Giveaway: The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean

22 Jul

Edited to add this link to my review of The Disappearing Spoon.

I’m currently reading an absolutely amazing book.  The full title is The Disappearing Spoon And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements, and that title isn’t a bad summary of the book. Here’s a little more information, from the Hachette Book Group website:

The Periodic Table is one of man’s crowning scientific achievements. But it’s also a treasure trove of stories of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The infectious tales and astounding details in THE DISAPPEARING SPOON follow carbon, neon, silicon, and gold as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, the arts, poison, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.

We learn that Marie Curie used to provoke jealousy in colleagues’ wives when she’d invite them into closets to see her glow-in-the-dark experiments. And that Lewis and Clark swallowed mercury capsules across the country and their campsites are still detectable by the poison in the ground. Why did Gandhi hate iodine? Why did the Japanese kill Godzilla with missiles made of cadmium? And why did tellurium lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history?

From the Big Bang to the end of time, it’s all in THE DISAPPEARING SPOON.

I’m a science nerd, or at least I used to be, so this book called to me from the moment I heard about it. It hasn’t disappointed me from either a science or a storytelling perspective.

I’ll post a review when I finish reading, but for now:

Hachette Books is allowing me to host a giveaway for 2 copies of  The Disappearing Spoon.  Thank you!

Having an address (not a PO Box) in the US or Canada is a requirement. I’ll pick the winners on the evening of August 12.


  1. Leave a comment to enter. I’ll get your e-mail address if you are on WordPress or you enter it where requested. Make sure it is valid! This is all you need to do.
  2. If you have additional entries (see below), you can leave them in the same comment.
  3. For an additional entry, let me know if you subscribe to my blog via RSS or e-mail, or if you follow me on Twitter. Thank you to my current subscribers, Welcome if you are new to my blog.
  4. One more entry if you let other people know about this giveaway! On your blog, on Twitter, another social site. Just leave a note.
  5. As a bonus (for an additional entry) tell me if you have a favorite element on the periodic table.

Good luck!


Posted by on July 22, 2010 in books, giveaway


Tags: , , ,

50 responses to “Giveaway: The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean

  1. Trisha

    July 22, 2010 at 6:09 am

    This book sounds like so much fun and man is that a gorgeous cover! I’m a RSS follower and a Twitter follower.

    As for my favorite element, I would have to say sulfur. It’s like the bad boy you just have to like. It’s highly useful, essential, rather pretty, and apparently the mark of the devil and the smell of hell. Brimstone is its nickname which is a bit bad*ss.

  2. Sheila

    July 22, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Sounds like a fascinating read—please enter me to win!

    +1 entry: My favorite element is Au: Gold, of course!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  3. Noelle Clemons

    July 22, 2010 at 7:05 am

    Sounds like a fascinating read; I signed up recently for your RSS feed and am enjoying it so far. Just recently and briefly encountered The Elements by Theodore Gray, which is a beautiful book now on my wish list, so this ties in nicely. My favorite element is Ne (neon), though I once wrote a circular poem revolving around “He” (helium).

    Thanks for the heads-up to a fellow science geek!

  4. Sharon Spivack

    July 22, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Hi Laura. I’ve been seeing a lot of good press about this book. I’m glad to hear your endorsement of it, too. I’d love to win a copy of it.
    Happy reading!

  5. Sharon Spivack

    July 22, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Oops…I forgot to add the favorite element for the bonus entry! 🙂
    I love gold, but I have to give it up for Ra…I love the story of Mme Curie, albeit it’s sad conclusion.

  6. Susan Kitson

    July 22, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Hey…sounds like a great story. Please enter me!
    Oh, and I’m a fan of the Ag. 🙂

  7. Ruth Helfinstein

    July 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    I follow you on Twitter and subscribe by RSS 🙂
    I tweeted about the contest.

