Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Genius! : The Most Astonishing Inventions of All Time

Genius! : The Most Astonishing Inventions of All Time
By Deborah Kespert
Thames & Hudson, 2015. Nonfiction. 96p.

This is a great attention-grabbing collection of the inventions that shaped our world. Divided into 5 sections – Pioneers, Communication, Technology, Transport, and Into Space – this nonfiction book highlights some of the world’s most important inventions starting with the Chinese, Muslim, and Greek inventors of antiquity up through the year 2014. Each invention has a quick summary at the beginning listing the what, who, where, when, how and why, as well as the fundamental challenge facing the inventors.

This well-designed book is full of photos, diagrams, and fun retro poster reproductions. There are lots of sidebars, captions, and mini experiments mixed throughout the pages, letting the reader skip around with ease and read as much or as little as desired. Many of the explanations are simplified for easy readability, but the author doesn’t shy away from the complicated nature of invention; for example, she explains that several scientists developed the light bulb before Edison, but that he was the one to deliver electric lighting to people on a longer-lasting and more affordable scale. She also offers some great insights into the inventors’ personalities. Includes a timeline, glossary, and index.

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