When I first read the summary I thought to myself, "this sounds like another rendition of Primo Levi and the Periodic Table." Primo Levi is the Jewish freelance chemist who wrote about his experiences in chemistry during world war II by focusing each chapter of his book on one particular experience. The experience was somehow tied into one of the elements on the periodic table- either peripherially or focally. I can already see that this book is vastly different from Levi's. For one thing the author is not a bench scientist. And for another he is not telling personal experiences- he is recounting facts he learned about elements mixed in with some of his own impressions and conversations with professors during his science education experience. So far it is not evident that he has been employed in science beyond his basic education level.
So- as soon as I gather lots of riveting poisoner stories and other scandalous tidbits to shock my students with perhaps I will gain ambition to read the other two books on my ambition checklist. They are these two books:
I just can't muster up the ambition to actually read these books.