STUFF MATTERS Mark Miodownik

Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World

Can infusing concrete with bacteria make it stronger? Will 3-D printers be able to build human organs? Why did billiard balls used to explode? These are the types of inquiries that drive this paean to the ubiquitous substances we often take for granted. Using a photograph of himself enjoying an alfresco breakfast on his roof as a jumping-off point, scientist Miodownik dives into every detail, from the history of the concrete in the building to the reasons titanium was used to make the screws in his surgically repaired knee. While Stuff sometimes forgets its intended layperson audience, Miodownik’s joyous curiosity offsets the occasional jolt of jargon. B+