The World in a Grain The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization by Vince Beiser

A passionate treatise on something all of us rarely think about…sand. Every chapter is a detailed history, and explanation how sand makes up everything in our modern world from glass, roads, concrete, and even semiconductors. The author is very passionate but sometimes goes off on tangents. It’s a light, interesting non-fiction book. It’s one of those books that is like a well written textbook; doesn’t stir the soul, but teaches you some interesting things.

I’m torn about how I feel about this book. I learned so much, and some of the chapters were so intriguing. Some of the chapters felt like he was just trying to stretch the book out, or he started going off on a tangent about the future of the earth without sand. That topic, the earth without sand, is an important topic but that is almost another standalone book itself. The problem with this book is that it is such a large topic, it’s hard to make it flow well. He often tries to cram in too many angles into some chapters, as previously mentioned. I did really enjoy the chapters on semiconductors and island building in the UAE.

Rating: ★★★ (I liked it.)

Book #18 in my 2022 Reading Challenge

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