09 January, 2012

Up & Down

Jeff Stewart

I’m torn by this book. 

I would really like to have liked it a lot; i’m not certain, however, that i can report that i did. Also find i’m torn in deciding who the target audience is; i cannot tell if it is really, as i assumed upon beginning, intended for the intelligent adult with little particular physical knowledge but a sufficiency to understand the complex concepts presented, or if it should be read by children ~ teenagers, perhaps ~ who are learning science for the first time. Both seem to be possible interpretations. 

To go back to my first point:  Though i would have liked to have liked it, there were several issues that i found interrupting mine enjoyment of Why Balloons Rise. For example, though he generally did a good job of building on the previous concepts he had introduced, i found at least a couple of occasions when Stewart seemed to bring something in that i ought to have known (and probably actually do) but that he had no reason to assume i knew based on his apparent assumptions about his readers. In the end, the pleasure i get from reading about things i don’t know or don’t fully understand, attempting to further my knowledge a little, outweighs the annoyance (it didn’t really rise to the level of aggravation) i found in the writing style and lack of focus. A near run thing, however, and i’m not certain i’d pick up another book based purely on the name of the author; it would have to depend partly, as well, on the subject matter, if it looked interesting, a subject i wanted to learn more about.

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