    My favorite element is Ruthenium (The year I turned 44 I liked to say, “I am in my element”)


  8. Lisa A.

    July 23, 2010 at 6:11 am

    This sounds like a fascinating book! I’d love to read it!

    I’m an email subscriber and a Twitter follower (@angloaddict).

    My favorite element, gotta be AU — gold, baby! 🙂

  9. Crystal F

    July 23, 2010 at 7:10 am

    I’m a science nerd as well – loved chemistry so I’m intrigued by this and would love to read it.

    I subscribe via email.

    I’m a Fe, Iron girl 🙂

  10. Elisabeth

    July 23, 2010 at 7:24 am

    This sounds like a book that not only I would find interesting but my sons also. We are a family of readers and I love giving books to my kids that I know they will enjoy.

    I am not very computer literate and don’t know what an RSS feed is, but I do keep you under my favorites and check for new posts every day!

  11. Mary (BookHounds)

    July 23, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    No need to enter me, just letting you know this is posted at win a book!

  12. Carin B.

    July 23, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    You are just trying to bring my outer nerd ever more out! I love the idea of this book. It’s already going to go on my virtual TBR list.

    +1 I do follow you on Twitter
    +1 I Tweeted this giveaway (Like Science? @BookingIt is doing a giveaway of The Disappearing Spoon! Embrace your inner (or outer) nerd and enter! –I’m @bowlieb)
    +1 I’m not gonna lie. I have two favorite elements (and they bring out the inner 12 year old in me) — He because I like the chipmunk voice and Mg because I love the color it burns!

    So in all I should have +4 points

    Also, thank you for your input about the menus. I really appreciate it and now I’ve found a new science-y person to follow! 🙂

  13. Amanda (A Bookshelf Monstrosity)

    July 23, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    I’ve been reading reviews about this book all over the place. I’m so excited to check it out for myself! Thanks for the giveaway.

    +1 Follow you on Twitter (I’m @bookmonstrosity)
    +1 Tweeted:

  14. Julia

    July 23, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    I’ve been wanting a chance to read this book! I studied ceramics in college, so silica is one of my favourite elements.

  15. enyl

    July 23, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    This sounds like a great trivia book, I would love to add it to my classroom library.
    +1 e-mail subscriber.
    +1 following on Twitter.
    +1 Tweeted.
    +1 My favorite element is Fe (iron)

  16. Bailey

    July 24, 2010 at 11:44 am

    This looks awesome! I’d love a chance to read it. I’ve only recently become really passionately interested in science, and I think this book would only contribute to that. 🙂
    baileythebookworm at gmail dot com

  17. Judy

    July 24, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    I would like to win!

    headlessfowl at jteers dot net

    I follow via RSS.

  18. Robert Johnson

    July 24, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    I read the review of this book in Entertainment Weekly. It sounds very interesting and fun. I would love a chance to win one.

    +1 I will list this contest on my facebook page.
    +1 My favorite element is Iron because when you put a lot of Fe in a circle you have a ferrous wheel. 🙂

  19. Jazzinator

    July 25, 2010 at 5:20 am

    Supposed to be a very interesting read – which I keep searching for without luck on my Nook. Argh! I’d love to read it and share some science info with my English teaching wife.

    Favorite element: Krypton

    jazzinator7 at comcast dot net

  20. karenk

    July 25, 2010 at 8:33 am

    please count me in…thanks 🙂

  21. karenk

    July 25, 2010 at 8:34 am

    email subscriber 🙂

  22. karenk

    July 25, 2010 at 8:35 am

    i like O2 (oxygen) 🙂

  23. ikkinlala

    July 25, 2010 at 11:14 am

    This sounds like a fascinating book.

    Right now if I had to pick a favourite element I’d choose carbon.

  24. nanscorner

    July 26, 2010 at 7:05 am

    I’d love to be entered in the giveaway.

    I also subscribe to your feed in google reader.

  25. Becca

    July 26, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Please enter me!

