Welcome to KIWIreviews - product reviews
•  click here to return to the homepage  •
Welcome visitor.Join us or log in

Product reviews on kiwireviews.nz : Thursday 8th June 2023 - 22:57:27

QuickSearch for:    What is QuickSearch?
QuickJump to:    What is QuickJump?
logon name: p/w:  
I want to:

You Are Here...

Home > Categories > Books > Educational > The Secret Life of Number 8 review

« Eye Spyclops reviewEye SpyclopsCreating Space: An experience of gender reviewCreating Space: An experience of gender »

Score: 9.4/10  [2 reviews]
4 out of 5
ProdID: 9069 - The Secret Life of Number 8
Written by Neil Broom

The Secret Life of Number 8
Sample/s Supplied by:
Click to search for all products supplied by Mary Egan Publishing

Disclosure StatementFULL DISCLOSURE: A number of units of this product have, at some time, been supplied to KIWIreviews by Mary Egan Publishing or their agents for the purposes of unbiased, independent reviews. No fee was accepted by KIWIreviews or the reviewers themselves - these are genuine, unpaid consumer reviews.
April 2023

The Secret Life of Number 8 product reviews

Proud to promote NZ productsTaking its cue from an uninspiring fragment of rusted iron, The Secret Life of Number 8 takes the reader into the heart of a universe in miniature, one that reveals the striking order, complexity, and elegance of the many materials that are part and parcel of everyday life. Using reader-friendly language, author Neil Broom transports his audience into the mysterious inner world of commonplace materials that have shaped the course of technological development right up to modern times.

This book is richly illustrated throughout with more than 120 images including photographs, diagrams, engravings, line drawings, and tables. They complement the text to ensure that it is available not only to adults, but also older children, irrespective of their prior knowledge of science.

Check out Mary Egan Publishing onlineClick here to see all the listings for Mary Egan Publishing Visit their website Follow them on Twitter Check them out on Facebook They do not have a YouTube Channel They do not have a Pinterest board They do not have an Instagram channel They do not have a TikTok channel

mary egan publishing   materials   neil broom   number 8 wire   nzmade   properties   science   structure   technology   the secret life of number 8
Other listings you may be interested in:
Merry Gentry : 1 : A Kiss of ShadowsMerry Gentry : 1 : A Kiss of Shadows
Rating: 9.8
The Elegant Universe of Albert EinsteinThe Elegant Universe of Albert Einstein
Rating: 8.5
World Food Cafe 2World Food Cafe 2
Rating: 10.0
The Saga of Seven Suns : 1 : Hidden EmpireThe Saga of Seven Suns : 1 : Hidden Empire
Rating: 9.5
The Ugly HatchlingThe Ugly Hatchling
Rating: 9.3
The AvengersThe Avengers
Rating: 8.1
Breaking ButterfliesBreaking Butterflies
Rating: 9.4
Mission Survival:  Sands of the ScorpionMission Survival:  Sands of the Scorpion
Rating: 9.0
Hello, Mr Dodo!Hello, Mr Dodo!My New Zealand Story: Bastion PointMy New Zealand Story: Bastion Point
Rating: 9.0
Stress LessStress Less
Rating: 9.8
Miniwings #6: Moonlight the Unicorn's High Tea HiccupMiniwings #6: Moonlight the Unicorn's High Tea Hiccup
Rating: 9.8
Mrs Chippy the CatMrs Chippy the Cat
Rating: 9.9

Product reviews...

Everyone is welcome to post a review. You will need to Join up or log in to post yours.

Click here to read the profile of tucker

Review by: tucker (Karl)
Dated: 6th of June, 2023

Link to this review Report this review


This Review: 9.3/10
Value for Money:
Score 9 out of 10
Score 10 out of 10
Easy to Understand:
Score 10 out of 10
Personal Choice:
Score 8 out of 10

My personal flavour of Aspie nature has me enjoying the harder side of science, but only at 'an enthusiastic layperson' level. Alas, I don't have the head for formulae and large equations, however I do have a head aligned with spacial reasoning and topology, so I expected this title to be quite a ways outside my usual fare.

The first thing you'll note is the simple language and easy conversation style Neil adopts - the book reads less like an educational tome and more like the transcription of a casual lecture, with sidetracks and related information dropping in for a quick visit, sparking questions that may or may not get answered in the book but will stick with you until you find the answers elsewhere.

The mix of stock photos, technical drawings of varying degrees of accuracy, and the ample offering of photos clearly taken by the author specifically to illustrate a point, there's plenty to appeal to the visually-cued reader, while the soft flow of information contained in the narrative text will bring a lot of unexpected learning to those who process the written word better. However, for the audiologue learners, the content of the words is very clearly conversational, so if you have someone willing to read this to you, you will get so much more than you might have expected. Neil presents a lot of technical information in a very relaxed manner that demystifies a lot of the technicalities that are required to understand the finer details, but are not required just to grasp the concepts being put forth.

One of the examples Neil uses to explain dislocations and how they can move through a material, is the caterpillar and how their movement is also directly related to an aspect of carpetlaying. Having taken a stab at laying carpet once, I know the inchworm technique and how it relates to waves in general, so I found this section particularly enjoyable as I was able to not only gain validation of some of my own ideas, but also learn to see a few things in a new way. That little spark of joy at learning something new or having a moment of realisation when something read causes some piece of knowledge to crystalise, is a rare treat and one that I frankly wasn't expecting to get from this book upon first impressions.

