Of Podcasts and Electricity: A Review of Electric Universe

As we were driving home from piano lessons one day, my mother (with my siblings’ eager consent) decided to play a podcast about the history of light, from candle wax to light bulb fixtures. The podcast cast a spell on us. As we were listening to the acknowledgments, a name of a certain book caught my mother’s ear. This book was afterwards given to me to read, and truly, the book is as interesting as the podcast itself.

Electric Universe, by David Bodanis, is a book on the history of electricity. This book tells of the many inventions that were created using the powers of electricity. Bodanis, a master science writer, explains many concepts in a clear-cut way as he describes this electric history.

Every chapter in Electric Universe reveals a new intriguing and informative fact. I looked forward to every word, and there are not very many books that can make the reader do that! Certainly, before I read Electric Universe I didn’t know that a telegram cable had been spread across the Atlantic Ocean, or that Alexander Graham Bell had mostly been motivated to work so the aurally impaired could communicate too. Now I have a delicious amount of interesting information stored in my head to munch on.

Bodanis has a clear, straightforward style that makes many topics easy to understand. Thanks to this book, I finally understood that electricity should not be represented in the cartoonish little-ball style, but as a wave. I also learned how cocaine and anesthetics work as I read about the effects of sodium ions in nerves, which also deal with electric impulses. Because of Bodanis’s transparent style, I understood many things.

Electric Universe is an excellent book because of its lucidity and interesting facts. I would recommend it to anyone who has the faintest idea about how electricity works, and especially to anyone who likes podcasts about electricity.

Ages: 12+

You can buy this book here here.

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