    I follow on Twitter (@Beckster000)

    I blogged here:

    And my favorite element has got to be Kr – because well, really? Krypton just makes me laugh.


  26. Barbara

    July 27, 2010 at 9:10 am

    When introducing the periodic table to children, I sought a framework other than a table for fifth graders. I found “Geography of the Periodic Table” a helpful vehicle for teaching a classification system for elements. “The Disappearing Spoon” sounds even more interesting for introducing elements to children.

  27. emily l

    July 27, 2010 at 11:31 am

    I would love to read this. 🙂

  28. Carol M

    July 27, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    This sounds really interesting. I would love to read it!
    I subscribe to your blog via e-mail.
    My favorite would have to be oxygen!

  29. Tina

    July 31, 2010 at 9:49 am

    I really want to win this one!
    I subscribe via Bloglines, and have you on my blogroll. Will post in the giveaway sidebar on my blog Tutu’s Two Cents.
    My favorite element is carbon – we wouldn’t have diamonds without it!!!


  30. Tina

    July 31, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    I thought I’d left a comment, but don’t see it….I really want this book. I’ve posted it in the sidebar on Tutu’s Two Cents (see URL in entry form.

  31. Elisabeth

    July 31, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    OOps! Forgot to put my element in. Oxygen.

  32. Jenny

    July 31, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    I’d like to enter!


    I follow your blog and follow you on twitter.

  33. Pussreboots

    July 31, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    This books is already on my wishlist so I’d obviously love to win a copy. 🙂

    Yes I’m a subscriber (via RSS and via twitter). My favorite element is neon. It looks pretty all lit up in little glass tubes.

  34. Lisa

    July 31, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    This sounds like fun. I’m a RSS subscriber.

    I guess I’m going with mercury as my favorite element because it was just cool to play with — back when you didn’t know that it would kill you!

  35. madhaus

    August 1, 2010 at 2:09 am

    I follow you on twitter, I will retweet the link that brought me here, and my favorite element is mercury. It’s liquid metal!

    This book sounds great and is just the sort of geeky science stuff I love.

  36. Beth

    August 1, 2010 at 11:32 am

    This looks great! Please enter me!

    bethsbookreviewblog2 AT gmail DOT com

  37. Beth

    August 1, 2010 at 11:33 am

    I’m a RSS subscriber via Google Reader.

    I’m a Twitter Follower (BethsBookReview).

    bethsbookreviewblog2 AT gmail DOT com

  38. Charlene

    August 1, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    This book looks really great. I can’t wait to read it whether I win it free or buy it.

    +1 I read your blog via email.
    +1 My favorite element is aluminium

    Thanks, Char

  39. Kerrie Mayans

    August 3, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Please enter me to win this book. It sounds very interesting to a chemistry nerd like myself.

    I subscribe to your rss feed

    My favorite element is Helium.

  40. Dawn M.

    August 6, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    I think this sounds like a cool book to read. I’m not a big chemistry fan but this really sounds interesting. Maybe I’d actually learn something. Heh.

    I subscribe by email.


  41. Meg

    August 9, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Hi – great giveaway! My favorite element is Einsteinium because I had to do a report on it in 10th grade chemistry and it always stuck with me.

  42. Anita Yancey

    August 11, 2010 at 6:32 am

    This book sounds very interesting. I’d like to read it. Please enter me. Thanks!


  43. Anita Yancey

    August 11, 2010 at 6:33 am

    I am an email subscriber!


  44. Susan

    August 12, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Thanks for the chance to win this very neat book!

    safoga at gmail dot com

  45. Susan

    August 12, 2010 at 11:49 am

    I’m a subscriber via Google Reader.

    safoga at gmail dot com

  46. Belle

    August 12, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    This sounds like a great read – I love science books!

    Additional entries – let’s see. I follow you on Twitter, you’re in my RSS feed. You didn’t mention Facebook but I saw this link on your wall just now 🙂

    Favorite element: gold! haha. Silver, too. And oxygen is quite nice LOL

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