Like one of those movies that rises to cult classic status, the more you experience this book the more layers you discover, and from that the more you find yourself wanting to learn. To be honest, my first read-through of this book left me feeling quite confused and unimpressed, but a second, third and then fourth read brought up questions I had overlooked, and answers I had missed through skim-reading sections the first time around. Turns out, Neil's book about a rusty bit of wire is somewhat of a dark Trojan horse, sneakily shoe-horning knowledge, curiosity and information into the reader through gentle humour, quirky trivia side-quests, deceptively casual photos - not all of which paid off as I think Neil wanted, but they did the job well enough - and an ability to bring high-brow science down to a level that is accessible without being patronising.

Overall, this was a book that I started off dismissing and grew to appreciate. I think it will be headed for the bookshelf now, instead of its original destination of the pay-it-forward box. If I had any issues with the book, it would have to be the layout of image montages. For some reason, Neil has laid them out in a vertical-first alignment, meaning that to see the images in the correct order, the reader starts top-left and reads down the first column, then returns to top-right to start the second column. With Western culture reading left-to-right, top-to-bottom, having the second image to the right of the first would provide a smoother reading experience. But honestly, as that is the "worst" thing I can find worth mentioning, the book overall is a winner. While not one I will be quick to reread myself, it is worth keeping in the reference section to lend to some young mind seeking actual knowledge rather than socially-defined truths.

Click here to read the profile of savta

Review by: savta (Jo)
Dated: 29th of May, 2023

Link to this review Report this review


This Review: 9.5/10
Value for Money:
Score 9 out of 10
Score 10 out of 10
Easy to Understand:
Score 10 out of 10
Personal Choice:
Score 9 out of 10

I am not a scientist, an engineer, a geologist, an inventor, or a blacksmith. I am not especially good at maths or chemistry. As for physics, it is something that explains motion - at least, I think it is! It was amazing, therefore, to pick up a book that visits all these fields, and explains things in a way that an amateur like me can understand. It takes a unique kind of talent to be able to unpack a specialist subject and make it available to a general audience. Not only does the author need to be an expert in his field, he also needs to be a skilled teacher who can empower others with understanding despite their lack of prior knowledge. By the time I had read to the end, I realised that I had learned an amazing number of facts about iron and other metals, and not only that, I had enjoyed the process. Would that all informative writings were like this!

Neil Broom uses humour and wonderful analogies to explain complex things. In the course of the book, he includes references to knitting, archaeology, cooking, aeronautics, fine arts... he even touches on religion with his hilarious descriptions of sacrificial zinc. The text reads more like a carefree romp through a journey of "ironic" discovery than a dry reference book. I did not read it to learn about iron and rust and alloys and electroplating, nor even the development of metallurgy through the ages. I read it for the sheer pleasure of Broom's vibrant descriptions and clever use of words. I learned a lot in the process, but it was painless - as true learning should be. The inventive section headings are a delight in themselves: who would not want to read about "dislocation hunting not being for the faint-hearted" or "spaghetti to the rescue"?

No shame in admitting that today I picked up a well rusted bulldog clip and immediately started investigating the black bits and the brown bits to see which was flakier. I later progressed to examining a screw to ascertain whether it had been electroplated or merely galvanised. I could easily become addicted to discovery of this kind. I now know how pig iron got its name, and why King Solomon is reputed to have given an iron worker the best seat at a feast celebrating the construction of the temple in Jerusalem. I understand the meaning of the "mer" in "polymer", and I now know that dislocation does not always refer to bones.

If I had two criticisms of this book, it would be with regards to the layout and organisation rather than the content per se. The graphics are integral to the understanding of the text, but some of them are less than clear. The colour photos are great, as are the outline drawings. A few of the monochrome pictures, however, are quite fuzzy. I am not sure what the answer is here: clearly book production is dependent on cost effectiveness and compromise. The other thing I would suggest is that a glossary of common technical terms be included as an appendix. For lay people having simple definitions of words like "atom" or "crystal" as used in context would be helpful. Although these words are explained in the text, it is easy to forget their precise meaning - especially if the book is read over a period of time. Words that are commonplace to those working in the field may not be quite so accessible to ordinary readers.

Several members of my immediate family have endorsed my comments on the book, just from picking up the volume and reading a couple of paragraphs at random. I have no doubt that at least three of them will read it from cover to cover at the earliest opportunity - and one, just 13, has already put in a claim to read it first. I anticipate that he will enjoy it just as much as I did.

Random listing from 'Books'...

Score: 9.9
Product reviews for listing 8473: Lily the Littlest Angel 3: Lily Goes Skitter Skating -  Written by Elizabeth Pulford

Product image for Lily the Littlest Angel 3: Lily Goes Skitter SkatingIn the third story of this delightful series, Lily longs for Amelia's Angel Academy to win the trophy for snow sports.

But when she sees her worst enemy, Wanda Westbrook, she is worried that Wanda may make mischief - as usual. Can Lily help beat the rival All Saints Angel School?

The adorable black and white illustrations are by Aki Fukuoka.

Go to the listing

General Disclaimer...

Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Checker - Do not copy content from this page. Creative Commons Licence All trademarks, images and copyrights on this site are owned by their respective companies.
KIWIreviews is an independent entity, part of the Knock Out News Group. This is a free public forum presenting user opinions on selected products, and as such the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinion of kiwireviews.nz and are protected under New Zealand law by the "Honest Opinion" clause of the Defamation Act of 1992. KIWIreviews accepts no liability for statements made on this site, on the premise that they have been submitted as the true and honest opinions of the individual posters. In most cases, prices and dates stated are approximate and should be considered as only guidelines.

"Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action."
Benjamin Disraeli

KIWIreviews Help GuideClick here for the Help Guide