what it is. The sentence itself is good because it sometimes sums up what the book is mostly about: the discovery of the unknown and the pursue of the knowledge in chemistry.