by Sam Kean
Publication Date: July 26, 2017
Genre: Non-fiction, Science
Publisher: Little Brown Book Group
A round-the-globe journey through the periodic table explains how the air people breathe reflects the world's history, tracing the origins and ingredients of the atmosphere to explain air's role in reshaping continents, steering human progress, and powering revolutions.
I listened to this back in December-February, and forgot all about posting a review; this happens frequently with my audiobooks since I borrow them from the library and they’re not physical objects, sitting around mutely mocking me for my slack ways.
I like Sam Kean’s books, and I always have. They’re popular science books and I enjoy his way of attaching science to everyday anecdotes; for me it’s a nice reinforce how science is at the very core of life.
Caesar’s Last Breath is about the air we all breathe and which parts of the periodic table we’re breathing at any given moment. I own the book, but it was available from the library as audio and I needed something for the car. It’s narrated by Kean himself, which can often not be a good thing, but I think he made a fair performance of it. But this book also uses visuals, so while I enjoyed it, I think I’d have gotten more out of it had I read my hard copy. Something I’ll probably do soon.
If you’ve read his other books and didn’t care for them, don’t bother with this one, but if you enjoy accessible science tied to historical events or everyday living, you might enjoy this one.